Ford has revealed its all-new, fourth-generation Focus hatchback and it is one of the company’s most advanced models yet. With a mature new look, progressive safety tech and new engines, Ford bosses reckon it raises the standard for small cars, a benchmark that’s currently claimed by the Volkswagen Golf.
Ford Australia has been quick to confirm the arrival of the new Focus later in 2018, with the option of a zippy 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo, and automatic emergency braking as standard.
More details will be revealed closer to the Australian launch, but here’s what we know so far about the next-generation Focus.
- All new Ford Focus variants sold in Australia will be built in Germany. While the current Focus ST and RS variants sold in Oz are built there, all other Australian-delivered models have been produced Thailand.
- The 2018 Focus will be built on Ford’s all-new C2 global platform, with a lighter but tauter chassis that promises “energetic, engaging and rewarding fun-to-drive experience with increased powertrain and cabin refinement”.
- The new Ford Focus will arrive with a pair of new-generation powertrains including a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder engine, and a brand-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo three-cylinder coupled to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
- The eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox features Adaptive Shift Scheduling (ASS), which identifies tight corners and steep gradients and adjusts the gearshifts accordingly for a more stable ride.
- Standard advanced safety features will include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with automatic stop and go capability in slow-moving traffic.
- All variants will have three driving modes that alter steering weight, throttle mapping for automatic gearboxes and adaptive suspension fitted to higher spec variants with double-wishbone suspension.
- The new Focus will have 56mm more rear legroom and reshaped rear doors that significantly increase shoulder room. Rear passengers will also get a better view as their heads will align with the window instead of the C-pillar, as with the current model.
- As well as looking much less cluttered, the new dashboard will be less bulky than the current model’s, thanks to a more upright windscreen which also results in more interior space.
- The new Focus will be about 88kg lighter thanks mostly to the leaner chassis, which sheds 33kg. Body panels are 25kg lighter than those of the previous Focus, and 17kg has been trimmed from interior fittings including the streamlined dashboard.
The new Focus range features an all-terrain styled Active variant which sits 30mm higher than the standard hatch, and a wagon version. It’s not yet clear if either of these will join the hatch range, which will eventually spawn faster ST- and RS-badged hot hatches.
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