Currently reading: 'Big car' options for new Focus
Ford claims its large-scale production will allow it to drive down the cost of premium car options
Autocar
News
2 mins read
4 November 2010

Ford is planning to use the huge production numbers of its new global Focus to offer ‘big car’ options — and they could cost up to half what is normally charged for hi-tech features on more upmarket models.

Around two million units per year of the new Focus and its derivatives, developed under the ‘One Ford’ plan, will be sold in more than 120 countries.

See pics of the new Ford Focus in options

Ford claims this large-scale production will allow it to drive down the cost of options usually reserved for premium cars. These include low-speed braking assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, blind spot detection, park assist, automatic high beam control and a driver alert warning that detects when a driver is tired.

As an example, the park assist system introduced on the new Focus-based C-Max will cost £275; on the new BMW 5-series it’s a £560 option.

“We can make these systems cheaper as we’re doing it on a global platform with great economies of scale,” said David Weinrauch, a systems engineer in developing the new Focus.

Read the full story on the new Ford Focus

Ford doesn’t expect a huge take-up of many of the options, although Weinrauch said the global trend towards downsizing meant smaller cars had to offer ‘big car’ tech if they were to appeal to buyers. “People will spend more on smaller cars if they get bigger car features and a premium product,” he said.

Ford is also aiming for a refined driving experience in the new Focus, akin to that of premium cars, alongside its extensive options list. A lot of development work has centred on noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, particularly on diesel models.

“Our diesels are a big step forward in refinement,” said Ralf Heinrichs from the new Focus’s NVH team. “We want passengers to think they’re in a petrol, which is a challenge as diesels knock and are impulsive in their fuel injection.”

Read more on the Ford Focus ST, plus see official pics

As a result, the new 2.0-litre diesel will be seven to eight per cent quieter, thanks to highly tuned fuel injectors, reduced turbo whoosh and improved cabin isolation, including a complete seal between the interior and the engine bay.

Work on petrol models, in particular the new 1.6 Ecoboost, has centred on improving aural feedback. “We’ve developed a sporty growl,” said Heinrichs. “The car is more responsive under full throttle, both aurally and dynamically.”

Mark Tisshaw

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minesaseat 21 December 2010

Re: 'Big car' options for new Focus

I'd like a pint of whatever the interior designers were on! It's a bit like an accountant with an outrageous novelty tie - tie in lieu of personaility. They must have really, really tried hard to make such a mess of the interior and then contrast that with an exterior of such crushing, mind dulling blandness that I am struggling maintain the will to live just looking at it.

Still I suppose it will drive OK (or will it), the fleets will buy gazillions because Ford will have to give them away to the big buyers and imagination-less punters will buy them second hand, once the value has fallen through the floor.

Would you really choose one of these over a Golf, a Giulietta (actually quite disappointing) or a DS4 or an A3 or a 1 Series or a Leon or even an Astra. Only if it was the only car on your fleet list.

(apologies to accountants - you're great fun really).

Geetee40 7 November 2010

Re: 'Big car' options for new Focus

andrepaul999 wrote:

But looks wise it just doesnt hit the spot, its neither dynamic nor conservative in my eyes just plain ugly...

There are a number of new Focuses driving round Essex with zebra stripes or polka dots, ive yet to see one not is disguise yet

I thought the same initially by the photos; but have been lucky enough to see one in Essex driving sans stripes.

Its not a 2d picture friendly car at all. In a wierd way it seems to work, but I may just be wierd.

highland tourer 2 November 2010

Re: 'Big car' options for new Focus

The new Focus looks terrible. Both on the exterior and interior, the Focus looks like it could be the next Kia Ceed or Hyundai i30. If this is Ford's new design language, they may well have to rethink! As for equipment, why don't they focus (pun not intended) in getting their standard kit more generous, covering the must have bases: provision for 3rd party sat nav, provision of bluetooth and mp3 connection, and include standard options for assisting the driver (such as auto lights/wipers, cruise control). The majority of purchases will be fleet and therefore speccing the car will involve metallic paint as the only option, so an extensive list of options for incapable drivers (parking sensors, lane departure warning, driver-asleep alert sensors) seems rather unnecessary.

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