Ford said it has retained driving engagement as a key priority for the new Focus, the fourth-generation version of the small family hatchback that redefined the company’s attitude to dynamic ability when it was launched in 1998.
The new Focus, which has now gone on sale with first deliveries expected in September , will come in two bodystyles in the UK: five-door hatchback and estate. A saloon will remain on sale in select other markets. There will be four trim variations and Ford said a raft of new technology will make the Focus the most advanced car it sells in Europe.
Prices for the new Focus in the UK will start at £17,930 for the entry level Style trim – £2300 less than the equivalent third-generation Focus - with the top Vignale trim starting at £25,450. The Focus Zetec and ST-Line, which combined are expected to account for more than half of UK sales, start at £19,300 and £21,570 respectively.
Speaking at the launch of the new Focus in London, Ford's European boss, Steven Armstrong, said: "The new Focus is, quite simply, the best car in our 114-year history."
— Autocar (@autocar) April 10, 2018
Beyond that, however, the agility that has made the Focus so popular to date will remain. Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe’s vice president for product development, said: “Driving quality in itself isn’t enough to sell cars. If you’re not up to scratch [in infotainment], you’re not even considered. But owners will still get that fun-to-drive feel that people have loved about the Focus for the past 20 years.”
The hatchback will be offered in ST-Line trim, which has suspension that is 10mm lower than the standard car’s, and as an Active-badged near-crossover variant, which sits 30mm higher than standard. Ford’s upmarket Vignale specification will also be offered, along with the regular Titanium trim level.
Aside from otherwise consistent interior architecture, the Active version will feature some harder-wearing materials, Vignale cars will receive more upmarket trim with more satin materials and ST-Line models will be more sporty. Regular Titanium versions will sit somewhere between them.