Ford Focus unveiled, Active crossover & ST-Line added

Ford Focus unveiled, Active crossover & ST-Line added

Ford Focus unveiled, Active crossover & ST-Line added

The first generation Ford Focus turned out to be a game changer for the American automaker in Europe, and now 20 years and seven million units later, the fourth generation Focus is all set to hit the market.

Inside, the new Focus will also be roomier with more rear legroom thanks to a 53mm longer wheelbase and a more upright windscreen that has allowed Ford's designers to do away with the existing model's hulking dashboard. While the footprint of the vehicle has been kept the same as the old model, the new version increases cabin space both in the front and the rear. The automaker didn't release photos but said the new Focus' cabin has a "human-centered" design - which sounds appropriate considering 100 percent of drivers are human. The fourth generation Focus rides on a new chassis and suspension and has a new optional fast-shifting, 8-speed automatic transmission aimed to aid fuel efficiency and performance. The new Focus will be available in Europe and China this year and in the U.S.in the second half of 2019. The 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol will churn out 146 bhp and 178 bhp. The 2019 Focus will embrace all of that, under the Ford Co-Pilot360 umbrella.

Unveiled in five-door hatchback, wagon, and in selected markets four-door body styles, Ford's midsized family auto is offered in a selection of trim grades including Trend, Titanium, the sporty Focus ST-Line, the upscale Focus Vignale, and the first Focus Active crossover.

The last Focus was somewhat lacking in safety kit - not helped by the fact it was an ageing vehicle. That suite includes: adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and speed sign recognition, lane-centering assist, adaptive front lighting, Active Park Assist and Evasive Steering Assist.

Ford mentioned the Focus would come standard with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost I3 gasoline engine, with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost gas burner and 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel.

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For Europe, Ford showcased the Focus Vignale luxury trim, a sporty ST-Line model, an Active trim for the adventure seeker and the upscale Titanium package.

The Chinese-market Ford Escort has received a comprehensive update for 2018, likely in line with the all-new Focus also revealed overnight. As for the 1.5 EcoBlue diesel, it comes in 70kW and 88kW tunes, both with 300Nm, while the 2.0 EcoBlue develops 110kW and 370Nm. The new Focus also debuts a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

At a time when markets around the world are rapidly shifting from passenger cars to light trucks, it's no surprise the next Focus will borrow some technology found in Ford crossovers, notably including a hands-free liftgate on wagon models that drivers will be able to open by waggling a foot under the rear bumper. The FordPass app has a vehicle locator service, just in case you lose your new Focus in the mall parking lot on a Saturday afternoon.

To put its success into perspective, Ford has sold 1.95 million in the United Kingdom, almost 7m in Europe and over 16m worldwide, in 20 years.

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