Ford hasn't done too bad with its Focus line. In 2012, it surpassed the Toyota Corolla as the world's best selling car model and, according to Ford, it still holds the crown with 12 million sold worldwide. The economical all-round commuter car enjoys a good reputation with reviewers and drivers, so it's not surprising that Ford doesn't go in for radical redesigns, but the company does tweak a bit now and then. This year at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford is unveiling its latest Focus with a slightly sleeker design package containing some new engine and other technologies for the European market.
Built with an eye on its competitor compacts, the new Focus has had a slight makeover with a lower, wider stance, a new bonnet, front fascia, headlamps, and grille. But if it has the look of a Mondeo or Fiesta, that’s not a coincidence, since the latest Focus is designed to conform to Ford’s global design language.
The latest Focus comes with a choice of engines offering an up to 19 percent reduction in fuel consumption for the diesel version and 17 percent for the petrol engine. It also sees the European debut of the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost petrol engine and the 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine
The interior of the 2015 Focus is marked by what Ford calls a more "intuitive" layout, with fewer controls and switches on the dash and steering wheel. The interior style shows off a new black satin trim and chrome detailing, there’s an adjustable storage space to hold bottles and cups of different sizes, and thicker engine insulation, carpets and glass for a quieter ride.
But what Ford is keenest to showcase with the Focus at Geneva is the technology that the company is rolling into the hot hatchback. The new Focus is the first car to carry Ford’s SYNC 2 system in Europe. The in-car connectivity system has an 8-inch color touch screen and voice control. It’s also the first time in Europe for a navigation system with a split-screen display, which provides not only street data, but can also access the Michelin guide and the the Michelin Green Guide.
Another feature is Perpendicular Parking, where ultrasonic sensors help the car seek out and steer into a parking space while the driver operates the accelerator and brake. Extra sensors have been added to help the car automatically steer out of parking spaces safely with the Cross Traffic Alert by giving warnings of approaching cars.
Meanwhile, the car's Active City Stop pre-charges brakes in anticipation of a collision and reduces engine torque, and automatically applies the brakes if it detects that a collision is imminent. In the new Focus, this works at up to 50 km/h (31 mph). The Focus also introduces to Europe the Pre-Collision Assist system, which works at longer distances and higher speeds than the current Active Stop, issuing driver warnings and applying brakes as needed.
The cruise control on the Focus includes Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control technology that allows the driver to set a distance from the car in front that the Focus will maintain. This is backed up by the Distance Alert that gives the driver a warning if the car ahead gets too close.
For parents, the Focus will also include MyKey technology for the first time, which will allow owners to set the car’s top speed and the audio system’s maximum volume, which should save a few neighbors’ sleep. It can also disable the car if the seatbelts aren't fastened.
The latest Focus goes on sale in the second half of this year.