Ford officially pulled the wraps off their next-generation Focus at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday. Finally, America gets the car the rest of the world has enjoyed for years!
First off let me get this off my chest: I’m already in love! I happen to really like the current generation Focus being sold in Europe (including of course the absolutely insane Focus RS). I’ll never understand why Ford in all their infinite wisdom (that was sarcasm by the way) never brought that generation here to the US. However, that’s all water under the bridge now, as Ford is finally making good here and making ONE Focus for the world. That means we hopefully get the first Focus that drives well, looks good, and lasts. The quality control issues we’ve had with American cars should be a thing of the past, as Ford says the new Focus will be built to the same specs, methods, and standards across the board.
We get two body styles here in the US when the Focus starts hitting showroom floors sometime in early 2011: A four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. And I have to say, both iterations look great. I’m particularly drawn to the hatch, but that may be due to the fact that I’m a hatch fan! One thing I love about Ford’s European “Kinetic” design style (which all modern Fords have been designed from, over the pond anyway) is the front end. I love particularly the shape of the headlights, and the way they are placed in relation to the split front grille. I think overall the front end has a nice aggressive look, although it does come off as a bit “bucktooh-ish”. The bulges in the fenders are also a plus! In the future, there are talks of maybe a three-door hatchback, as well as a convertible with a folding metal roof. Did someone say three door hatch? DO WANT!!
As much as I love the exterior, I love the interior even more. It’s really good-looking. And while a lot of people wont like the cluttered look of it, I happen to enjoy it. I love having a lot of buttons, knobs, and displays. Although I will admit that the steering wheel may have too much going on. I REALLY like the touch-screen layout, and also the information display in the center of the gauge cluster. I really think that kind of information display should be standard on ALL cars. As well as touchscreen media centers (doesn’t have to be navigation).
The downer for me though is the initial engine we get at release. It’s said to be a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder, producing an estimated 155hp and 145 lbs-ft torque. However, if the engine sounds rather mundane, it’s supposed to be the base for Fords upcoming Ecoboost four-cylinder. For those not in the know, Ecoboost is Fords line of direct-injected turbocharged engines, that make power without breaking the fuel-consumption bank. And although no official word, I think it’s inevitable that we get that as an option in the future, maybe as an ST? The transmission choices however make up for the engine: a 6-speed manual is the standard with a 6-speed dual-clutch as the option. No traditional torque-converter automatic will be offered, which I think is awesome! Many purists may scoff, but I happen to really like dual-clutch boxes. If you can get used to them when parking and such, the benefits really out-weigh the drawbacks IMO.
No word on price yet, but they are planning on competing with cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, so I would think base models would start at just under 20K. Also, I know you were wondering like me, there are no announcements for an RS version. But come on Ford, you HAVE to bring the RS version here to the states, you just have to! Please!!
All that being said, the Focus is a car I’m genuinely excited to try out for myself. You already know my view on the Fiesta, and I feel the same way about the Focus. In fact, I think the Focus is a car I would genuinely consider purchasing as well, especially if they make a three-door hatch version, or an RS (again, PLEASE FORD MAKE ONE!!)! But my preferences aside, I really think the Focus (if it isn’t the Fiesta of course) will be the car that makes people finally look away from the common, boring Japanese boxes-on-wheels. And I’m hoping, like they’re know for in Europe, that Ford makes cars that are just good-fun to drive. Because as you know, that’s all there is to it for me.
Head over to Autoblog for the full details, and enjoy the pics!