Ford has announced that the updated 2009 Ford Focus range will be on sale in Australia from May onwards, bringing with it a new face, subtle changes to sheetmetal and Ford's all-new twin-clutch gearbox.
The Focus range will be made up of three core spec levels spread across two bodystyles. The oil-burning TDCi and already-released XR5 Turbo come in their own special flavours, but the vanilla-spec Focus will be available in CL, LX or Zetec trim.
The latter three come with Ford's E-10-compatible 2.0 litre Duratec four-pot, while the TDCi is fitted with a grunty-yet-efficient 100kW/340Nm 2.0 litre turbodiesel.
A five-speed manual is standard kit for the petrol models, with a four-speed slushbox an optional extra.The diesel comes with a six-speed manual or Ford's excellent new Powershift twin-clutch cogswapper - a gearbox we recently raved about.
Being the base model, the CL is the bare-bones member of the Focus family. Fifteen-inch steelies are the wheel of choice, and it's rental-spec in its presentation. Still, airconditioning and an iPod/MP3-compatible CD player are standard, as is a trip computer, power front windows, tinted glass and power mirrors.
ABS, EBD and front and side airbags for the front occupants are factory-fit too, while traction control, stability control, electronic brake assist and side curtain airbags can be opted for with the purchase of a Safety Package.
The LX and TDCi get all of the CL's kit, plus 16-inch alloys, fog lamps, power windows all around, cruise control, a leather-bound steering wheel with audio controls, more stowage and a centre armrest for the rear bench.
As an added bonus, all of the gear from the CL's optional Safety Pack is standard for the LX and TDCi. The Focus sedan is only available in CL or LX specification.
The Zetec is the cream of the Focus crop, and gets plenty of extra goodies to justify its price premium. The Zetec boasts its own unique sports bodykit, rides on a sports-tuned suspension and 17-inch alloys, gets unique instrumentation, illuminated footwells, a six-CD in-dash stacker and a USB input for the stereo.
Prices start at AU$21,990 for the CL hatch, with the Powershift-equipped TDCi hatch commanding a $30,290 pricetag. For more info on the 2009 Focus range, check out the press release below.
1. New Focus: Ford 'kinetic design'
"We recognise Focus has many attributes and have concentrated on visually enhancing the Focus' dynamic strength through use of Ford of Europe's new 'kinetic design' styling cues. The new face of Focus is the most important signature and we emphasise its athletic character with the enlarged lower grille, the elongated and dynamic new headlamps and strong contours of the bonnet. We believe this to be the best looking Focus ever, and the exterior design interplays beautifully with the excellent driving character of the new Focus."
- Paul Gibson, Chief Designer for Exteriors, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa
Dynamic new exterior
The new Focus incorporates the key kinetic design elements of this expressive and contemporary design language. The redesign transforms the appeal of the Focus range it's more sporty and muscular, while the contemporary styling clearly underpins the great-to-drive character for which the Focus is acclaimed.
Immediately obvious are the dynamic new bonnet and the enlarged, trapezoidal opening of the lower grille, plus the dramatically sculpted headlamps.
"The focal point of the front design of new Focus is the enlarged open area below the bumper line," explains Gibson.
"This is the area that draws your attention, and the headlamp design, the foglamp design and the pronounced contours on the bonnet all radiate away from the lower grille area. The new Focus front design is more contemporary and more dramatic."
The lower trapezoid grille is entirely black to accentuate the open-mouth expression of an elite athlete in competition, while on Focus Zetec, the grille is surrounded by a body coloured strip, in keeping with its sports character. New-look foglamps with silver bezels complete the transformation on mid and high-series variants.
Great emphasis has been placed by the design team on the shape and appearance of the new headlamps, which also brings improved illumination, as the dramatic swept back housings offer improved light distribution eight degrees better side lighting, and further reduced glare and scattered light.
The headlamps are halogen for easy service and maintenance. The headlamp surrounds are complemented by different finishes for different series levels black for Focus Zetec and aluminium for Focus CL, LX and TDCi.
The bodyside profile is now slightly more muscular, the result of adding more dominance to the distinct bold wheel lips, which gives Focus its confident and muscular stance while maintaining the clean and uncluttered bodyside styling.
Enlarged exterior door mirrors, which provide the driver with excellent visibility in congested traffic, now feature integrated side indicators across the range, further simplifying the side profile.
The rear of new Focus features a number of design improvements the long clear tail lamp lenses identify this model as the new Focus, while there is also a pronounced horizontal contour line where the larger rear windscreen meets metal.
The Ford badge is positioned lower and is integrated into the liftgate moulding, which also incorporates a hidden microswitch to open the boot.
A new upper rear spoiler enhances the look on all Focus hatch variants, while the LX and TDCi models gain a new 16-inch alloy wheel design.
"In designing the new Focus, we worked closely with Ford of Europe and also listened to the voice of our customers here," Gibson said.
"The result is a new Focus with distinctive design features purposefully enhanced for customers in Australia. The new Focus design is comprehensive and contemporary more than just a re-design of an existing model."
Series and equipment
"The new Focus really looks as good as it drives. Our 'kinetic design' form language, combined with new and insightful features truly delivers style with substance. The series range and bodystyles ensures that there is a Focus model for every discerning customer. We are confident that the new Focus will continue to be highly competitive in Australia, offering great fuel economy and the enjoyable dynamic on-road driving qualities which have become a Focus trademark."
- Corey Holter, C-Car Brand Manager, Ford of Europe
The range strategy for the core new Focus range (excluding the high-performance LV Focus XR5 Turbo, which was introduced in mid-2008) centres on three series levels across four distinct models CL (entry), LX and TDCi (mid), and Zetec (high).
Customers have the choice of Ford's 2.0-litre Duratec petrol engine, which is E10 capable, or the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi common-rail turbo diesel engine, which develops 100kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
Focus CL, the well-equipped entry model of the Focus range, offers outstanding value with standard features including air conditioning, tinted glass, four-speaker CD audio system with input facility for iPod1/MP3 player, remote keyless entry, power front windows, power mirrors, trip computer and variable intermittent windscreen wipers.
Safety equipment includes driver, front passenger and front side airbags, as well as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and side curtain airbags are available as part of the optional Safety Pack.
LX and TDCi Focus models build on the specification of the CL model with a host of additional equipment and features, including 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, full power windows with global open/close functionality, driver's seat map pocket, a large centre console with sliding armrest and a rear seat centre armrest.
DSC with Traction Control, EBA and side curtain airbags are all fitted as standard equipment on LX and TDCi models.
The sports Zetec model includes the following features in addition to the LX/TDCi-specification:
* 17-inch alloy wheels
* Sport suspension
* Sports bodykit including:
o Side body skirt
o Sports rear bumper
o Body coloured front fog lamp bezel
o Body coloured lower grille surround
o Large body coloured rear spoiler
* Six-disc in-dash CD audio system
* USB port for iPod integration and MP3 files on memory sticks
* Sports instrumentation with variable cluster dimming
* Footwell illumination
* Leather-wrapped gear knob (manual transmission only)
* Rear cupholders
1 Requires connection cable, sold separately. iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc
2. New Focus: interior ambience
"Our goal when designing the new Focus interior was to retain its strengths, yet build on the exciting new exterior style. We wanted to keep the generously proportioned interior width, the excellent ambience and first-class ergonomics. For Australian customers, we also concentrated on providing quality materials, which range from its soft-touch dash to the redesigned door trims and new fabric offerings."
- Niko Vidakovich, Chief Designer for Interiors, Ford of Europe
The dynamic new look of the Focus exterior is complemented by a new interior ambience, which features significant detail changes and added features. Comprehensive improvements were made to create an even more pleasant and user-friendly space for those who travel in a new Focus.
For the driver this has resulted in new instruments, which are easier to read and are now illuminated in red, along with all the gauges and all other interior controls. The controls of the new audio system have also been ergonomically improved.
A new centre console has been designed for Focus with an emphasis on improved design and function. The new console creates a 'flow through' effect from the centre stack of the instrument panel and helps to create a 'cockpit feel' for the driver and front passenger.
It features a movable armrest (on mid and high-series variants) with 80mm of travel, plus two cup holders with butterfly-style folding covers, a coin holder and a card holder. Special attention was also paid to the interior's comfort and quality.
"We placed particular importance on selecting and combining surface materials and colours," explains Ruth Pauli, Chief Designer Colour and Trim, Ford of Europe.
"We know that customers in the C-car market segment have developed expectations that previously would have been met only in larger or more premium models. Now the entire instrument panel and the upper trim of the front doors are made of a new soft-touch, grained synthetic material."
Detail touches include the use of attractive foil finishes, which highlight the central functional areas of the centre console and the instrument panel.
In response to comments from customers from the Asia Pacific region, the interior design team has added unique improvements to the Focus interior, including redesigned door trims that are more contemporary and offer more storage space. The front door pockets have been improved to carry a standard water bottle, so important in hot-climate countries.
The interior door grabs has been reshaped and effectively redesigned for better feel and durability.
3. New Focus: precision engineering
The new Focus is built with precision and an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. This is evident both inside the car, as well as in the engineering and technology enhancements introduced across the new range.
In addition to its dynamic new styling and established on-road agility, the new Focus range now includes a wide variety of available new technologies and innovative features that are designed to make the car even more attractive and enjoyable to own.
A major new innovation to Focus is the Ford PowerShift six-speed double clutch automatic transmission, which is available as an option on the TDCi model with the 2.0-litre Duratorq turbo diesel engine.
Emergency hazard warning light activation
All new Focus models benefit from this system as standard. It aids the driver in certain hazardous driving situations, by automatically switching on the hazard warning lights to alert following motorist whenever the brake performance is more than 6-7m/s, which is about 60-70 percent of possible brake performance (10m/s).
Once switched on the hazard warning lights can be switched off automatically by the system or at any time by pressing the hazard warning light switch.
Dynamic Stability Control
Focus LX, TDCi and Zetec models are equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), incorporating Traction Control (TC) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), as standard equipment. DSC with TC and EBA is available on Focus CL as part of an optional Safety Pack, which also includes side curtain airbags.
DSC assists the driver in extreme situations by detecting the initial onset of possible loss of vehicle stability. It rapidly and accurately manipulates the braking system to allow the driver to retain vehicle stability. This technology complements ABS, which is standard across the Focus range.
Fuel efficient, potent powertrain line-up
The proven Focus engine range offers customers a choice of petrol or diesel alternatives, whether they want to prioritise cost of ownership with a 2.0-litre Duratec petrol engine, which E10 bio-ethanol fuel compatible or appreciate the outstanding performance, low-rev driveability and throttle response of the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engine.
The TDCi comes with state-of-the-art common rail injection technology for high efficiency, high pulling torque and low fuel consumption. In addition, under full acceleration, the engine calibration allows the maximum nominal torque to be exceeded by 20Nm for 8 seconds to deliver peak torque of 340Nm, just when the driver needs it most.
Rated at 100kW, the Duratorq TDCi powerplant delivers stout torque at low engine speeds, which is especially important for responsive urban driving.
This engine offers win-win qualities outstanding fuel efficiency and responsive acceleration with a maximum torque output of 320Nm peaking to 340Nm during brief overboost periods.
New Ford PowerShift transmission
"With the new Ford PowerShift transmission we are introducing the transmission of the future. This automatic six-speed double-clutch unit provides the efficiency of a manual and the full comfort of an automatic, with sophisticated dynamics thanks to uninterrupted torque from the double-clutch technology it is therefore perfectly suited to the new Ford Focus."
- Dr. Sigurd Limbach, Manager Automatic Transmission, Ford of Europe
The new Ford PowerShift transmission is a completely new six-speed double-clutch transmission combining the driving dynamics of a manual gearbox with the ease of a premium automatic transmission.
The innovative PowerShift gearbox is available with the 100kW 2.0-litre Duratorq common rail turbo diesel engine in the Focus TDCi. It is a development of Getrag Ford Transmissions GmbH as a 50:50 GETRAG/Ford joint venture.
PowerShift consists essentially of two layshaft transmissions working in parallel, each with its own wet clutch unit. Thanks to the layout of the intermediate shafts one carrying the 'uneven' gears 1, 3 and 5, and the other the even gears 2, 4 and 6 subsequent gear changes can be prepared by pre-selecting the next gear while in motion and at full power.
Gear changes take place through the opposed activation of both clutches, the clutch activations being co-ordinated in such a way that no torque interruption occurs. From the driver's seat, the sensation of PowerShift is smooth acceleration much smoother than a conventional automatic transmission.
In contrast to a conventional automatic transmission, the basic technical configuration of the PowerShift transmission offers numerous advantages. It does not require any complex sub-systems such as torque converters, planetary gear sets, multiple wet clutches and multiple bands these can significantly reduce gearbox efficiency due to increased inertia and drag torque effects.
The result is impressive: the Ford PowerShift transmission now provides the ease and convenience of a conventional automatic transmission coupled with the performance of a manual transmission. It delivers fast and sporty shifts while maintaining high degrees of shift smoothness.
An additional advantage of the PowerShift transmission is its high torque capacity, making it the ideal partner for modern high performance turbo diesel engines such as the 2.0-litre Duratorq powerplant.
In integrating the PowerShift transmission into the new Focus range, particular attention was paid to the maximum use of the abundant torque from the 2.0-litre Duratorq engine, which develops a peak of 320Nm (340Nm over short periods in 'overboost mode').
The system has been calibrated to deliver a shift strategy that excludes, as much as possible, downshifting or kickdown for example, reverse switching of gears 5-4-3 when high acceleration is required.
"This calibration offers our customers many advantages because the lowering of the relative engine speed level has a particularly positive effect on fuel consumption and driving comfort. And thanks to the high torque reserves of the Duratorq engine over a broad torque spectrum, we can deliver enthusiastic performance," explains Limbach.
Driving with the PowerShift transmission is as simple and easy as a conventional automatic transmission. For the driver, the system uses a standard automatic gear lever in the centre console with the usual P, R, N and D settings available.
When the D (drive) setting is selected, the gear lever can also be moved to the right and into another adjacent position, which enables the driver to select the gears manually.
In full automatic mode, the enjoyment of relaxed driving is the same as for a conventional automatic transmission, particularly for start response and very slow speed 'creep' characteristics common in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Special efforts to further minimise fuel consumption were implemented with the PowerShift system calibration.
The 'neutral idle control' feature reduces the drag torque for the engine when the vehicle is stationary with the gear shifter in the D position and the brakes are applied.
The efficiency of the PowerShift transmission is also reflected in the homologated fuel economy data for the Focus TDCi model. It delivers outstanding fuel efficiency with a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.9 L/100k, which is only 0.3 L/100km shy of Focus TDCi with the six-speed manual transmission, which returns fuel consumption of just 5.6 L/100km.
2 Figures obtained from controlled tests using ADR 81/01
4. New Focus: safety Ford Intelligent Safety System
Ford Focus has always been acclaimed for its excellent on-road driving behaviour, and this core attribute remains true for every new Focus model. Focus is engineered to flatter the novice driver and reward the expert with assured and predictable chassis control, precise steering and confident, benchmark handling with excellent braking ability.
The Focus demonstrated as early as 2004 what is feasible in terms of safety in the small-car class. There are many contributing factors that came together to achieve high levels of occupant safety the finely tuned combination of a rigid passenger cabin, efficient crush zones and the specific functions that give the Ford Intelligent Safety System (ISS) its name.
The goal is to provide Focus occupants with a high degree of safety and protection in real-world driving conditions. Although the new Focus has been given virtually a new outer shell, structurally it is unchanged and therefore continues to offer a high degree of occupant safety.
All new Focus models benefit from the addition of an emergency hazard warning light activation system as standard. It aids the driver in certain hazardous driving situations, by automatically switching on the hazard warning lights whenever the brake performance is more than 6-7m/s, which is about 60-70 percent of possible brake performance (10m/s).
Once switched on the hazard warning lights can be switched off automatically by the system, or at any time by pressing the hazard warning light switch.
With this new system, the risk of suffering a rear impact whilst braking hard is significantly reduced, as following motorists are warned to slow rapidly by the flashing indicators of the braking vehicle.
Focus now also comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, including the entry Focus CL when specified with the optional safety pack, strengthening its safety reputation and adding to its customer appeal.
5. New Focus: driving quality
When launched in 1998 in Europe, Focus raised the bar for driving quality in the C-car segment. Its advanced and friction-optimised components, the newly developed Control Blade multi-link rear suspension, the front MacPherson spring struts and the semi-isolated front subframe combined to give the Focus the optimum balance of ride, handling, steering precision and comfort.
The launch of the current generation Focus in 2004 wheelbase was increased by 25mm, the track by 40mm, and numerous improved details to axle and spring elements, bearings and anti-roll bars were introduced moved the Focus story on even further.
Notably, the introduction of Ford's electric-hydraulic power-assisted steering (EHPAS) gave previous generation Focus new levels of refinement and ensured its continued position as segment leader for driving dynamics, a key Ford brand characteristic that remains a true passion for the engineering team.
"Naturally we tested the Focus repeatedly, continually comparing it with any new competitor, and this reinforced our decision not to make any major changes to the new Focus chassis and its alignment," said Norbert Kessing, Vehicle Dynamics Manager.
Detail changes have been made to make the Focus quieter in terms of NVH and this is particularly the case for the Focus TDCi model.
The new Focus with 2.0-litre Duratorq turbo diesel engine is now even more refined and comfortable, as specific improvements have been made to its NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) behaviour.
This engine along with the Focus petrol engine benefits from a new insulated, weight reduced cowl panel, for optimum acoustics and a new carpet with a modified heavy duty coating for further sound deadening. In addition, the inlet tract and the coupling to the exhaust system were optimised.
The NVH improvement package is rounded off with a calibration modification to the Duratorq engine to further reduce the combustion noise when starting from cold, as well as during transient driving manoeuvres, while there is also a newly adapted engine cover.
The outcome of these measures is a smoother ride that gives just as much punch.
Focus dynamics a driver's car
Ford's relentless development and industry-leading technical expertise ensures that Focus is a genuine driver's car. It gives the impression of being connected to the road, reacting intuitively between the road and the driver, with smooth and linear feedback and enhanced predictability under all driving conditions.
Excellent road feedback and precise steering control are enhanced by a high degree of torsional stiffness within the body structure, providing a fluid ride quality.
A stiff front subframe is complemented by the Control Blade Independent Rear Suspension, with its hydrobush design featuring a system of water filled pockets connected to an oil reservoir to deliver carefully tuned damping force.
To ensure that initial roll movements of the vehicle are better controlled, the engineers implemented an improved rear anti-roll bar drop link with special low friction double ball joints.
The chassis includes MacPherson struts, large front dampers, gas-filled twin tube struts and rebound springs.
The front lower control arms are mounted to the subframe by two horizontal bushes that have been carefully tuned to provide increased vehicle stability under braking, support the overall approach of low lateral compliance (important for high levels of steering precision) and allow for good impact absorption.
The Focus front subframe provides a significant amount of stiffness at the attachment points which, together with wide support base and stiff sway bar attachments, results in maximum cornering efficiency and roll control for comfort and real handling confidence.
Road holding is impressive: Focus continues to display agility with leading ride quality to prove that ideal body control and cornering prowess do not demand harsh suspension settings.
The Focus EHPAS system makes low speed manoeuvres easy while preserving precision on the open road. Large diameter brakes also provide excellent feel, optimum emergency stopping power and long brake pad life.
The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car's driving quality and has been engineered to the same high torsional stiffness levels as its predecessor.
Drivers will appreciate the signature agility, stability and precise reaction to steering inputs. The new chassis has been engineered to provide vibration isolation and stable, confidence-enhancing body control, making it reassuringly comfortable even on coarse roads.
Focus brakes assured performance
The Focus braking system is summed up in three words: confident, intuitive and comfortable.
Engineered and built without compromise to deliver assured performance and to reduce braking distances to a minimum, the braking system delivers a very smooth and defined initial bite at low speeds to optimise urban performance.
The relationship between pedal travel and braking force is perfectly balanced, bringing a great feeling of confidence at all speeds.
Focus steering precise at all speeds
For ideally weighted, precise steering at all speeds, the Focus is equipped with EHPAS. An electro-motor driven pump uses vehicle speed and steering wheel speed as inputs to calculate the optimum power steering assistance. It provides low efforts at the wheel at low speed ideal when parking and still provides smooth and progressive feedback when cornering at speed.
The Focus EHPAS system is not dependent on engine speed, making it exceptionally energy efficient. This results in a fuel saving of up to 0.2l/100km, or roughly three percent versus traditional hydraulic PAS systems, as EHPAS effectively reads the driving environment and responds accordingly.
Also contributing to the Focus' accurate and responsive steering control are a stiff steering column, stiff suspension and steering gear bushes, and the geometric precision of the steering and suspension systems.
"While the major changes to the new Focus are most visible in its new exterior and interior design elements, I cannot understate the amount of detailed work that has been put into making the new model more comfortable to drive and to ride in," said Herrmann.
"I am confident that the new model will delight our existing customers with its new levels of style and substance, and that it will attract even more new customers to the Ford brand with its 'kinetic design' individuality."