The existing 1.5-litre Ecoboost petrol engine is being phased out to make way for a hybridised version of the Focus’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost unit that, paired exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox, raises power 5bhp to 153bhp and emits 116g/km of CO2 on the WLTP cycle. It’s available on Titanium trim upwards from £23,610.
A 123bhp version, priced from £24,260, is also available. Both units are capable of 51.4mpg, a noticeable increase on the old engine’s 48.7mpg.
The Ecoboost Hybrid engine uses a variation of the existing 1.0-litre engine but swaps that unit’s alternator for a belt-driven integrated starter/generator, which recovers energy when braking and coasting to charge a 48V lithium ion battery.
Stored power is then used to provide extra torque while driving, as well as to run the car’s ancillary systems. The system automatically determines when to store and when to send its power reserves to a low-output electric motor, which supplements the torque of the petrol engine, boosting output by up to 50% at low revs.
The battery pack is located under the front seats, which, according to Ford, means cargo and passenger space is unchanged over the existing car's.
The engine itself has been modified for optimal efficiency and uses a lower compression ratio and a larger turbocharger, with the electric motor’s torque used to mitigate the effects of turbo lag.
Ford has also upgraded the car’s stop/start system to minimise fuel wastage. The engine will now restart in just 350 milliseconds after a stop and a new stop-in-gear function deactivates the engine when coasting to a stop with the clutch depressed.
The Focus is the fourth model in Ford’s passenger car portfolio, after the Kuga, Puma and Fiesta, to adopt mild-hybrid technology, as the company maintains a commitment to electrifying all its European cars by the end of 2021. Expect both variants to arrive in dealerships in July.
The non-hybrid 1.0-litre engine remains available and can be paired to either the manual gearbox for 50.4mpg or an optional eight-speed automatic for 44.1mpg. The 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre Ecoblue diesel engines remain on sale, too.
The Zetec nameplate, not yet seen on this generation of Focus, returns as the entry point into the range. Available from £22,210, it’s equipped as standard with 16in alloy wheels, electric wing mirrors with in-built puddle lamps, automatic headlights, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearstick, an 8.0in touchscreen and a suite of driver aids, including pre-collision assist, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist.