The recently revealed fourth-generation Ford Focus is underpinned by a new modular platform that a high-ranking Blue Oval executive describes as the “holy grail”.
Speaking to Automotive News, Joe Bakaj, who holds the title of vice president for product development at Ford in Europe, said that the new front-wheel-drive architecture was "very scalable", suggesting that it could eventually underpin everything from the smaller Fiesta to the Kuga crossover and even the larger Edge.
Indeed, when Ford detailed its latest global strategy back in March 2018, it revealed plans to move over to “flexible vehicle architectures” – the new platform underpinning the Focus is one of five such planned architectures – and "more common parts across models" in a bid to cut new product development time by 20 percent.
Mirroring the approach the Volkswagen Group has taken with its modular MQB platform, Bakaj says Ford’s latest unibody platform will fix certain hard points to allow the fitment of common “modules” (such as electric handbrakes and air-conditioning systems).
"You won't use every module from the bottom to the top, but you'd try and reuse as many modules as possible," Bakaj told the US publication. "If you can plan out a suite of vehicles over a period of time, you get a scale globally."
"We've reduced the number of parts we've engineered; we've reduced the cost of engineering, but we've offered more derivatives to suit different personalities, and that's the holy grail," he added.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.