Anticipated by many, this is the all-new Ford Focus, which enters the midsize segment in an array of body shapes, including a conventional hatchback, sedan, a mild crossover and a versatile station wagon.
The new Focus has been designed from the wheels up after hundreds of hours of research and drawing information from current Focus owners around the world.
The new generation will get a variety of revised trim lines, such as premium Vignale and sporty ST-Line (local specs TBC). Also new to the range is the crossover-inspired Active model which has a slightly increased ride height and some plastic wheel arch cladding.
Compared with the previous model, the Focus has a longer bonnet with a cab-rearward stance. This makes the Focus look longer than the model it succeeds, despite having very similar dimensions. It’s also more aerodynamic than before.
Thanks to some clever repackaging, the Focus also boasts more interior space for all passengers. This was done by streamlining the designs of the engines, electrical systems and high-end features (sunroof, etc). As a result the shoulder-room has increased by 61 mm, while knee clearance and legroom jump 51 mm and 71 mm, respectively. Other packaging alterations include an electric parking brake, a rotary gearshift dial and a narrower centre console with relocated switches and a touchscreen infotainment system.
The new Focus debuts some innovative safety features, too. Dubbed Ford Co-Pilot360, drivers will have access to adaptive cruise control with stop and go, speed-sign recognition and lane-keeping, and an adaptive front lighting system that uses a camera to predict the suitable headlamp setting for improved visibility.
The active park assist has also been updated to operate the gear selection, acceleration and braking, which affords the user the option of remote parking. Additionally, the Focus boasts a segment-first evasive steering assist that can steer the vehicle away from potential collisions.
Not forgetting what makes owners love their Fords, the brand promises the new Focus will be more engaging to drive. This has been achieved by implementing an all-new electrically assisted power steering that’s more responsive. A drive mode selector has been installed and features normal, sport and eco settings.
While local engine selections are yet to be confirmed, overseas models will boast 1,0- and 1,5-litre EcoBoost petrols, as well as a 2,0-litre turbodiesel. Coupled to some variants is a new eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission
The new Ford Focus is expected to go on sale in Europe and China this year. It will arrive in SA before the close of 2018.