From the launch, the Focus family includes 3-door, 5-door and wagon models and embraces the Focus C-MAX multi-activity vehicle introduced in 2003. Built in Saarlouis, Germany and Valencia, Spain, the Focus models share tangible advancements in quality and refinement inside and out, offer customers a broad powertrain choice and introduce relevant, affordable technologies, including Blue Tooth capability. An elegant 4-door model will be launched in 2005.
The Ford Focus is the product of Ford Motor Company’s Global Shared Technologies initiative. Sharing elements of its underlying architecture with the Focus C-MAX, the Volvo S40/V50 and the Mazda 3, the Focus range benefits from shared engineering efficiencies while retaining its unique character and driving quality.
“We’ve moved on in terms of Ford of Europe’s design language. What the customer really appreciates is an impression of quality in the design. It’s an impression that we believe we have put into this vehicle by craftsmanship in design engineering throughout the exterior and interior, led by the distinctive, almost coupe profile of the three- and five-door models.”
Chris Bird, Director of Design, Ford of Europe
The Focus features a distinctive silhouette emphasised by the angle of the windscreen, and by the fast, sporty rear end design that differentiates it from its primary competitors in the segment. Its lower stance adds to its sporting poise and dynamic attitude, which are not purely visual – an increase in Focus’s class-leading structural stiffness combines with wider track and a longer wheelbase to ensure that in cornering grip and predictable, rewarding handling this car is, genetically, a true Ford Focus.
The shape is new, but it clearly is a Ford Focus, with its Focus trademark high rear lamps and a distinctive side window graphic. It communicates robustness and manufacturing quality, attributes for which the Focus C-MAX has already been recognised. The Focus wagon is stylish and functional, sharing the confidently sculpted, thrusting forward bonnet and Ford family grille design.
At the rear, the aggressively sloping roofline is a signature of the Focus 3-door and 5-door bodystyles. The same overall length as Focus C-MAX, the Focus models are uncompromising in both rear headroom and luggage space. High, slim tail lamps on all models help create the widest tailgate in the segment, giving Focus customers a highly usable loadspace without wheel arch intrusion.
THE NEW FOCUS DRIVING ENVIRONMENT
"With the car, we placed a great deal of importance on delivering a premium quality driving environment. From the "cockpit" driving position, the "flow-through" instrument panel to the console design and the selective use of high quality materials, the goal was consistent: to give the driver an environment that communicated the Focus DNA. A real driver’s car!"
Adrian Whittle, Ford Focus Chief Programme Engineer
The solid and reassuring nature of its driving environment clearly signals the driving quality of the Focus. It invites drivers to make themselves at home, from the high quality instrument panel to the centre console, which is very much the hub of the interior design. The interior creates a ‘cockpit feel’, the sense that the car is wrapped around its occupants and that everything they want is where they would want to find it.
The philosophy that sculpted the Focus interior in 1998 has matured with a graceful unity. The interior of the Focus remains a vibrant environment, which sees an injection of colour in the passenger area. Sights, sounds and textures all play a part in delivering the new range’s interior refinements.
Rich, bright blue is a interior environment feature on Sport and Titanium models. Combined with medium light colour in the lower half of the interior, the blue tone gives the Focus interior a warm and airy feel. Black remains an option on all models. The Focus interior and exterior colour teams worked closely together to ensure colour compatibility in the array of customer choices and series offerings, which now include five levels: Ambiente, Trend, Sport, Ghia and Titanium.
In a market first for interior quality, Ford has embraced allergy-tested interior materials. All interior materials in the Focus range meet strict standards based upon TÜV (Toxproof) criteria – as does Focus C-MAX.
POISED FOR PERFORMANCE AND DRIVING QUALITY
“The design brief for this car set our team 10,000 individual targets, but of those targets there was one clear challenge that was the most demanding of all: to build a genuine and better Ford Focus . We met those targets and evolved the Focus to deliver higher functionality and efficiency: namely good packaging, optimum ergonomics, class-leading driving quality and striking design.”
Gunnar Herrmann, Vehicle Line Director, C-cars
Driving quality has been a Focus trademark from the beginning. The Focus extends that strength to encompass the entire driving experience.
A longer wheelbase (by 25mm) and wider track (by 40mm) than its predecessor give the Focus a sure-footed stance and an improved interior package. Enhancements under the skin build on seven years of experience with the Control Blade rear suspension, and a stiff, new front subframe is the foundation for chassis elements that have undergone extensive tuning.
Drivers will appreciate enhancements in comfort that have been achieved in the Focus without sacrificing its signature agility, stability and precise reaction to steering inputs. The new chassis has been engineered to provide high levels of vibration isolation and stable, confidence-enhancing body control, making it reassuringly comfortable even on coarse roads.
The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car’s driving quality. It has been engineered with a 10 per cent increase in torsional stiffness over its class-leading predecessor. Electric-hydraulic power-assisted steering (EHPAS) on all but 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engines makes low speed manoeuvres easier while preserving precision on the open road. And, larger diameter brakes also provide more ‘feel’, enhanced emergency stopping power and longer brake pad life.
POWER AND INTELLIGENCE
The Focus pioneers Ford’s new 115 PS, 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine – with twin independent variable camshaft technology – as part of a comprehensive powertrain line-up.
Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) improves airflow through the engine and delivers more torque while reducing average fuel consumption by up to 5 per cent. The Duratec Ti-VCT augments the Focus family’s broad petrol engine range that also includes 16-valve engines in displacements of 1.4 litres (80 PS), 1.6 litres (100 PS) and 2.0 litres (145 PS).
Focus also offers advanced, Duratorq TDCi high-pressure common-rail diesel engines. The range features 1.6-litre (109 PS) and 2.0-litre (136 PS) Duratorq TDCi choices, which made their debut in the Focus C-MAX. These lightweight, low-friction engines offer an optimal balance between strong torque at low engine speeds for smooth responsive driving fun and low fuel consumption – the 2.0-litre unit benefiting from Ford’s six-speed manual transmission. To meet and surpass emissions requirements both diesel engines will be available with a Diesel Particulate Filter.
Ford’s Durashift CVT Continuously Variable Transmission is available on models powered by the 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. Developed by Ford with ZF Transmissions, the Durashift CVT can switch between fully automatic and seven-speed manual selection. It cuts fuel consumption by up to 8 per cent over traditional four- or five-speed automatics. Focus also offers Durashift 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions and the Durashift 4-speed automatic.
Depending on specific market requirements, the Focus Duratorq TDCi will be launched to the Euro 3, Euro 4 and Euro 4 + Diesel Particulate Filter standard.
RAISING EXPECTATIONS – RELEVANT TECHNOLOGY
The Focus introduces a host of new technologies developed with an emphasis on relevance and affordability for customers. Highlights among the new technologies are:
- KeyFree System – interacting directly with the car to unlock it without fumbling.
- Solar Reflect Windshield – blocking nearly five times the level of solar radiation as standard tinted glass, significantly improving the efficiency of air conditioning.
- Adaptive Front Lighting System – technology that guides headlight beams in line with the front wheels. Ford’s approach to Adaptive Front Lighting – using halogen rather than xenon lamps – makes the option less expensive and thereby affordable for a broader range of customers.
- Blue Tooth Hands Free Phones – wireless technology, allowing the connection of mobile telephones, personal digital assistants and laptops.
- Voice Control – hands-free command of audio, telephone, climate control, in-car entertainment and navigation systems.
- Rear Seat Entertainment – MP3-enabled independent audio system available, with high-mounted screen for DVD or games consoles provided in the wagon.
FOCUS ON RUNNING COSTS
Development of the Focus placed priority on keeping the cost of ownership low.
With its advancements in powertrain efficiency with technologies like the Duratec Ti-VCT, Duratorq TDCi engines and new Durashift CVT, the Focus helps its customers control one of the major annual costs of ownership – fuel expense.
The range shares extended service intervals with the Focus C-MAX. Owners are recommended to service their vehicles once yearly or at intervals of 20,000 kilometres, putting such maintenance costs among the lowest in the segment.
New C-segment insurance ratings in Germany – the first to be confirmed at press time – provide another promising endorsement of the Focus’s build quality and repairability. The Focus ranks among the leaders overall – as low as VK1 2 for comprehensive insurance – helping to assure customers that their insurance premiums should not be excessive.
The sporty nature of Focus flows through the lines of its new incarnation, which has matured into a more unified family of body styles all delivering new levels of quality, refinement and craftsmanship while retaining the original spirit of design flair. The profile of the Focus remains distinctive in its class.
With its slightly larger dimensions, the Focus has a more muscular stance – highlighted by flared wheel arches that are more prominent and yet more integrated into the overall design. It appears to be hugging the road even when at a standstill. The bold lines of Ford’s ‘family’ radiator grille, headlights and air dam, which have flowed through Mondeo, Fiesta, Fusion and Focus C-MAX, appear even more purposeful on the Focus.
Sitting lower in the design than on any other Ford vehicle, the ‘family’ nose is steeply raked. From it the key lines of the body structures sweep up towards the rear – creating a hunched and athletic profile. From the low, wide styling of the nose, a power bulge arches back from the radiator grille to the A-pillars, set off with prominent ‘cheekbones’ that are shared by all Focus models.
“The profile features two distinctive lines,” said Chris Bird. “First is the sharp crease that comes very tightly around the front wheel arch and actually runs the full length of the vehicle, which I believe expresses a ‘milled out of solid metal’ look. Secondly, the very sharp line from the centre of the nose back over the whole length of the vehicle that highlights the fast lines of the A-pillar and the C-pillar.”
Moving the front pillar forward 100mm in a steeper angle generates space and has a positive impact on crash protection, while from an external sculpting point of view it allowed the designers to give the car a dramatic and unique silhouette in its class.
Visually the most dramatic and obvious difference between Focus and its competitors comes at the rear. Through ingenious packaging of the components beneath, Ford has innovated in creating a very fast profile at the rear, which allows the 3-door to look believable as a coupe as well as being a full-value 5-seater – a profile which is shared elegantly by the 5-door model.
“In designing the wagon, we wanted to get the graphics as sporting as we could and give it a little Italian flair,” said Claudio Messale, Chief Designer of the Focus. “Just as with the 3-door and 5-door models we were able to achieve this because the centreline of the wagon is relatively upright, which not only forms the basis for the exterior sculpture but also allows for a large luggage compartment within the styling of the car, meaning that there was no compromise in what is now a functional yet very stylish vehicle.
The sharp and sporting lines of the front and rear pillars give the Focus its personality, every bit as dynamic as its predecessor but in a more refined and integrated manner. From within those lines the cockpit feel of the driving environment is nurtured, while still increasing the real world space available to driver and passengers. From an exterior standpoint it gives Focus the kind of bold styling statement that the brand has come to embody.
“It is an entirely new way of looking at Focus but it remains clearly a Focus nonetheless, balancing that sportiness with functionality and practical daily living,” said Chris Bird. “The body section is undoubtedly the fullest in the class, which allows us to create very successful derivatives. We have exactly the same overall length and wheelbase with the Focus as we do with the Focus C-MAX – very different designs that are still instantly recognisable as Fords with the high rear lamps, the solid-looking surfaces and premium quality appeal.”
Messale’s team of designers concentrated on maturing the design statement of the Ford Focus for the new generation vehicle. The collage of simple shapes that gave the first Focus such a distinctive look has been succeeded by a more unified design that translates the standard of engineering beneath the skin into real physical presence.
“In 1998, Focus reinvented this sector with one big step, and there was a determination to build on that success as opposed to making a step too far with another radical overhaul,” said Messale. “We wanted to continue a degree of DNA but update it for the 21st century, and the window graphics are in fact very closely related to the first generation car but the dimensions of the Focus allowed us to give them a much more sporting profile.”
Lengthening the vehicle gave designers the freedom to evolve the pronounced, coupe-like roofline of the 3-door and 5-door models to follow the upper contours of the distinctive side window graphic more closely, leading to the sloping rear deck in the new design. All models, including the wagon, feature a bolder rendition of the classic Focus “uptick” at the rear edge of the window graphic.
“In modern car construction, the strength and accuracy of the foundations and underbody will always determine the ultimate quality of your product. To build a car like the Focus you have to aim high and think differently.”
Andreas Stichweh, Manager, C-car Body Programmes
Creating a robust design with quality that will endure throughout its lifespan is more than a design exercise. Much of Ford’s commitment to raising standards of quality will be unseen by the customer. Much attention to detail has been put on the car’s construction, with analytical build-ups of the vehicle in both digital and physical form allowing further refinement and tuning of the build process.
Technicians in Saarlouis and Valencia, who delivered 3 million Ford Focuses with award winning build quality, have refined their processes still further for the new model with lessons from the first Focus and the Focus C-MAX.
Through laser sighting and laser welding, state-of-the-art robot construction, specialist techniques and the latest technology, such as X-ray checking of welds, the Focus has exemplary build quality. Panel gaps have been reduced to 3.5mm throughout the vehicle, with tolerances cut by one third to just 1mm, ensuring that every Focus meets the quality requirements of the design.
“In the past premium quality finish has gone hand-in-hand with exclusive cost, but with the Focus we are providing that same quality at an affordable cost and making the feeling of exclusivity more accessible.
The small details can make all the difference in the quality of the interior design. That is why we have devoted so much time and attention to the feel of the interior, both in terms of the look and feel of the materials used in the touch zones and the ambience created by the design, which very naturally forms the impression of each area being specifically fitted around the occupants.”
Mick McDonagh, Manager, Interior System Engineering
“In all the materials that the customer sees and touches most often, we have tried to instil the character that we wish the Focus to express: stylish, high quality, durable and rewarding.”
Robert Lützeler, Craftsmanship Manager
Inside, the Focus was developed with ‘cockpit feel’ – the sense that the car is wrapped around its occupants and that everything they want is where they would want to find it. The result is an environment that fits them rather than forcing them to endure every journey living with a car designer’s compromises. This, plus sights, sounds and textures all play a part in delivering the new range’s interior harmony.
Rich, bright blue is a new interior environment featured on Sport and Titanium models. Executed in harmony with medium light stone in the lower half of the interior, the blue tone gives the Focus interior a warm and airy feel. Black remains an option on all models, which now include five levels: Ambiente, Trend, Sport, Ghia and Titanium.
In a market first for interior quality, Ford has embraced allergy-tested interior materials. All interior materials in the Focus range meet strict standards based upon TÜV (Toxproof) criteria. The TÜV rating ensures that materials are tested with synthetic perspiration to establish that no leachable substances are present. An efficient pollen filter protects the passengers against most allergising pollen particles from the outdoor air, volatile organic carbon levels are measured and certified for the complete vehicle interior and individual components and metal surfaces must be free of Chromium VI and Nickel.
MAKING LIFE EASIER AND SAFER
The Focus range provides harmonised interior illumination throughout the cabin, a trait pioneered by the Focus C-MAX. Devel opers also worked to ensure that the feel of all the switches – a push button in the door, for example – should have the same sound, feel and travel as a push button in the centre stack or the sunroof control, while rotary switches maintain identical feel whether they are for electrical or mechanical applications.
Other features such as the optional Power Adjustable Pedals offer increased control and comfort to drivers of every stature. Helping drivers feel comfortable and confident at the wheel enhances safety, as does the Focus range’s new intrusion prevention system. It is designed to limit movement of the brake and clutch pedal in the event of an accident, thereby protecting the driver’s lower legs.
Practicality and affordability have governed Ford’s approach to new technologies in the Focus range. Rather than simply adding gadgets for their own sake, Ford has insisted on the relevance and accessibility in introducing advances within the driving environment, namely:
- KeyFree System – interacting directly with the car to unlock it hands-free without fumbling
- Solar Reflect Windshield – blocking nearly five times the level of solar radiation as standard tinted glass, significantly improving the efficiency of air conditioning
- Adaptive Front Lighting System – relevant and affordable technology that guides headlight beams in line with the front wheels
- Blue Tooth Hands Free Phones – wireless technology, allowing the connection of mobile telephones.
- Voice Control System – hands-free command of audio, telephone, climate control, in-car entertainment and navigation systems
- Rear Seat Entertainment – MP3-enabled independent audio system available, with high-mounted screen for DVD or games consoles provided in the wagon
Further practical new features include a centrally located ‘topbox’ on the instrument panel for handy stowage and a large, 12-litre glove compartment that can be chilled and used to keep refreshments on long journeys in cars with air conditioning.
As with the Focus C-MAX, the Focus has a choice of new premium audio systems, all of which are phone compatible. Two Sony-designed systems head the range, with either a 6-disc in-dash changer or an MP3-capable single disc CD player with four 20-watt premium speakers that deliver a characteristic “Sony Sound”. Ford-branded audio units will also be available, including an AM-FM Radio/Cassette player or an AM-FM Radio/Compact Disc player.
The Focus offers two levels of optional satellite navigation, including a navigation computer with an integrated digital roadmap to control the functionality and a Global Positioning System (GPS) sensor that provides the actual vehicle position coordinates.
A new Denso high-series system features DVD-based route guidance and a large, colour touch-screen with high-resolution displays of full mapping information. The second system, a Blaupunkt TravelPilot, offers a monochrome display with all essential navigational aids. Both systems offer a Traffic Messaging Control (TMC) decoder to allow dynamic navigation, such as recalculating a route to bypass a traffic jam.
With its calm and quiet interior, the Ford Focus is designed to build on the sensory connection between car and driver. The objective is to provide a pleasing sound quality tuned to its driver’s needs while reflecting the higher levels of refinement in other aspects of the interior.
“The unique sound quality of the Focus was developed using high tech modal analysis and operational deflection shape tools with the capacity to simultaneously measure 200 different structural points,” said Michael Malessa, Supervisor, Vehicle NVH.
Focus engineers worked to lock out unwanted intrusions from wind noise and road rumble. After the solid sound of the door closing the serenity of the driving environment is immediately clear, with 20 per cent thicker front door side glass, double door seals and lightweight foam insulation in the engine compartment and rear body cavities all working together to isolate unwanted environmental noise. Wind noise has been cut by 20 per cent on the road, making for class-leading performance, particularly in difficult wind conditions.
From the moment that the engine starts the absence of vibration in the seat, steering wheel and gear lever is tangible in both petrol and diesel variants. The car settles quickly into its low speed purr through the advanced insulation and tuning of the exhaust, intake and engine mounts. On the move, the driver senses refinement, in which the engine sound is accompanied by much reduced road noise – even over rough or broken road surfaces – thanks to stiffer suspension attachments and rigorous development of the body and chassis systems.
Ford’s efforts to enhance powertrain refinement encompass the Duratec petrol and Duratorq diesel ranges equally.
CHOOSING YOUR CLIMATE
Another new Focus feature is an optional D-EATC system (Dual Electronic Automated Temperature Control). It allows individual selection of temperatures for the driver and passenger side of the vehicle – a feature only available in luxury vehicles until recently.
Once the preferred temperature is set, D-EATC permanently monitors any environmental changes. A dual zone sun load sensor monitors radiation on either side of the vehicle. Through ultra fast can-bus technology this information – together with the interior temperature reading – is continuously transferred to the climate control unit, which selects the optimum reaction mode to guarantee a stable temperature during the entire journey.
When combined with the new Solar Reflect Windshield, the Focus climate control system quickly reduces interior temperatures after extended parking periods in the sun.
All new Focus climate control systems have been tested under extreme environmental conditions in Finland and South Africa and in extensive long-distance driving across Europe.
BROAD POWERTRAIN CHOICE
The Focus range features a broad set of powertrain choices, led by the introduction of a new 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engine with Ford’s Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing – the new Duratec Ti-VCT.
With the advent of the Duratec Ti-VCT, the Focus range offers customers four Duratec petrol engine choices, two Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine variants, the option of a Diesel Particulate Filter, plus four transmissions, led by the new Durashift CVT continuously variable transmission and the popular Durashift 6 six-speed manual.
Ti-VCT TECHNOLOGY FOR THE 1.6-LITRE DURATEC
The 100 PS Duratec 1.6-litre petrol engine that forms the heartland choice for many buyers has been enhanced with the addition of Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing. The engine is engineered for greater torque at higher engine speeds and a significant power increase of 15 PS – yet with a reduction in fuel consumption of about 5 per cent.
A redesigned cam cover houses Ford’s VCT bridge, which is mounted to the front assembly. The vane-type variable cam system enables the oil pressure to be optimised at all engine speeds. It has a shifting range of 50 degrees on the intake side, and 45 degrees on the exhaust side, and at low engine speed the engine control unit (ECU) leaves the cams in their default position, which guarantees good starting. Once engine speed increases, two oil-flow control valves adjust the cam timing for higher airflow. The engine delivers 155 Nm of torque at 4,150 rpm, and 115 PS of power at 6,000 rpm.
Other upgrades to the engine include high-lift camshafts and pistons with indented pockets to allow for sufficient valve clearance. Unlike simply bolting a ‘hot cam’ to the Duratec Ti-VCT, the robustness of the unit has been paramount. Engine knock sensors, revised intake ports and a new equal track length intake manifold add efficiency, reliability and have been tuned to optimise sound quality. The 100 PS version of this engine remains in the range.
DURATEC ENGINE RANGE – PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE
Engineered for practicality, responsiveness and economy, other Duratec petrol engines are available:
- 80 PS – The 1.4-litre Duratec engine offers 80 PS (78 bhp/59 kW) at 5,700 rpm and peak torque of 123 Nm (91 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm.
- 100 PS – The 1.6-litre Duratec engine offers 100 PS (98 bhp/74 kW) at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 150 Nm (110 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm.
- 145 PS – The 2.0 litre Duratec engine offers 145 PS (143 bhp/107 kW) at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 185 Nm (136 lb-ft) at 4,500 rpm.
The largest-displacement 2.0-litre Duratec engine employs the latest gas dynamics, combustion and catalytic converter technology for high levels of quality, performance, fuel economy, low emissions and operating refinement. Extremely durable, this lightweight engine was designed to be very efficient, require low levels of maintenance and provide customers with extremely long service life as a key commitment to Focus’s lifetime dependability.
All Duratec petrol engines have been designed and engineered to exceed current emission legislation (98/69/EEC) and will be launched with emission controls according to individual European market demands.
“The Duratorq TDCi engine has gained a lot of praise in the time that it has been available in the Ford range. For the Focus we have expanded the TDCi range to include 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre variants, mirroring the engines in the Focus C-MAX with all the refinement, fuel economy and performance that they bring.”
Gerd Müller, Manager Diesel Powertrains
The Focus powertrain menu features both 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi second-generation common-rail diesel engines that made their debut in the Focus C-MAX:
- 109 PS – The 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi generates 109 PS (108 bhp/80 kW) at 4,000 rpm and robust low-end torque, peaking at 240 Nm (176 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm.
- 136 PS – The 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi generates 136 PS (134 bhp/100 kW) at 4,000 rpm. Torque peaks at 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) at 2,000 rpm.
Both Duratorq TDCi variants offer low levels of fuel consumption in real-world driving, a key facet in the broader dependability and cost-of-ownership story for the Focus. These lightweight, low-friction engines offer an optimal balance between strong torque at low engine speeds for smooth responsive driving enjoyment and low fuel consumption. To meet and surpass emissions requirements both diesel engines will be available with a Diesel Particulate Filter.
The peppy 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi comes with Ford’s Durashift 6 six-speed manual transmission as standard. The combination has been well received in the Focus C-MAX for its enjoyable feel and sporty air combined with long-legged fuel economy, and is well matched to the dynamic style of the Focus.
DURASHIFT CVT LEADS TRANSMISSION LINE-UP
The Ford Durashift CVT Continuously Variable Transmission is available to partner the 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine. This powertrain combination creates a more relaxing urban driving experience in the Focus in automatic mode, while offering the option of a select-shift mode with the feel of a seven-speed manual transmission on demand.
Already a popular option on the Focus C-MAX, the Durashift CVT’s smoothness translates into a reduction in noise, while the electronically controlled, belt-driven system delivers a 5 per cent fuel efficiency improvement over previous-generation automatic transmissions.
Other transmission choices in the Focus range include:
- *Durashift 6-Speed, the first Ford-manufactured six-speed transmission, which has been featured successfully in both Mondeo and Focus C-MAX. The Durashift 6-speed is mated to the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel to optimise responsiveness, refinement and fuel economy.
- Durashift 5-Speed, a proven five-speed manual transmission, is standard on the 1.4-litre Duratec, 1.6-litre Duratec, 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT, 2.0-litre Duratec and 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engines.
- Ford’s proven Durashift 4-speed automatic is available with the 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engine.
Across the powertrain range, Ford engineers have worked to craft sound quality. Ford’s desired low speed ‘purr’, regular driving ‘refinement’ and ‘addictive’ higher-speed engine sounds are part of the tuned feedback Focus drivers experience.
The aim of Ford powertrain sound quality is to create a pleasant and relaxed sound during cruising, achieved by a balance between engine, wind and road noise sources. Rather than sounding stressed at higher engine revs, the character of Focus powertrain shines through in feedback during spirited driving.
Focus benefits from a concerted approach to sound quality as one of the objectives of Ford’s Global Shared Technologies initiative, as well as craftsmanship in build quality. Damping out of unwanted sounds has been further enhanced by more effective engine mounts, cockpit insulation and construction methods.
FROM DRIVING DYNAMICS TO DRIVING QUALITY – A NEW GENERATION
Just as the original Focus was created with driving dynamics that set new benchmarks in its segment, the Focus reflects a broader approach to engineering a rewarding driving experience. Driving quality, encompassing the core aspects of driving dynamics plus driving-environment attributes ranging from spaciousness and ergonomics to sound quality and interior climate, is now a major emphasis in Ford’s European product development process.
The Focus has been engineered to build on the dynamic capabilities of the original – carrying on the tradition of providing an ultra-stiff body shell, enhanced Control Blade rear suspension and stiff, new front chassis subframe – while making strides in comfort and refinement, including reduced noise and enhanced sound quality in a spacious cabin environment.
Providing space for customers and their gear is a central part of the Focus development story. With its longer wheelbase, large doors that open wide to increase accessibility, generous headroom in both front and rear and greater rear knee room, the Focus provides more space for occupant comfort. Despite its sloping rear design, the Focus 3-door and 5-door models also offer uncompromised rear-seat headroom. (Package dimensions can be found in the Technical Specifications section.)
As a family car, the Focus was designed to provide practical, usable space, such as large and robust stowage areas in the doors, the centre console and instrument panel. Its voluminous 12-litre glove box is capable of containing a 1.5-litre bottle and – in cars with air conditioning – chilling it for summer motoring.
Further convenience is provided in the central stowage box on top of the instrument panel – accessible to both front seat occupants – and in thoughtful touches such as the headliner-mounted sunglasses stowage. In the 3-door model, the areas beneath the windows include large, accessible stowage areas for rear seat passengers.
Beneath its sweeping roofline the Focus delivers a class-leading luggage area. A longer rear overhang has allowed packaging engineers to increase capacity by 10 per cent to a class-leading 385 litres readily accessible through the class-leading width of the tailgate opening. The wide loadspace is not hampered by wheel arch intrusions.
Although class-leading in many package dimensions, the feeling inside the Focus is one of snugness. Its distinctive ‘cockpit feel’ is made possible by the higher waistline and sporty coupe profile together with the tailored, flow-through design of the interior layout.
The driving position brings a genuine feeling of control. All controls, which are concentrated around the driver for fingertip use, are arranged intuitively where most drivers expect them to be, from the shorter, raised gear lever to the clearly arranged instrument layout with its integral information centre.
“The driving environment has been designed as a complete, unified experience,” said Giovanni De Pasca, Manager, Vehicle Package Engineering. “Everything comes together to deliver total control and maximum ease of use, comparable to a pilot’s flight deck. This ‘cockpit feel’ will continue to influence the DNA of future Ford models.”
Another key aim of the Focus driving environment was excellent visibility. By optimising body sections, reducing tolerances and studying every small detail, the dimensions of the Focus have been refined for class-leading perceived visibility.
Recessed rear headrests, which are familiar from the Focus C-MAX, also enhance visibility. Flush and unobtrusive when not in use, the headrests also make the process of folding the rear seats to increase the luggage area easier because it is not necessary to remove them.
ALL TO HAND – FOCUS ERGONOMICS
Existing Focus owners will feel at home in the car, as intuitive placement of key controls and information has always been a Focus strength. Customer feedback indicated that they clearly understood the way information was presented to them and appreciated the arrangement of the key controls.
“One of the key elements of this process was the development of the cluster information centre, which provides the customer with all relevant information and allows drivers to adjust the display quickly and easily to suit personal preferences,” said Andrew Jamieson, Focus ergonomics supervisor. “To do this, the driver uses a close-at-hand bi-directional switch to choose settings with ease, without having to reach away from the steering wheel area.”
To achieve the best possible active safety it is essential to arrange all frequently used controls and displays in a way that they can be used and monitored without taking the driver’s eyes away from the road. This is in particular important for navigation systems. The high position of the coloured DVD touch screen is close to ideal but key navigation information to plot the car’s route is additionally displayed in the cluster area.
NEW LEVELS OF DRIVING QUALITY
For many, the acid test of a Ford Focus is the first 50 metres that you drive it.
“To establish a benchmark for best-in-class agility, precision, comfort and stability, we evaluated the strongest ride and handling characteristics of the competitors,” said Jürgen Pützschler, Supervisor, Vehicle Dynamics. “It quickly became clear that the best benchmark was the current Focus.”
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 significant gain in torsional stiffness within the new body structure, providing a fluid ride quality.
The Focus has a longer wheelbase (by 25mm) and wider track (by 40mm) than its predecessor for a sure-footed stance and an improved interior package. Designed and developed to achieve optimum stability under all circumstances, the Focus makes best use of its increased dimensions without compromising agility or precision.
Enhancements under the skin build on seven years of experience with the Control Blade rear suspension pioneered by the original Focus while introducing a stiff, new front subframe as the foundation for chassis elements that have undergone extensive tuning.
In order 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 as initially developed for the Focus RS.
The chassis includes new McPherson struts, larger front dampers and gas-filled twin tube struts. 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, to support the overall approach of low lateral compliance (important for high levels of steering precision) and to allow for good impact absorption. New valve technology in the front and rear dampers and new bushes have been tested at the Ford Proving Ground in Lommel, Belgium, on the open roads of Europe and at Germany’s demanding Nürburgring circuit.
Its newly developed front subframe provides a significant increase in stiffness at the attachment points, which, together with wider support base and stiffer anti-roll bar attachments, produces greater cornering efficiency and roll control that improves comfort and handling confidence. Road holding is impressive: Focus displays agility with class-leading ride quality to prove that ideal body control and cornering prowess do not demand harsh suspension settings.
Electric-hydraulic power-assisted steering (EHPAS) makes low speed manoeuvres easier while preserving precision on the open road. Larger diameter brakes also provide more ‘feel’, enhanced emergency stopping power and longer brake pad life.
The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car’s driving quality. It has been engineered with a 10 per cent increase in torsional stiffness over its class-leading predecessor.
Drivers will appreciate enhancements in comfort that have been achieved in the Focus without sacrificing its signature agility, stability and precise reaction to steering inputs. The chassis has been engineered to provide vibration isolation and stable, confidence-enhancing body control, making it reassuringly comfortable even on coarse roads.
New 16-inch Sport and Ghia Design Wheels offer the looks and presence of alloy wheels, but are manufactured from steel with optimal brake cooling properties, as well as inherent durability, resistance to damage and easier maintenance.
ASSURANCE BEHIND PERFORMANCE – FOCUS BRAKES
Ford’s engineers are satisfied that the braking system of the Focus can be summed up in three words: confident, intuitive and comfortable. Designed and built without compromise to deliver assured performance and to reduce braking distances to a minimum, tuning of the new hardware has brought a very smooth and defined initial bite at low speeds to optimise urban performance. Carrying this through with new analytical methods has balanced the relationship between pedal travel and braking force, bringing the feeling of confidence to a new level at all speeds.
Enhancements include larger disks and drums across the range, which increases effectiveness while giving up to 30 per cent greater durability of the brakes, depending upon usage. All models are fitted with ABS and Advanced Dynamic Aid Mechanical (ADAM) is available with ESP for emergency stopping power. ADAM responds to pedal speed and movement within the booster/master cylinder assembly to apply maximum braking force until the pressure on the pedal is released.
For ideally weighted, precise steering at all speeds, the Ford Focus is equipped with Electric-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering (EHPAS), which debuted in the Focus
C-MAX. An electro-motor driven pump uses vehicle speed and steering wheel speed as input to calculate the optimum PAS support. It provides class-leading low efforts at the wheel at low speed – ideal when parking – and still provides smooth and progressive feedback when cornering at speed.
“Increasingly manufacturers are replacing straight hydraulic systems – with the benefits of precision and feel that it brings – with straight electric power steering that removes low-speed steering input,” said Andreas Wöhler, Manager of Vehicle Dynamics. “Rather than compromising in any way we took the more expensive – but ultimately the most satisfying – approach of developing a hybrid system in EHPAS that has cut low-speed steering efforts dramatically while retaining the Focus DNA of agile and precise steering at high speed.”
Unlike traditional, hydraulic-only systems, the Focus EHPAS system is not dependent on engine speed, making it exceptionally energy efficient. This results in a fuel saving of up to one-fifth of a litre per 100 kilometres, or roughly 3 per cent versus traditional hydraulic PAS systems, as EHPA S effectively ‘reads’ the driving environment and responds accordingly. A stiffer steering column, increased suspension bush stiffness and steering gear bush stiffness, plus the geometric precision of the Focus steering and suspension systems also contribute to more responsive control.
The model continues the Focus commitment to safety by offering a comprehensive passive safety system within the strength of a robust, protective body structure.
The structure of the Focus also provides one of the most advanced passenger safety systems in its class, putting its rigidity to work with carefully constructed crush zones to route energy away from the occupants in the event of a crash and protect them from objects intruding the survival area. Focus is constructed from variable-gauge laser-welded panels of dual plasma and high strength steel. Both the occupant cell and surrounding envelope of energy absorbing crush zones have been rigorously tested in virtual and physical form, verified by the most powerful computers in the industry and tested in the state-of-the-art Volvo Safety Centre in Sweden.
The Focus also offers optional side thorax airbags and inflatable side curtains (from A-pillar to C-pillar) in many EU markets, seatbelt pretensioners with load-limiting retractors and ISOFIX child seat fittings. Optimised single-stage dual front airbags are standard equipment for the Focus passive safety system.
Optional adjustable pedals give a made-to-measure fit for drivers of any stature, enhancing comfort and safety.
ACTIVE ON SAFETY
Throughout the bodystyle range, the Focus has a structure that was designed to protect its occupants within a lightweight and highly efficient survival cell. It is constructed from variable-gauge laser-welded panels of high strength steel. Both the occupant cell and surrounding envelope of energy absorbing crush zones have been rigorously tested in virtual and physical form, verified by the most powerful computers in the industry and tested in the state-of-the-art Volvo Safety Centre in Sweden.
Crash load paths through the body structure have been optimised for maximum energy absorption outside the passenger environment, both in straight frontal impacts against a rigid barrier and in offset crashes. More crush space has been achieved by a controlled detaching of stiff chassis components from the body structure underfloor, which allows the impact energy to pass beneath the rigid passenger cell, reducing the deceleration values for the occupants and avoiding deformation of the underfloor structure.
The structure includes such features as new compression members inside the door waist to reduce the A-pillar and instrument panel beam deformation and a new straight cross-car beam bolted between the A-pillars, which stabilises the body side structure and minimises the intrusion of the steering column and pedals.
These structural features combined with advanced passive safety systems set a new standard of crash protection for the Focus brand – reflected in Ford’s in-house testing. As a result, the Focus already exceeds the crash performance criteria of all current European legislation and is expected to perform strongly in independent testing programmes, such as the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s Euro-NCAP programme.
Efforts to create a higher quality appearance have also resulted in easier and more cost-effective repair processes. One such example is the boron grille opening reinforcement beam. In previous designs, separate components were mounted to a wide variety of points, making it exceptionally hard to ensure consistency in terms of alignment and gaps. The new design eliminates variations in lines or gaps by being mounted into fixed points. If damaged in an accident, it can be replaced to fit exactly as the vehicle left the production line.