Less than a week until the official debut at the Geneva Auto Show , Ford has pulled the covers off its latest version of the Focus . The new styling takes after its big brother the Fusion and black-sheep cousin Mustang with its Aston-Martin grille and lower front fascia. First introduced in 2011, this is the third generation ’s first refresh.
Although Ford hasn’t released all the nitty-gritty details on the car, we understand the powertrain lineup is to remain relatively unchanged except for the new 1.0-liter I-3 EcoBoost and its six-speed manual transmission – a combination exclusive to the U.S. The rest of the world makes do with an automatic with their 1.0-liter EcoBoost – a combination that also exclusive to everywhere but here. Yep, Ford is only offering the 1.0-liter with a manual transmission within the States, so rowing your own gears is a must. The remainder of the Human race must look upon with envy.
The interior looks to remain similar to the current Focus with its highly styled dash and bolstered seats. Ford has said the interior will be getting a heavy dose of new in-dash technologies like an enhanced SYNC AppLink system that allows for greater smartphone connectivity.
Click past the jump for the newly released pictures and details of the 2015 Focus
It’s safe to say the Focus no longer looks like a cheep car; not that is has since 2011, but it is notably upscale for such a small, inexpensive model. The grille has taken on more of the Aston-Martin look that is permeating Ford ’s lineup. Restyled headlights and chrome brightwork down near the fog lamps really stand out. The chrome five-slotted grille and sculpted hood further the idea of an upmarket car.
Around the sides, the profile appears to have changed very little. Once the bodywork starts turning the rear quarter panel, the shape becomes refreshed again. The trunk lid on the five-door model, taillights, and rear bumper has taken on a slightly new shape.
2015 Ford Focus - Exterior Dimensions
|Model||Four-door sedan||Four-door hatchback|
The dashboard, center stack, and instrument cluster have been cleaned up from last year with a sharper, more refined look. The pictures above are of the 1.0-liter Ecoboost, which will slot lower in the model trim packages, so the interior isn’t a dressed up as many of the models we’ve seen in the past. Despite being a base car, Ford is promising some very techie stuff within the dash for 2015.
An updated version of SYNC’s AppLink helps with smartphone integration and gives the driver a high level of application customization within the car. Ford says there are over 60 AppLink-enabled apps on the iOS and Android market. New voice pass-through capabilities have been added so app developers can use cloud-based voice-recognition software streaming through the phone to give users the ability to keep the same voice commands when using their phones both when connected and not connected to the car.
Ford’s little 1.0-liter three-cylinder is a marvel of modern technology. Dual overhead cams, direct-injection, variable valve timing, and a turbo all help the engine produce an amazing 100 horsepower and achieve excellent fuel economy. Although the EPA estimates for the car are months away, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is getting 40 mpg and better in other places around the world where it’s already in production.
As stated before, the 1.0-liter will only be available with a six-speed manual transmission inside the U.S. Folks outside the U.S. will be stuck with an automatic and no manual option. Seems kind of backwards when considering history, but Ford implied that U.S. buyers tend to complain about the unrefined nature of small-displacement, automatic transmission couplings. Eliminating the option is apparently more cost-effective than further refining the powertrain in development.
|Configuration||Aluminum block and head|
Prices will likely stay close to where they are with the current 2014 Focus. Base price starts at $16,810 and rises to $35,710 for the Focus Electric. However, the driver’s choice still remains the Focus ST with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, which starts at $23,635. Ford will officially announce prices closer to when the 2015 models go on sale in the second half of 2014.
Our spy photographers have given us plenty of warning about Ford’s reworking of the Focus. Here’s a rundown of what we learned and when we learned it.
February 21, 2014 - Revised Ford Focus begins winter testing
12/18/2013 Spy Shots - First Sighting
January, 6th 2014 - The revised Focus continues its cold winter testing
The prototype caught testing today is heavily camouflaged on the front and the rear, meaning that Ford is preparing more than just some minor changes on both ends.
Honda unveiled the new-generation Civic in 2012, but because it was a general failure, a revised version was offered just a year later. The Civic comes with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with an output of 140 horsepower and a standard five-speed manual transmission. The Civic also comes in hybrid and a CNG versions.
The 2013 Civic is priced from $18,165.
Gallery Honda Civic Sedan
Corolla is one of the best-sold models in Toyota’s lineup, with over 300,000 units delivered in 2012, so it will be pretty difficult for Ford to offer a model that will outsell it.
The Corolla is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine offered in two different output levels: 140 horsepower in the Valvematic engine and 132 horsepower in the VVT-i engine.
The 2014 Corolla is priced from $16,800.
Gallery Toyota Corolla
Ford Focus was unveiled for the European market in 1998 and in the North American market in the 2000 model year. Since then, has gone through three different generations: first from 1998 to 2005, the second from 2005 to 2011 and the third one was unveiled in 2012.
The Focus is generally offered with four-cylinder engines, but in 2011 Ford also offered an electric version.
Gallery Ford Focus
Overall the new refresh prepares the Focus for the second half of the decade. Ford’s corporate Aston-Martin-like look really plays well for the smaller cars, making them more appealing to a larger audience than just the financially-burdened. The addition of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost and manual transmission is a welcomed one with expected gains in fuel efficiency and driveability.
Then added technology in the dash via SYNC’s updates will also help attract buyers to the Ford brand. We expect Ford to sell the a handsome number of the refreshed Focus just as the 2011-2014 model has done.
- Handsome new looks
- Added technology in the dash
- 1.0-liter EcoBoost is set to change minds about small engines
- While the EcoBoost is good, it’s no Focus ST.
- Lack of Automatic might disinterest some buyers
- No pricing or fuel economy info yet
The 2015 Ford Focus, the world’s best-selling nameplate, is expected to hold onto this coveted title with a bold new look that emulates other recent Ford vehicle designs and more advanced technologies that improve driver comfort and safety.
The new look and added technologies were revealed today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry.
“We have taken the title of world’s best-selling nameplate to impressive new heights with the redesigned Focus,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of The Americas. “Its combination of compelling, modern design and the most high-tech interior in the class will appeal to contemporary consumers who desire a small car with very sophisticated features. What makes Focus so attractive to consumers today – being great to drive, delivering exceptional fuel economy and value, and offering leading-edge in-car technologies – is amplified with the new Focus.”
Award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost
In addition to a host of styling and technological advances, the new Focus will offer the remarkably efficient, fun-to-drive, award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with a six-speed transmission – surpassing the fuel efficiency of the previous model, and once again raising the bar amongst the competition. Twice already, automotive journalists have named Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost powerplant International Engine of the Year, for 2012 and 2013.
“The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest addition will bring consumers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and at the pump.”
The smallest engine in the company’s growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
In Europe, where it is already on five nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost accounts for 32 percent of sales of the current-generation Focus and 26 percent of Fiesta sales this year. Robust demand for the 1.0-liter in Europe has prompted Ford to double production capacity at its state-of-the-art plant in Cologne, Germany, to more than 1,000 engines a day.
EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.
Stylish new Focus
The new Focus will arrive with a more stylish, bold look. It features a restyled hood and grille, signature lighting for the headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. Four-door and five-door versions will be available in the United States.
Inside, colors and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims, switches and an available heated steering wheel. Storage is improved with a new center console incorporating adjustable cupholders, and a new, easier-to-access glove box.
A package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies including a rearview camera and an available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) and lane-keeping system.
Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch®-equipped cars.
BLIS uses two multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels, one on each side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.
Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal on, the available lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering torque to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.
New Focus drivers will also have access to powerful new capabilities thanks to a host of new functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC® AppLink™.
Android and iOS smartphone owners can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market.
New functions include:
Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the user experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors
More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected
Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Best of all, alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app
In addition to the many advancements in exterior styling, interior design, powertrain and technology, the new Focus will also benefit from suspension and chassis upgrades. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, a new electronic stability program system with less intrusion and improved comfort, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road.
The 2015 Ford Focus goes on sale in the second half of 2014.