11 January 2010 - 12:00
New Ford Focus: it’s ALIVE!
The third generation Ford Focus is here. At least, it is in Detroit, unveiled yesterday at the North American International Auto Show.
See more pics of the new Focus
We won't see it on the road for a full year - the first new Focuses will arrive in Europe and North America initially in early 2011, says Ford - but hey, that just gives us plenty of time to get all excited about the car that Ford boss Alan Mullaly describes as his company's most important product in 25 years.
That's because the new Focus will be a properly global car: where previous versions have differed significantly from market to market, Ford says the third-gen Focus will be virtually identical across the world.
The Focus has always been one of the best-handling cars in its class (perhaps the very best-handling, in fact) and Ford says the third generation will be even better: the multilink rear suspension and subframes have been redesigned, and there's a new variable power steering system which should provide more feedback at speed.
There'll be the usual huge array of engines, of course, the most interesting of which is a new 1.6-litre ‘EcoBoost' turbo petrol engine which, says Ford, will provide more power than the existing 2.0-litre petrol, but with hugely improved emissions and economy.
But all the talk, we suspect, will concern the styling of the new Focus. We've avoided talking about it so far because, well, you have eyes and you can decide for yourself. Do you reckon the Focus's global aspirations have dulled its styling to the point of anonymity, or are you a fan of its Fiesta-meets-Mondeo lines? Discuss...