The Ford stand at Auto Africa is dominated by the new Ford Focus (which was officially introduced at the show and will soon go into production in SA), the new Fiesta ST and the MPV/SUV Territory. Also on show were the Streetka roadster and the iconic new Mustang.

The Ford stand at Auto Africa is dominated by the new Ford Focus (which was officially introduced at the show and will soon go into production in SA), the new Fiesta ST and the MPV/SUV Territory. Also on show were the Streetka roadster and the iconic new Mustang.

Four- and five-door versions of the exciting new Ford Focus subcompact will be built at the company's Silverton plant in Pretoria. At the unveiling on Monday, FMCSA's chief executive and group managing director, Deborah Coleman, announced that the South African plant will also be manufacturing the car for export to Australia and New Zealand in 2005.

Coleman said: "Sourcing the new Ford Focus and related components from South Africa reinforces Ford Motor Company's commitment to foreign direct investment, economic growth and employment opportunities in this country."

The ever popular Focus has grown up to become more elegant and sophisticated. Sharing its platfrom with the Volvo S40 and V50 and the Mazda3, the Focus is 25 mm longer than the outgoing model.

The base model will be equipped with a 1,4-litre Duratec unit producing 59 kW and 126 N.m of torque. There will also be 1,6-litre (74kW and 150 N.m) and two-litre (107 kW and 184 N.m) Duratec engines, with high-performance versions to follow.

Ford's little Fiesta, which has been around for some time now, will be energised with the addition of its own ST performance edition. Equipped with the 110 kW 2,0-litre Duratec engine, the car will be the first in the Ford line-up to show off the new ST badging without numbers.

Discreetly styled, the Fiesta ST's lower stance and side sills distinguish it from its tamer siblings. Bold 17-inch wheels with alloy wheels further strengthen its image.

In the cabin, the new sports seats finished in black leather with red cloth inserts complement the leather bound steering wheel and metal pedals. Further details about the ST's performance will be released at a later date, closer to the expected launch towards the end of 2004.

Previewed at the show were the Ford Territory SUV/MPV and Streetka cabriolet models.

The Territory SUV was recently launched in Australia and its 4,0-litre six-cylinder powerplant produces 182 kW at 5 000 r/min and maximum torque of 380 N.m at 3 250 r/min. Available in both rear- and all-wheel drive, it uses Ford's new Virtual Pivot Control Link suspension and a version of the Control Blade Independent Rear Suspension for high levels of steering, traction, comfort and handling.

The Streetka, which has proven to be immensely popular in Europe, was on display as well, with Ford using the opportunity to gauge the public's reaction to this feisty little number. Designed by famous Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, the Streetka uses the locally manufactured 1,6-litre RoCam engine. It has a power output of 70 kW and maximum torque of 135 N.m at 4 250 r/min.

The show also displayed the epitomy of American muscle cars - the Ford Mustang. With its long history, the latest pony car has an impressive 4,6-litre V8 engine that produces a mind-blowing 225 kW! Bad news for Mustang fans is that no mention was made of this car being brought to SA...