|2015 Focus four-door sedan. Click to enlarge.|
Ford unveiled the new Ford Focus four-door sedan prior to its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show next week. The debut of the new Focus four-door sedan and the Focus Electric in New York follows the Geneva Motor Show debut in March of the Focus three- and five-door hatchback and wagon. (Earlier post.) A new version of the performance Focus ST will be shown later this year.
The redesigned Ford Focus offers a bolder exterior design, an improved interior, a range of advanced driver assistance technologies and the additional powertrain option of Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a new six-speed manual transmission and standard Auto Start-Stop feature in the US-spec Focus. US EPA fuel economy ratings are not yet available.
Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is a transverse-mounted, inline three-cylinder turbo gasoline direct fuel injection with Ti-VCT. It uses a low inertia turbocharger, split cooling system and direct fuel injection to deliver high levels of performance.
For Europe, as announced last year, the Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost will achieve fuel efficiency of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US). Equipped with a specially calibrated 100 PS (99 hp, 74 kW) version of the 1.0L gasoline direct injection engine, the new Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost in Europe also will feature Ford ECOnetic Technology including Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, Active Grille Shutter and Ford EcoMode.
Focus ranks as the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world, based on just-released Polk new vehicle registration data for the 2013 calendar year; registrations of the Focus were up 8.1% with 1,097,618 cars sold worldwide in 2013, compared to 1,014,965 units in 2012. Since its launch in 1998, the Focus nameplate has sold more than 12 million vehicles globally.
|2015 Ford Focus Electric. Click to enlarge.|
Market gains for Focus continue to be driven by consumer demand in China. China registrations were up 50% in 2013 to 403,219 vehicles, up from 268,354 vehicles in 2012. China now is responsible for just more than one out of three Focus vehicles sold globally, based on Polk data.
While the latest Focus is essentially the same worldwide, color preference varies. In the US market, Sterling Gray is the most popular at 21% of sales, with Tuxedo Black second at 15%. In China, Crystal Solid White is overwhelmingly the most popular with just more than 50% of sales. Candy Red is second at 17%.
Advanced technologies. A package of sensors adds driver-assist technologies, including a rear view camera, available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and a lane-keeping system. Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch-equipped cars.
BLIS uses two advanced multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in both rear quarter panels. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.
Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal activated, the lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.
The new Focus benefits from suspension and chassis upgrades as well. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road. The electric power-assisted steering has been retuned to make the driver feel even more connected to the road.
Enhanced SYNC AppLink. New functions enabled by the enhanced SYNC AppLink include:
Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the owner experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors.
More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected.
Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app.
Android and iOS smartphone users can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market.
Ford builds the Focus in eight manufacturing plants on four continents. Facilities in Germany, the United States, Russia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and Argentina have a combined capacity to build more than 1.5 million Focus cars annually at a rate of more than two per second.
Ford’s analysis of Polk new vehicle registrations also confirms Ford Fiesta earned the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 735,299 registrations for 2013.
Together, registrations of Ford’s small cars—Fiesta and Focus—totaled 1,832,917 vehicles last year, a 4.3% increase from 2012.