Third generation Focus stars at Detroit and is the most important new Ford for 25 years
Steve Cropley Autocar
15 February 2010

The third-generation Ford Focus will become the biggest-selling car in the world, according to Ford executives.

"We're confident Focus will become the biggest-selling name plate in the world," says design director Martin Smith. "We think we should be able to outsell Corolla around the world."

New Ford Focus: official pics

Although that goal is aided by Toyota's decision to rename the Corolla as the Auris in Europe, the new Focus will become a truly global car. Its chassis and mechanicals will form the basis of up to 10 distinct Focus family models by 2012, a move that will allow Ford to double global Focus-based production to around two million cars a year. It will be sold in 122 countries and has the potential to become one of the biggest-selling Fords in history.

Ford's bosses believe preferences of buyers in major markets - China, Russia and the Americas - are converging to the point where the same carefully honed European car is able to have strong appeal everywhere.

"We'll see people coming to us from Honda, Mazda and Toyota," says sales and marketing VP Jim Farley. "Some Americans are downsizing two car sectors at once - when the fuel price shot up in 2008, the second biggest source of Focus business was from the F truck, and fuel prices are climbing again now..."

In essence, the new four-door and five-door Focus models are the same size as the current cars, with brand new styling inside and out. They will also have the same chassis dimensions and suspension hardware, albeit carefully refined, and new electric power steering that promises improved dynamics and lower noise levels.

Ford has said the cars will be “nearly identical in all markets”, with 80 per cent parts commonality. All of the variants will have common suspension architecture, with regional variations only in obvious areas like wheel and tyre specifications.

The interior is modern and highly detailed, with a driver-focused cockpit layout, a high centre console and lots of emphasis on quality materials and fine detail. It has a ‘technical’ character to go with new levels of cockpit technology in the class.

European buyers will be offered a new direct-injection 1.6-litre Ecoboost (petrol turbo) engine. It should offer better performance than the old 2.0-litre unit, yet “exceptional levels of fuel economy”. Duratorq turbodiesels will be improved, too.

Americans will be offered an advanced, naturally aspirated, direct-injection 2.0-litre petrol motor with double variable valve timing. Again, the new engine will be more economical than its predecessor.

On both sides of the Atlantic, Ford will offer its six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which offers nine per cent better fuel economy than the conventional four-speed automatic of previous Focus models.

The Focus saloon and hatchback are due to be launched simultaneously in the US and Europe at the beginning of 2011. From the beginning they will be made at Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (US) and Chongqing (China), with production from plants in Spain and Russia being added later.

If, as predicted, demand for C-segment cars grows to exceed 25 per cent in all major markets, the new Focus could become one of the most important Fords in history.

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Detroit motor show 2010

Detroit motor show: Hot BMW Z4, Detroit motor show: BMW electric 1-series, Detroit motor show: Buick Regal GS, Detroit motor show: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Detroit motor show: Cadillac's new flagship saloon, Detroit motor show: Chevrolet Aveo RS, Detroit motor show: Chrysler 300C, Detroit motor show: electric Fiat 500, New Ford Focus revealed, Detroit motor show: Ford Mustang V8, Detroit motor show: Hyundai Blue-Will, Detroit motor show: Jeep specials, Detroit motor show: Merc E-class cabrio, Detroit motor show: Mini Beachcomber, Detroit motor show: Toyota hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: VW Jetta coupe hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: electric Volvo C30.

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Comments
82

11 January 2010

Whatever they do to it, Autocar will love it, it's made by Ford......

The interior looks fussy and messy, and the quality of the materials had better be good.

Ford need to improve thier engines, the petrol ones in the current range are a let down, no matter how good the handling is. 'Ecoboost' is a awful name for an engine, it needs to be better than the name.

I bet they leave the handbrake on the leftside for RHD markets as well. Irritating, but better than an electronic one.

Strange, I thought the Original Mondeo was supposed to be a "True World Car"

11 January 2010

Wow annoucing a new car a year ahead of launch....

I thought at first you had posted dodgy pics of teh mk2, but now I see Fords 'Designers' have just added the new Astras look in and out.

For me the new Astra looks far nicer.

11 January 2010

So Ford didn't have time to make it not look like the Astra. Perhaps they should call it the Focustra. Looks really nice though...

11 January 2010

It looks a lot like a Kia. I think a certain member of this forum will be elated about that... it does also seem a bit Astra, which is no surprise as the Ka is a shrunken Corsa. Very disappointing...

11 January 2010

[quote Richard H]Whatever they do to it, Autocar will love it, it's made by Ford......[/quote] To be fair, the first article about a car are always glowing because they're basically rewritten press releases with a few embellishments. The articles that follow are the decision-formers.

11 January 2010

I have to say I'm not at all convinced. This is certainly not revolutionary like the original Focus was, and I even think it looks a bit awkward from some angles. Interior is nice, but there's nothing I can see that's original. Perhaps it'll grow on me :D

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

11 January 2010

You can certainly tell it is a global car, the styling is very meh. However the saloon looks far better than the hatch, perhaps they could do a liftback version of the saloon?? Most saloons that grow from hatches look awful, see Golf / Jetta, Escort / Orion, Astra / Astra saloon and so on. Only a hatch made from a saloon looks crappy .... so the Seat Toledo looked great, the Leon less so imo.

This looks like they designed the saloon first. Interior looks nice, very Honda!! No doubt it will be a success.

11 January 2010

[quote Mini1]I have to say I'm not at all convinced. This is certainly not revolutionary like the original Focus was, and I even think it looks a bit awkward from some angles. Interior is nice, but there's nothing I can see that's original.[/quote] Totally agree. For me, it just doesn't move the game on, at all. It's Ford's version of Windows XP. A safe, derivative, unexciting committee product.

11 January 2010

This has a touch of a Volvo about it. I assume it was styled to allow a light restyle for to give rise to the replacements for the S40/V50. It has the basics of a good looking car, with a good Volvo interior to replace the terrible ford one and a smart grill and lights I think it would be about perfect for this size of car.

11 January 2010

Ford interiors get worse and worse! this one looks like its been in a shunt and everything has sprung out the dash, and probably still made of spray painted Amstrad plastic. Ford must be broke if they can't afford to go buy a Golf to see how simple it is. Or even any recent Skoda interior would be huge progress.

Agree with the comment that Volvo will do a much better interior.

Exterior is so-so.

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