Slimmer Outside, Roomier Inside — Ford Focus

Impact bumpers did no favors to this body design

Impact bumpers did no favors to this body design

The Ford Focus ST-Line, for Europe. The new Focus will reach showrooms in the autumn. Read on for five things you need to know.

In Europe, Ford will sell an off-road style version of the Focus created to compete with the Subaru XV, although it has not been confirmed for Australia. On the one hand it wants to offer more Focus variants in different markets; on the other, it wants to simplify the line-up.

In an attempt to elevate the Focus' premium feel, Ford has added soft-touch materials to the dashboard and door trims and polished glass and brushed finishes for the door trims and air vent surrounds.

Despite the new model undercutting the outgoing auto by £2,300 it's packed with latest gadgets. The list could go on...

The headlights, using a forward-facing camera, monitor lane markings for up to 65m ahead, enabling the lights to tilt and move to provide the driver with improved visibility on an approach to a corner, roundabout or junction. There are adaptive headlights that can turn the beam when the vehicle is going around corners.

Now in its 10th generation, the new Focus faces an even bigger challenge, making its pitch to coax drivers out of their crossovers and into something that Ford argues is just as practical. Ford says it did that with large pet carriers in mind.

Upgrades include a revised exterior, which appears to draw inspiration from the new Focus range, a new 1.5-litre "Ti-VCT" petrol engine, and additional luxury and technology features compared to the current model.

Two new diesel engines have also been made for the new Ford Focus, the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre EcoBlue, as well as a new eight-speed automatic for changing gear, the behaviour of which can be adjusted using a rotary dial. Outputs range from 95PS - 150PS, but there are few details about economy. There's also a 2.0 litre diesel with 148bhp.

The Ford Focus sedan, for China. As well as the estate, you can also get it as a five-door hatch, but like the last generation vehicle, you don't have the option of having it as a three-door. Some other markets will get a saloon version, but this will not be offered here. Moreover, the American brand has announced the price model for the United Kingdom market.

Outside, Ford said designers focused on aerodynamics, which should reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.

A suite of available safety features will also join the Focus lineup this year.

Fords have been renowned for their driving experience for some time - in fact it's one of the brand's key selling points. The same automatic steering technology will be used for Evasive Steering Assist, which Ford says will help the Focus navigate around potential obstacles when there's the risk of a collision.

And for the kids, or grown-up music fans, a new B&O PLAY sound system means music can be streamed via FordPass Connect or smartphone devices, through a 675 watt sound system. The next-generation Focus will be tailored to each global region.

Backseat passengers enjoy greater shoulder room, legroom and knee clearance thanks to an extended wheelbase and flat floor. This rises to £28,890 for a range-topping Vignale estate.

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