The subsequent-generation Ford Focus is not distant, and Ford has delivered an early Christmas current within the type of the primary official picture of its subsequent bread and butter household hatchback, forward of its anticipated full reveal subsequent spring.
Although the image would not reveal something new in comparison with our most up-to-date spy pictures, it does verify that the fourth-generation Focus is now simply across the nook. It will be an enormous automotive for Ford within the UK; the ageing third-generation mannequin continues to be one of many nation’s high sellers, and it will prop up the all-new Fiesta, which Ford hopes will proceed in the identical vein because the earlier supermini as Britain’s best-selling automotive.
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The check mule bares the hashtag #TimeToFocus, which is able to doubtless be the marketing campaign slogan for its official launch.
On the entrance there is a new grille, which seems taller than the earlier technology’s. Spy pictures present a straight bar entrance grille, differing from the hexagonal grille noticed on a Focus property check mule on the Nurburgring earlier this 12 months.
The brand new LED head and taillights additionally function prominently on the newest check automotive, along with angular entrance fog lamps beneath the headlights.
Beforehand, the usual hatchback Focus was seen testing on public roads in the USA and Europe, with Ford slowly peeling again the masks on its subsequent Vauxhall Astra rival. As beforehand talked about, an property model was additionally seen doing efficiency testing on the Nurburgring.
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Two roof bars have been appropriately fitted to the Focus property mule. Greater wheels and decrease profile tyres additionally featured on the check automotive, hinting in the direction of a attainable ST model additional down the pipeline. It will additionally clarify why an property automotive can be lapping the 12.Eight-mile ‘Inexperienced Hell’.
Across the again we will see in plain daylight the brand new taillights coming the way in which of the subsequent Focus, with a brand new horizontal look mimicking those fitted to the brand new Fiesta.
The brand new automotive will usher in an evolutionary design fairly than introducing an entire new design language, comparable in vein to the brand new Fiesta. An easier inside with a much less cluttered centre console is deliberate, alongside a distinguished centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system sprouting from the dashboard.
The present third technology of the Focus has confronted ever-tougher competitors throughout its lifetime – not simply from the likes of its age-old rival, the Astra, which has shed weight to rediscover a dealing with sweetness it has lacked for years but in addition from the increase of ‘way of life’ autos, like child SUVs and bigger crossovers.
The Mk3 Focus moved away from the ultra-crisp dealing with of its predecessors as a result of it was, a minimum of partially, a worldwide mannequin designed and engineered as a part of the ‘One Ford’ program, catering to all wants. The brand new mannequin – previewed in our unique pictures – might be bought globally, too, however Ford seems to be prioritising European tastes in its improvement.
In a key transfer that reveals the significance being positioned on the brand new technology, Darren Palmer has been put answerable for the challenge. The Briton is rated extremely inside Ford for his work on the not too long ago revealed Mk7 Fiesta and the cheaper, Indian-built Ka+ that sits slightly below it within the vary.
Underneath the pores and skin, the Focus is prone to retain the prevailing model’s International C-car platform. Nevertheless, Palmer’s workforce may have been given a short to verify the set-up retains suspension consolation, whereas rediscovering extra of the dealing with agility that made the Mk1 and Mk2 vehicles so standard.
Ford is prone to enhance its wheelbase very barely in a bid to enhance inside packaging, particularly for rear-seat occupants. As such, Palmer and his engineers will flip to parts just like the power-steering set-up, the entrance suspension geometry and tips like stiffer rear suspension bushes in a bid to extend dealing with verve. On the identical time, count on better use of high-tensile metal within the automotive’s building, to assist it lose a couple of kilos.
Considerably, the Focus vary might be cut up into the identical ‘differentiators’ as the brand new Fiesta line-up. Cheaper editions may very well be dropped altogether – a mirrored image of the truth that the Fiesta vary now extends to greater value factors than earlier than. The remaining fashions will embrace the sport-focused ST-Line and the extra luxurious Vignale, which additionally brings perks on the customer support aspect.
There can even be an Energetic model of the automotive, giving Ford a competitor for the VW Golf Alltrack, and supplementing the EcoSport child SUV and Kuga household SUV within the model’s line-up. The Focus Energetic will function barely raised journey peak and extra physique cladding, in the identical style because the Fiesta.
Ford Europe boss Jim Farley instructed Auto Specific: “The Fiesta goes to be the 1st step, however I feel we’ll proceed to have a look at these [Active editions].” Not like the Fiesta variant, the Focus Energetic may very well be provided with four-wheel drive – though will probably be front-wheel drive by default.
• Extra Ford Energetic fashions will observe after Fiesta debut
The engine line-up might be primarily based on Ford’s 1.Zero-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine – the EcoBoost. Anticipate a minimum of three completely different energy outputs to be provided, beginning at 99bhp and transferring as much as 123bhp and 138bhp.
Relying on how profitable engineers are with the Focus’s eating regimen, it’s attainable Ford might additionally provide an entry-level version with the highest-output model of its new three-cylinder non-turbo engine, producing 84bhp. The preferred diesel choices might be a 1.5-litre with 84bhp or 118bhp, though Ford continues to be prone to provide the automotive with a high-output 2.Zero-litre TDCi.
The brand new Focus can also be all however sure to be one of many 13 electrified vehicles that Ford CEO and president Mark Fields has promised earlier than the tip of the last decade. The International C-car platform was engineered with hybrid and pure-electric makes use of in thoughts, and progress in battery know-how might effectively imply Ford affords each of these options, as a substitute of the present automotive’s single EV version.
This could give the Focus vary attraction towards the newest VW e-Golf and the ever-expanding line-up of hybrid household vehicles, such because the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro.
What do you consider our unique Ford Focus pictures? Tell us under…