Ford has started work on giving the new Focus the same ‘Aston Martin grille’ as the Fiesta and future Mondeo, with these spy shots showing the bare bones of the new grille shape. The upper grille is much deeper than on the existing Focus and the numberplate plinth is much lower down.
The two large triangular intakes on the nose of the current Focus appear to have been blanked off on this mule, presumably to make sure that cooling isn’t affected by the smaller grille opening and - in the case of this cold-weather test - to make sure that snow ingestion isn’t a problem.
Driven snow, often thrown up by the vehicle in front, can pack itself around the radiator and other under-bonnet components. Ingested snow can be such a significant problem that BMW’s Munich-based test labs now allow snow ingestion to be simulated, saving much time and effort trying to find the exact weather and traffic conditions in the real world.
A similarly-modified C-Max MPV can be seen on a trailer in the background. Neither the facelifted Focus or C-Max is likely to appear in the showroom before the beginning of 2014.