Mike Stevens | Sep 23, 2011

Forget the optional and after-market detachable door edges, Ford has announced a new pop-out protector that will figure among the new Focus range's first European-market updates in 2012.

Kept out of sight inside the door edge while closed, the rubber Door Edge Protector is designed to pop out when the door is opened, instantly protecting your car - and the car next to yours - from accidental chips and dents.

The system works by using a spring-loaded protector that flips out automatically when the door is opened, releasing the spring. When the door is closed, a pushpin in the front ede of the door pulls on an internal cable to retract the protector.

The protector flips back into place in under 60 milliseconds - more than enough time to slam the door in a hurry, if you're so inclined.

Ford says the protector will last for "thousands" of uses, and it can be unclipped and replaced easily by the owner when it eventually wears down.

Whether or not the gadget will be standard equipment or an optional extra has not been confirmed.

This is no slow-day report; we've got kids, we reckon this is big news.

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