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2012 Ford Focus

By Jim McCraw

On Sale: Early 2011
Expected Pricing: $17,000-$25,000

An all-new 2012 Ford Focus goes on sale early in 2011. Ford Motor Company revealed the upcoming Focus at the January 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The 2010 Focus is a C-sized small car rife with new technology, new powertrains and new customer features, some of which are not offered by other cars in this class. This is a huge market segment that accounts for 2 million units of production every year and includes the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Mazda 3, and the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze. The Focus has been a big success for Ford since its initial launch in 1998, selling more than 9.2 million cars worldwide from production plants in Germany, Russia, Spain, the Philippines, China, South Africa, and Vietnam.

In the U.S., the Focus will be available in five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions. In Europe, the Focus is also available as a three-door hatchback, including a 300-horsepower RS model.

The new Focus will be built around an entirely new Ford powertrain, starting with an all-aluminum 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that features both a Denso direct fuel injection system and TiVCT, twin independent variable camshaft timing, two features that, taken together, provide very smooth idle with high horsepower and torque numbers, as well as excellent fuel economy and emissions performance, numbers not revealed at the moment. Initial power figures are 155 horsepower and a 145 foot-pounds of torque using a very high 12:1 compression ratio, previously suitable only for racing engines. Later on, there will be a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost version of this engine offered to the performance-minded buyer, and still later, Ford may offer a common-rail direct-injection diesel version, already slated for Europe, a hybrid version, and a battery electric version.

All 2012 Focus models will use a new Ford six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a quick-shifting automatic that has no traditional torque converter and can be used as a manual transmission. The transmission will feature a hill-start feature that holds the brakes on for 2.5 seconds on inclines, allowing easier driving in hilly cities. The Focus uses front-wheel drive.

The new chassis will be steered around by electric power steering that takes no engine power to run and thus increases fuel mileage. Front and rear suspensions will be mounted on semi-isolated subframes to decrease nose, vibration and harshness, with a new independent rear suspension called control blade, a strut front suspension, and a torque-vectoring system that moves engine torque from side to side during cornering maneuvers to improve traction during turns and reduce understeer.

Ford says 55 percent of the body will be made of high-strength steel and 26 percent ultra-high-strength boron steel to pass all foreseeable crash standards around the world, and will come with seven air bags. Ford says the new Focus will be 25 percent stiffer overall than the outgoing car.\

A brand new interior design with a high-tech look goes with the all-new exterior designs. A completely new MyFord Touch control and display system will be offered on the new Focus, an improvement on the existing Sync system, with either two 4-inch screens, or one 4-inch screen and one 8-inch touch screen, with steering wheel buttons and voice activation to control climate, telephone, entertainment and navigation functions while the driver concentrates on the road ahead. The package includes Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, iPod and MP3 plugs. Other technologies will include a stop/start button for the engine, keyless entry, capless fuel filler, a rearview camera, and an automatic parallel-parking system.


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