Currently reading: 2020 Ford Focus gains mild hybrid options, new Zetec variant
48V technology comes to Ford's family hatch, replacing 1.5-litre engine for claimed efficiency boosts of 17%

Ford has expanded the Ford Focus range in Europe for 2020, ushering in a new Zetec trim option, enhanced infotainment and mild-hybrid technology that’s said to improve efficiency by up to 17%.

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. 

Fordfocus2020digitalcluster 01

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 Ford Kuga, Ford Puma and Ford 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. 


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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. 

The Zetec is not available with the new hybrid motor but can be specified with a choice of the conventionally fuelled 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine or the 1.5-litre Ecoblue diesel. 

As part of this round of updates, the Focus gains a new 12.3in digital instrument cluster that can be used in the mild-hybrid car to show energy usage and flow rates. 

Later this year, all Focus models will gain the firm’s FordPass Connect system, which warns of obstacles and hazards on the road ahead using information collected from local authorities, emergency services and other road users. 

Rounding off the model line revisions, the standard kit list for existing ST-Line and Active trim packages has been bolstered with the addition of an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry. 

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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bomb 23 June 2020

Zetec was always available..

I see Will86 also pointed this out, the Zetec has always been available for the Focus. The change here is that Ford has added extra kit and called it the Zetec 'Edition' as they have with all their other trim levels.

Will86 22 June 2020

Zetec isn't new

The zetec model has been available from launch. It might have been briefly dropped but not for long. As for the hybrid, is there some reduction in complexity by not having separate starter motor and alternator? Anything to recoup a bit of energy lost on braking seems sensible, though perhaps a back to back comparison would help.

LP in Brighton 23 June 2020

Hybrids are inevitable

First it makes sense to increase efficiency by capturing and redeploying some of the energy normally wasted during braking. Furthermore it avoids or minimises the fines manufacturers must pay for breaching EU CO2 targets. Finally by using a combined starter generator in place of the usual separate components, there is a degree of mechanical simplification and minimal weight gain because the hybrid battery is small and light (compared with anything you'll find in an EV or plug in). There is probably a minimal cost penalty too, or there will be once manufacturers overcome their initial greed in charging more for that hybrid badge!

mgbv8man 22 June 2020

I agree

I agreewith Mikey C seems a bit of a con these mild hybrids (not just Ford) and Ford forget to mention the loss of the gem of a 1.5 182 engine.As for thenew Zetec its always been available in this shape just so poorly equiped in the paast no one knew.