Ford of Europe introduced the Focus in 1998 to the European market as a replacement for the Ford Escort. The decision to name the new car the "Ford Focus" was made in early 1998, as Ford's senior management had been planning to keep the "Escort" nameplate for its new generation of small family cars. A last-minute problem arose in July 1998 when a Cologne court, responding to a case brought by the publisher Burda, ordered Ford to avoid the name "Focus" for the cars in the German market since the name was already taken by one of its magazines (Focus). This eleventh-hour dispute was resolved, however, and the car was launched with the name Focus. The Focus MK1 was awarded the 1999 European Car of the Year award. The Fusion name was eventually used on two different vehicle families - a utility version of the Fiesta in Europe, and on a mid-size sedan model in North America. The project manager for the Ford Focus at Dunton was Rose Mary Farenden.
Ford of North America began marketing the Focus in September 1999 for the 2000 model year, with some changes from the European version. The car was launched as a three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door wagon; a five-door hatchback debuted in 2001.
In 2002, Ford launched its highest performance version of the Focus, called the Focus RS. It came with a 2.0-litre turbocharged Duratec RS engine, a Quaife ATB limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and a host of other performance changes, combined with a much more aggressive appearance, and was available only in Ford’s Imperial blue. 70% of the components found on the Focus RS were unique, revised or uprated. This original Focus RS was only available in Europe with a limited run of 4501 cars being built; just under half (2147) of these were sold in the UK.
For decades, in the U.S., small cars like the Focus were seen as a tool to draw in younger buyers looking for a cheap basic transportation and to increase auto makers' fleet average fuel economies to meet U.S. federal standards. Ford was said not to concern about losing money on the Focus so the company could sell gas guzzlers for big profits. However, recent sales of new Focus's have been able to maintain lower or overall discounting incentive rates than many competing vehicles in its class. Many industry insiders view cars like the Focus as 'compliance cars' because of their role in helping to bring up the corporate fleet average fuel economy to meet current fuel-economy standards.
The second generation Focus was launched at the Paris Motor Show on September 23, 2004 as a three and five-door hatchback and an estate, although the new car was previewed, in 4-door sedan form, as the "Focus Concept" developed by Ford Europe at the Beijing Motor Show in mid-2004.
The basic suspension design, which contributed much to the Mk 1's success, was carried over largely unchanged from its predecessor. Along with a 10 percent stiffer bodyshell, according to Ford this offers a better ride, but critics claimed the car lacked the precise and poised handling of the Mk 1. The same body styles as the Mk 1 Focus were offered, though the sedan did not appear until mid-2005. A two-door coupé-cabriolet with a retractable hardtop was added to the line-up in 2007.
The Focus Mk 2 is larger and considerably heavier than its predecessor: it has a 25 mm (0.98 in) increase in wheelbase, and is 168 mm (6.6 in) longer, 8 mm (0.31 in) taller, and 138 mm (5.4 in) wider. As a result, the interior and boot space have increased. New technologies include a KeyFree system, a solar-reflect windshield, adaptive front lighting, Bluetooth hands-free phones and voice control for audio, telephone, and climate control systems.
Stylistically, the Mk 2 features the same design language found in the Mondeo and Fiesta. Although still recognisable as a Focus, the new car uses styling features from the abandoned B-Proposal for the original Focus which never reached production.
In 2005, Ford released a MK.II version of Ford's sports division of Focus, the Focus ST. This one produced 225 bhp (168 kW) and could achieve a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of just 6.4 seconds, and a 152 mph (245 km/h) top speed, using a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged engine originating from Volvo.
2007–2008 saw a facelifted version introduced, featuring Ford's Kinetic Design philosophy. Major changes included a new bonnet with more creases, the removal of all mouldings along the doors and sides, new sculpted pull back headlights, and the big trapezoidal lower grille.
In 2009, the new Focus RS was launched, with a modified version of the 2.5-litre engine found in the ST.
For the North American market, development followed a separate path. Since debuting at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, the restyled 2008–2011 generation was available as a two-door coupe and four-door sedan; the hatchbacks and wagon were discontinued. The interior was redesigned, including new seats, a new dashboard design with message center on top of the dashboard, ambient lighting, dashboard panels that simulate brushed aluminum, and Ford's voice-controlled Sync audio/Bluetooth system. Also included in the redesign was a support beam behind the dashboard for extra structural rigidity.
Though informally considered as the second generation, it was never officially referred to as such by Ford since its platform was the same as the first generation.
For the third generation, Ford reunited both international and North American models by releasing the international Mk3 worldwide. The previous North American version was discontinued, and the new model was launched simultaneously in North America and Europe in early 2011, both having started production late in 2010.
In designing the Ford Focus, a group of young designers used what's called the Third Age Suit in order to simulate the physical limitations of an elderly person. The suit, which restricts the wearer's movements, allowed for insights that were implemented into the car's design.
Ford unveiled the Ford Focus at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. The car shown was a five-door hatchback model, also debuting a new 2.0-litre direct injection inline-four engine. A five-door station wagon was also made available at launch. The new generation launched simultaneously in North America and Europe in early 2011, with production having started in late 2010. Production in Asia, Africa, Australia and South America was scheduled to follow later but the plan for Australian production was later dropped and that market and New Zealand were supplied, along with Asia, from a new factory in Thailand where output began in June 2012. This new generation of Focus incorporates a redesigned cabin with new materials and new entertainment technologies.[clarification needed] Sharing the same chassis as the LW MKI Focus, the exterior of the Focus has been updated to reflect a more modern style.
Ford previewed the third generation facelifted model at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The updated version features a new redesigned front end design, incorporating Ford's new family grille and slimline headlights. The sporty ST and an RS model (now sold globally)—which features an upgraded version of the 2.3-litre engine from the Ford Mustang—will continue Ford's performance range. The RS now has all-wheel drive. The new 2015 model year update Focus range will be offered with Ford's multi award-winning EcoBoost technology, with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant available in 110 and 132 kW (148 and 177 hp) outputs in place of the current older 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre offerings. A revised 2.0-litre turbo-diesel TDCi engine, with an output of 110 kW (148 hp), will also be offered. One of the most anticipated features is the 2016 Ford Focus RS's "Drift" Mode, which will be the first in the world.
1,235 kg - 1,518 kg (Hatchback) 1,383 kg - 1,559 kg (Estate) 1,239 kg - 1,408 kg (Sedan)
Ford Focus (fourth generation)
Ford Focus estate (fourth generation)
Ford Focus (fourth generation) sedan
Ford Focus (fourth generation) sedan
On April 10, 2018, Ford unveiled the European and Asian-market versions of the fourth-generation Focus, to mark the brand's 20th anniversary. As in the previous generation, the model is available with sedan, hatchback and estate bodystyles.
The exterior features a sportier design, while Ford described its interior as being simpler. The company also emphasized technology featured in the new model, including the Sync 3 infotainment system, FordPass Connect, and the CoPilot360 driver assistance suite.
A crossover SUV trim level known as the Active is available with the hatchback and estate bodystyles. The car also has a Vignale luxury trim level.
In April 2019, Ford announced that all passenger vehicles but the Mustang would be discontinued in the North American market, in order to focus on trucks and utility vehicles. The Focus Active was intended to be the only version of the model available in the market, but Ford cancelled these plans in August 2018 over tariffs imposed by the U.S. government on exports from China, as the model is manufactured in China.
The 2019 Ford Focus, dubbed SA, launched in Australia in November 2018 with Trend and ST-Line available from launch, and the Active and Titanium models available from March 2019. The Focus features class leading active safety as standard, including Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. It scores a maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
The ‘Dragon’ 1.5L EcoBoost 3-cylinder is standard across the range, producing 134kW and 240N⋅m. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels through a Ford 8F24 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Focus Trend retails from $25,990 and is only available in hatch form. It features AEB[clarification needed] with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rain-sensing auto wipers, auto headlights, LDW, LKA, Sync 3 infotainment, an electronic park brake with auto hold, ISOFIX child seat anchors, 180-degree HD rear view camera, reverse parking sensors, power folding heated mirrors, and LED DRL. An optional Driver Assist Pack for $1,250 features Evasive Steering Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Traffic Sign Recognition with speed assist.
The ST-Line, which retails for $28,990 in hatch form, and $30,990 in wagon form, comes with a sports body kit, sports tuned suspension, red contrast stitching around the interior, LED fog lights with cornering function, wireless Qi phone charging, dual-zone climate control, honeycomb grille, 10mm lower suspension, LED rear lights, tyre pressure monitoring system, and a flat bottomed steering wheel. The Wagon features multi-link rear suspension as opposed to torsion beam in hatch models, folding cargo cover, and easy fold rear seats. A panoramic sunroof, Design pack (LED headlights, wheels, headlamp jetwash).
The top-of-the-line Titanium, from $34,490 comes with keyless entry, Evasive Steering Assist, a Bang and Olufsen premium audio system, auto high beam, heated leather seats, and configurable LED ambient lighting. A head-up display, panoramic sunroof, and Active Park Assist 2 are all optional on the Titanium.
All the rally cars are built, prepared, and run for Ford by M-Sport, the motorsport team based in Cockermouth, Cumbria in Northern England. The team is managed by Malcolm Wilson, a well known former British rally driver.
Besides rallies, the Focus has also been used in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series, the TC 2000, resulting champion in 2003, 2005, 2010, and 2012.
The Ford Focus ST made its debut in the 2009 British Touring Car Championship season, with Arena Motorsport. During its second season, the car ran on liquefied petroleum gas, taking the first BTCC win for a car powered by this fuel at Brands Hatch. In 2011, Arena (also known as Team AON) shifted to the newer Focus Mk3, while Motorbase Performance drove the ST version. Both cars had engines, built by the Next Generation Touring Car engine rules. Motorbase continues to compete with the Ford Focus ST.
In 2008 Ford South Africa entered two modified Focus ST models into Class T (reserved for turbocharged production vehicles) of the local Bridgestone Production Car Championship (essentially a Touring Car formula). They secured the Class T driver's titles in 2009 and 2011.
Europe 20: Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland
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