Whats your Focus? was blasted by the signs at the recent European unveiling of the All-New Ford Focus in London
Jonathan Humphrey enjoys focusing on the future of one the the UK's favourite cars, but now in four styles
The massive event was held at one of the trendy presentation spots in London. Journalists were presented with a bold presentation of the future of Ford and the future of motoring for all. Holographic images of Ford's old and new were projected ahead of the All New Focus exploding onto the stage with all the pizzazz necessary for a car of such stature. Nearly everyone retains a memory of a Focus somewhere in their life; it's not become one of the best selling cars in the UK for years and years, just being good.
Now the All-New Focus is nearly ready for the road, and this is the fourth generation edition. This time taking the lead from the bestselling car in the UK the All-New Ford Fiesta it will also be available in four distinctly different styles.
The All-New Focus now comes as a Sporty ST-Line, Titanium, Vignale and Active models. All distinctly different and also available in 5-door or estate (wagon) versions. Each model group comes in its own palette out of 13 colours and interior trims.
On first look, the car strikes you with its lower stance and bolder new lines. It's still the friendly looking Focus but in a bolder more purposeful, 'Focused' way. Each car has its own identity which will appeal to many, cleverly the four styles enable Ford to fulfil the needs of their customers from small families, sporty types, to the young at heart and those that demand the finer things.
I was particularly taken with the Active model, very striking in the bold white with black. A vehicle for an active life and those not quite so enthused by the current crop of bigger SUVs hitting the market. It's really a slightly raised estate wagon and that really works for me.
The upscale Vignale, the optimum luxury Focus, joins the other available Vignale models with Mondeo, S-MAX, Kuga, Edge and Fiesta. This is a Focus for the future, an ultimate expression of a luxury car with as many safety systems as cats in my garden. Ford has also now gone for a brilliant sounding 675 watt sound system from B&O for the new cars. Combined with Ford's latest Sync3 and Apple Carplay or Android Auto. Fitting with the new style on all the new models, Focus has gone upmarket and won't be coming back.
The future has arrived, Predictive curve light and sign-based light, this means lights that can see around corners before you can and read the road signs ahead, adaptive cruise control that can find the edge of the road even without lines. Parking by the push of a button, which controls acceleration, braking and steering as you park. On some models, the suspension, called (CCD) continuously controlled damping can react fast enough to save wheels/tyres from potholes damage, by stopping the wheel dropping into a pothole. And even more, wireless phone charging and the brightest head-up display so far, that you can even see with polarised glasses.
There are uprated versions of the highly successful 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines and a brand new 1.5-Litre EcoBoost. Two diesel engines also on offer, one with adblue. Economy, emissions and refinement are the names of the game. Sadly not much has been said of a hybrid, or electric versions for Focus, but hints for the future of Ford fulfilling customers needs in this area will be arriving sooner, than later.
Higher models of Focus can also feature, connectivity that would only be found on larger more expensive cars. FordPass connect with its own built-in modem enabling the car to be a 4g LTE hotspot and providing wireless internet connectivity for up to 10 devices and with this clever solution the car connects seamlessly with it own Ford App. Enabling you to keep informed of issues with the car, right down to a failed lightbulb or low tyre pressure.
The driving experience has been improved with a 20% stiffer bodyshell and lightened components. It all looked and felt like the ultimate Focus. Ford told journalists we need to drive the car just to appreciate the difference, the old Focus was already very good, so I really look forward to that opportunity.
This is Ford's re-invention of the Focus honed, re-engineered, improved, but with Ford still keeping the cars good value. With prices starting at £17300 that's £2000 below the model it replaces and with other models still priced lower than before. At the higher end with 1.0 EcoBoost, the ever popular Titanium starts at £21550-£22820 for Titanium X, and the 5-door Vignale starts at £25,450. The sporty ST-Line enters at £21570 and ST-Line X at £24050.
That isn't to say the All-New Focus won't get pricey, with all this tech it's possible to make a £30k Focus, the spec would be formidable.
The All-New Focus has re-set the bar for the selection of a sensible family car.
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