The next-generation Ford Focus made its worldwide debut today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. One of the key highlights is that Ford's new C-segment competitor with rivals such as the VW Golf / Jetta, Chevy Cruze, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, is that it will be nearly identical in all markets sharing 80 per cent of its parts around the world.
At Detroit, Ford showed off the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of the new global Focus. Both models share the same styling that marks the next evolution of Ford's kinetic design form language.
That translates to a crispier and more dynamic design that combines styling features seen in the new Fiesta and the European Mondeo.
The same can be said about the Focus' interior design that was previewed through the MPV variants of the car, the five-seat C-MAX (Europe) and seven-seat Grand C-MAX (Europe and North America).
Ford says that one of the key elements of the interior is the quality of craftsmanship with the soft-touch materials and the choice of trim all helping to give occupants "the feeling that they are travelling in a higher-class car".
The new Focus has been developed by a global team, led from the firm's European small and medium vehicle centre in Merkenich, near Cologne, Germany, with powertrain development spearheaded by the company's technical centre in Dunton, England
Underneath, the 2011 Focus makes use of Ford's new mid-sized architecture. The company claims that the Focus will raise the benchmark in handling once more blending "outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control."
The 2011 Focus sticks with front-wheel drive, powered by a new family of engines. European buyers will get 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter Ecoboost turbocharged petrol units as well as improved Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesels offering reductions in fuel consumption between 10 and 20 per cent over the outgoing models.
In North America, the Focus will be offered with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) and direct injection (DI) delivering an estimated output of 155-horsepower and 145 ft.-lb. of torque.
Depending on the market, the engines will be linked to either manual gearboxes and Ford's new dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission designed to deliver better fuel economy than comparable automatics.
Production of the next-generation Ford Focus will begin simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010, with sales set to start globally in 2011. Ford said that initial production will be concentrated at the Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (United States) and Chongqing (China) Assembly Plants.
Within the next two to three years, the Focus range will expand to include a three-door hatchback, a station-wagon and quite possibly, a coupe-convertible model, though it remains to be seen if these variants will be sold in all markets.