Next-gen Ford Focus gets super-sophisticated safety equipment
30 March 2009

Ford has started work on a new pedestrian protection and crash safety system for the next-generation Focus family, according to company sources.

These engineering mules are thought to be testing low-speed crash avoidance radar and a pop-up bonnet (of the type fitted to the Citroën C6 and Jaguar XK) for the next Ford Focus and Kuga.

The raised ride height of the Focus saloon in the picture indicates that this is mule is running the drivetrain of the next Ford Kuga, but the new technology will apply to the whole Focus family.

The sensors in the bonnet are involved in the operation of the pop-up system, while the cream-coloured blanks in the front bumper are said to be covering radar emitters.

But engineers are not only working on pyrotechnic bonnets; they are also looking at ‘softer’ bonnet and wing structures, as well as headlamps that collapse on impact with a pedestrian.

The moves come as the EU prepares to implement new pedestrian protection measures.

This order focuses on the “protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users”. It will be become a requirement for all cars sold in the EU from 1 September 2010 that are effectively new forward of the A-pillars.

Engineers have to ensure that the front end of the car incorporates sufficient ‘crush space’ under the body panels. This should ensure that when a person is hit, there are a minimum number of under-skin ‘hard points’ that could cause serious head injuries or damage to the rest of the body.

Hilton Holloway

Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring