Ford has released pictures of the next-generation Focus in high-altitude testing on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in the Austrian Alps.
The 48km long High Alpine Road climbs to a height of 2504 metres and is located near the tallest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner.
The Ford team is covering around 125 miles up and down hill every day in a variety of different models, both petrol and diesel.
Bernd Herweling, Ford’s vehicle integration engineer, says: “We’re evaluating driveability on steep mountain roads from a customer perspective. The bottom line is we’re here to find out how the car performs driving up and down seriously steep hills.
“The Grossglockner is ideal for this. It’s pretty much a constant 12 per cent gradient all the way up to the 2400 metre mark. Up there the air is a lot thinner so the engine has to work harder.”
The test schedule involves driving the Focus uphill in first, second and third gear, before erecting a wind deflector around the bonnet to trap heat inside the engine compartment. After five minutes, the car is driven back down the hill to test the brakes.
The next generation Ford Focus made its European debut at the Geneva motor show and will arrive in showrooms in 2011.