The Australian launch of the regular petrol and diesel-powered 2012 Ford Focus is expected to occur later this year, but this week, Ford will unveil a special electrified version of its next-generation small car.
Fittingly, the Focus Electric will make its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday, rather than the Detroit Auto Show, which opens on January 10.
Far from a mere motorshow concept, the electrified Focus is destined for the US market, initially to be launched in EV-friendly areas such as Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit - 14 in all.
"There is a great deal of excitement for the Focus Electric across America and Ford wants to build on this enthusiasm by making our first all electric passenger vehicle available in as many pilot markets as possible," said Mark Fields, President of the Americas Ford Motor Company.
"This is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric. As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country."
Like GM and many of its European peers, Ford sees electrification as an important part of its approach to sustainability.
As part of its stategy, Ford plans to launch five new electrified vehicles in Europe and North America in the coming years - the Focus Electric, the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid.
As for the Focus Electric, the first of its market-ready electric offerings, we'll just have to wait until Friday.