We???ve been keeping an eye on the Euro spec Focus for a while now. Initially it was believed to be in for a big make-over and the Focus artists impression we showed you at the time got tongues wagging ??? a super sexy Focus looked likely. Last weeks Frankfurt Motor Show unveiling brought the speculation to an end and sexy isn???t back - well not completely.
By no means a dud, the refreshed Euro spec Focus shares some frontal styling cues with the rendering, enough to bring it in line with the current model Mondeo and its ???Kinetic Design??? theme, however the remainder of the car, from the A pillar back appears to be largely unchanged, unfortunately.
Working from front to rear, trapezoidal grilles, swept back headlamps, bold wheel arches, newly shaped rear glass, a contoured tailgate and new tail lamps are the key changes. Higher trim grades benefit from chrome detailing and a body-coloured upper rear spoiler.
On the inside, Focus has been moved a little upmarket. New soft-touch plastics now cover the instrument panel as well as the upper front door trim and this is complemented by new seat fabrics plus a variety of fascia finishing's. The instrumentation has been re-designed and along with all other interior controls, is illuminated in red. Controls for the upgraded audio equipment and two-zone air conditioning have also been ergonomically improved.
The updated exterior and interior of the Focus has been matched by a range of mechanical introductions, including an all-new automated gearbox. The Ford PowerShift transmission is a six-speed double clutch gearbox (like the VW/Audi DSG) and will be available from early 2008 in the new Ford Focus as well as the Ford C-MAX, in combination with the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engines. Ford quote a ten percent decrease in fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when compared to a conventional six speed automatic.
Another new European Focus model is the "ECOnetic" which features an array of aerodynamic efficiencies and is powered by a 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel with standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Average consumption for the Focus ECOnetic is a hybrid challenging 3.6L/100km / 65mpg and average CO2 emissions of only 115g/km.
A Flexifuel version of the 1.8-litre Duratec petrol four-cylinder engine can be fuelled with bio-ethanol E85-fuel as an alternative to conventional unleaded petrol ??? or in any mix of both. The Ford Focus range also includes CNG (compressed natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) derivatives both based on the 2.0-litre Duratec petrol engine.
There is no word on when or if Australia will see the revised 2008 Focus. Ford Australia only recently announced that they will be building the Focus locally come 2011. In the meantime Australian Focus models will continue to be built in South Africa. We would expect that the updated Focus will reach Australia, most likely without the alternative fuel options and possibly only the more powerful of the two Duratorq diesels.