The Diesels available in Europe are going to prove outstanding! [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2012_Ford_Focus.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Oct. 10, 2010 2012 Ford Focus 5-door hatch – It looks like a great fuel efficient family hauler, doesn’t it The all-new, next-generation 2012 Ford Focus is gearing up for its consumer launch in early 2011. The Focus five-door hatch and wagon models took center stage on the Ford stand in Paris last week with a release of a number of details well ahead of the vehicles start of production in both Europe and North America later this year 2010. The Focus is Ford's most significant nameplate globally while the F-Series is its most profitable. With over 10 million Focus’ sold since its launch in 1998, the Ford Focus has become a consumer favorite the world over thanks to its decent value, fuel efficiency, comfort and safety. While the European models based off the Mazda3 platform have been described as fun to drive, the ancient by comparison North American Focus variant has muddled along with a decades old underpinning that should have been replaced 5-years ago. All this is about to change. Following an unprecedented global development program under Ford’s ONE Ford strategy, the next-generation Focus is set to continue the successful tradition of its predecessors and demonstrate how Ford has change from providing a car to providing a world class car that other manufacturers need to take notice of. The new Focus is packed with more affordable technologies and features than ever before. The next-generation Focus also offers customers the highest standards of quality and detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy, and takes the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level. 2012 Ford Focus Developed in Europe for sale worldwide Developed in Europe, for sale in over 120 markets worldwide with 80 percent parts commonality, the next-generation Focus is the hero model created from Ford's new global C-segment platform. This platform will underpin at least ten vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012. At Paris, Ford said that the three-models, the sedan, 5-door hatch and wagon will be the only three available with the 3-door hatch going the way of the dodo. In Paris the company previewed the 2012 as it will appear on dealership showrooms early next spring. 2012 Ford Focus Production is underway The lead Ford Focus assembly plants in Saarlouis (Germany) and Michigan (USA) are currently preparing for a simultaneous manufacturing launch towards the end of this year. The Saarlouis plant will produce all three Focus bodystyles, while production at Michigan will only include the 4-door and 5-door derivatives. European production will be expanded in mid-2011 when the assembly plant in St. Petersburg (Russia) starts building the new 4-door and 5-door models. The next stage sees Focus manufacturing extend into Asia Pacific, as the Chongqing (China) plant comes on stream in early 2012. To ensure that the strong European demand for the Focus brand can be satisfied while the Saarlouis plant ramps up production of the new model, the current Focus will continue to be produced in Valencia (Spain) until mid-2011. 2012 Ford Focus Streamlined design The three Focus bodystyles models share a dynamic character, marking the next evolution of Ford’s kinetic design. The low, streamlined profile with its steeply raked front wind screen contributes to an impressively aerodynamic body shape, which helps to reduce fuel consumption. The shape, plus carefully optimized aerodynamic details throughout the vehicle including an active grille shutter to block airflow through the cooling system when it is not required has resulted in a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.27, compared to 0.30 for the current model. 2012 Ford Focus Interior The new Focus has a modern, cockpit-style interior, with the stylish centre console wrapped around the driver and providing outstanding access to the vehicle’s major controls and display panels. Within the cockpit, the most significant innovation is the company’s next-generation driver connected technology, MyFord, which provides the driver with a state-of-the-art combination of controls and display screens to operate the key vehicle features. On high end vehicles, the MyFord system includes an 8-inch touch screen, allowing the driver to control a wide range of functions via a clear and intuitive color display. MyFord is complemented by a new generation of Ford’s powerful SYNC connectivity package, which includes a sophisticated voice control system, Bluetooth and satellite navigation, along with connection points for a wide variety of external devices and media players. 2012 Ford Focus - Safety and practicality A key innovation in the new Focus is the new Low Speed Safety System, which appears in a Ford vehicle for the first time. The system is designed to help drivers avoid the kind of low speed frontal collisions which are very common in congested urban driving conditions, and operates at speeds below 20 mph. Using a forward facing optical sensor, this system detects objects in front of the car and continuously (50 times per second) calculates the brake force required to avoid a collision. If the system considers that a collision is imminent and the driver is not taking any action, it automatically reduces throttle input and applies the brakes. The comprehensive range of smart driver assistance technologies available on the new Focus also includes the following: Active Park Assist Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning Auto High Beam Traffic Sign Recognition Driver Alert Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking Blind Spot Information System (BLISS) Speed Limiter Rear Seat Beltminder Power Child Locks Rear View Camera Some of these features will not be available in some geographic regions and are optional equipment where they are. 2012 Ford Focus Handling – What Ford does really well when allowed to do so The next-generation Focus plans to raise the benchmark targeting class-leading driving quality that blends outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control. To deliver this performance, engineers have updated the innovative suspension concepts from prior models, developing optimized new designs for the ‘Control Blade’ multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front subframe. The chassis design is complemented by a completely new Electric Power Assist Steering system, which has been carefully tuned to deliver pure and precise responses at high speed while remaining light and maneuverable for parking. Ford’s European driving dynamics specialists have also enhanced cornering stability and agility with the introduction of an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system, which acts like a torque vectoring differential to constantly balance the distribution of torque between the front wheels, resulting in reduced understeer, improved traction and better turn-in. The system is particularly effective as the car accelerates through corners, applying an imperceptible amount of braking to the front inside wheel, so that more of the engine torque goes to the outside wheel which has more grip. This makes the car feel smaller and more agile, reacting faster to driver steering inputs, with handling characteristics that will delight committed sports-car drivers and assist less experienced drivers in difficult conditions. 2012 Ford Focus - The drivetrains Spirited performance with outstanding economy is just one of the appeals of the new Ford Focus. The European’s will see the most significant and multitude of offerings beginning with a state-of-the-art 1.6L EcoBoost turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine and a choice of advanced and improved TDCi common-rail turbo-diesel engines. All of which offer significant reductions in fuel consumption compared to the already world class fuel economy capability of the outgoing model. 148 and 178 HP 1.6L EcoBoost. The engine that the Ford Fiesta should have come with and the one the US based Ford Focus should come with as well… Unfortunately these will be European only offerings The brand new 1.6L EcoBoost unit is a lightweight, all-aluminum design which combines three technologies – a centrally-mounted high-pressure direct injection system, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) – to create an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to petrol engines in this power range. The 178 HP variants combine impressive peak power with up to 178 Lb-Ft of torque from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm with an overboost function allowing 199 lb-ft during hard acceleration. This level of torque darn near matches the output of the latest-generation turbo-diesel engines! In the Focus five-door, the 178 HP EcoBoost engine allows a rev limited top speed of 138 mph and a scant 7.7 seconds to 60 mph while still providing 39 mpgUS combined on the NEDC or ~ 32 combined on our own 08 EPA. Darn thing almost matches the neutered US Fiesta in FE while taking on Mustang V6 like performance numbers! Ok, so maybe not quite the Mustangs equal but you know what I mean For Europe, the next generation of std. Super Diesels The 94 HP and 113 HP 1.6L TDCi Turbo diesels have been completely updated with changes to the combustion system, fuel injection system and turbocharger to deliver improved performance, fuel economy and refinement. Focus customers can choose between the 94 HP or 113 HP variants with the transient overboost feature allowing a peak torque output of 199 and 210 Lb-Ft. respectively during hard acceleration. These two powertrains also offers exceptional fuel economy achieving 55.8 mpgUS combined on the NEDC or ~ 45.8 mpgUS on our own 08 EPA. North American 2.0L conventionally aspirated DI Ti-VCT In selected other markets including ours which Ford says we have a penchant for gasoline powertrains, the new Focus is fitted with a new 158 HP 2.0L which combines high-pressure direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. The new 2.0L DI Ti-VCT engine is up to 20 HP more powerful than the current 2.0L I-4 in the North American Focus, while contributing to projected fuel economy gains of more than 10 percent. In other words, expect a Focus with a rather paltry 31 mpgUS combined rating. Ford, this is not going to be competitive and you know it For Europe consumption only again, the next generation of Super Diesels w/ ECOnetics - The Real Fuel Misers In addition to the somewhat efficient gasoline and diesel powertrain offerings, the new European Focus range also incorporates other features from the Ford ECOnetic Technologies program to help minimize fuel consumption. Most notably, the Focus is the first Ford model to standardize Ford Auto-Start-Stop technology across a significant part of the range. All vehicles with the 1.6L EcoBoost petrol engine and the 1.6L TDCi diesel engine – equating to around 50 percent of the European sales volume – are equipped with Ford’s version of Auto Start/Stop, which typically reduces fuel consumption by up to 10 percent in city driving. For the ultimate in efficiency, the Focus range will be available with a dedicated, ultra-low CO2 ECOnetic derivative later in 2011. This Super variant is predicted to have fuel consumption figures that approach 65 + mpgUS combined on the NEDC or 54 mpgUS combined on our own 08 EPA. Highway numbers will be closer to 70 mpgUS with 100 + easily achieved by many here at CleanMPG. 2012 Ford Focus Launch "With the launch just a few months away, we are very excited about introducing the new Ford Focus to the European market," said Stephen Odell. "With its desirable combination of dynamic design, outstanding driver appeal, unmatched levels of technology and impressive fuel economy, we believe that the new model will expand the appeal of the Focus brand to a whole new generation of customers." 2012 Ford Focus Early Conclusions While the US will receive a very average 2.0L DI engine with what can be described as barely best in class fuel economy that will be toppled by the upcoming Hyundai Elantra more than likely, the Europeans have the really good stuff headed their way. Drivetrain choices aside, the new Focus looks as good in person as it does in pictures and is far and away the better car compared to anything in the Compact class when it comes to an inviting interior. Add in the new handling attributes and a Chevrolet Cruze like price and you have the makings of a market leader. However, its leadership hinges on what Toyota’s next gen Corolla, Honda’s next Gen Civic and especially Hyundai’s next gen Elantra bring to the table in terms of price and amenities. “Best in Class” is a moving target and as we have seen again and again, these years best is next year’s heap. Go gettem Ford but remember, the competition smells blood in the water so do not let your guard down or rest on your laurels. 2012 Ford Focus – Heading quickly into an uncertain future European Wagon Variant Shown.