The Focus Vignale Concept is actually two cars in one – ideal for changing moods and environments.
Regardless of the weather, the Focus Vignale Concept conveys a strong emotional appeal that Ford designers believe will inspire longing and a touch of envy. As a stylish and sporty coupé that is just as appealing in autumn and winter months, the car brings elegance combined wîth rational attributes of luxury, comfort and safety.
Its profile is dynamic and distinctive, and promises the rewarding driving experience that comes as standard in all Ford cars.
Yet at the push of a button, the coupé transforms effortlessly into an open-top convertible. Its bootlid silently tilts open and its retractable hardtop folds backward to stow cleanly in the boot, morphing the vehicle to inspire carefree emotions of open-top, wind-in-the-hair motoring.
As the car assumes its open-top role, the quality of craftsmanship and premium materials is clearly evident, highlighted by well-executed design touches inspired by the heyday of the Italian sports car.
Just one of these design facets in the Focus Vignale Concept's sweeping profile is the door handle. A modern execution of designs found in Alfredo Vignale's spyders from the Sixties, it is elegantly sculpted in a lozenge shape of polished aluminium. Yet, unlike the Sixties original, a simple, intuitive finger push now activates the doorcatch electronically, allowing the door to be pulled open wîth style and attitude.
'The surfacing is fluid and appealing, punctuated by neat details,' said chief designer Kaoud. 'Your fingers want to caress its surfaces.'
Striking lines and bold body sections clearly build on the design language of the Focus production models. This foundation provided the concept design team wîth an opportunity unprecedented in the C-§egmènt to create a stunningly attractive coupé derivative without making awkward design concessions to the practical packaging difficulties inherent in a folding-top cabriolet.
'Some are ready to accept compromises in cars of this kind, but we weren't,' Kaoud added. 'Our approach was that this car should be beautiful as a sporty coupé first, because here in many areas of Europe customers drive these cars wîth the top up more than wîth the top down. Having a great-to-drive coupé which can then transform into a stylish convertible gives the Focus Vignale Concept its unique dual personality.'
The result of the Ford design team's work is a derivative model wîth a high degree of design coherence. Only cut lines visible at the base of the cleanly and fluidly shaped C-pillar betray the fact that the Focus Vignale Concept has a retractable top.
Finished in a subtly soft and light exterior colour, Amalfi, which evokes seaside freshness, the Focus Vignale Concept visually communicates sophistication and luxury.
The exterior is highlighted by the use of bright polished aluminium which evokes the chrome of past grand touring cars from Italy. A narrow, polished aluminium strip stretches horizontally along the length of the vehicle at its sills, emphasising the confidence of the vehicle's stance, and it is mirrored by another horizontal strip at the lower edge of the side window graphic.
The Focus Vignale Concept's glass panels are uniquely coloured in Acqua, a blue-green tint that adds an air of exclusivity to its personality and elegantly subdues hues inside the vehicle when it is in coupé mode. When the car transforms into a convertible, the resulting contrast when the sun streams onto the interior accentuates the concept vehicle's dual personality.
A new look grille, finished distinctively in chrome, also evokes a feeling that the Focus Vignale Concept could be from an expensive premium brand. Its horizontal bars clearly differentiate the concept vehicle from the new Focus range, hinting at a possible future design direction.
Lower aluminium touches continue at the front and rear of the vehicle, giving visual emphasis to front air ducts and rear exhaust outlets and adding a bold strip along the edge of the bootlid between the tail lamps.
Deep, passionately sculpted 20-inch wheels wîth wide, sweeping spokes provide an eye-pleasing combination of polished aluminium outer surfaces wîth machined aluminium on visible inner surfaces.
Emphasis on Luxury
Inside the Ford Focus Vignale Concept, the emphasis is on luxury and the same attention to craftsmanship found in the production Focus models.
'Leather and suede surfaces in Amalfi Light bring an airy feel that complements the spacious interior, which itself offers more generous rear-seat room than many C-§egmènt cabrios on the market today', said Interior Chief Designer, Narendra Karadia.
Subtle Acqua accents are also featured in the interior. Reminiscent of Italian sports cars' seat stitching, the contrast of underlying Acqua filetto treatments of Amalfi Light leather seat surfaces are a modern interpretation that conveys luxury and attention to detail. The seat inserts feature horizontal ribbing, another retro feature made more delicate and sophisticated in its contemporary execution.
The upper instrument panel is finished in Black Abalone-coloured leather, while the lower is Amalfi Light suede. Metallic accents on the door panels and §teering wheel spokes are another link to the exterior design.
'The Focus Vignale Concept interior benefits from fluid, coherent design, the use of premium materials and the higher level of craftsmanship found across the new Focus range,' said Karadia. 'It's a design execution that we hope will resonate wîth Paris visitors to generate a unique, inspirational appeal.'
Ford of Europe's Design Group created a special team at its Dunton, England, design studio to create the Ford Focus Vignale Concept. The team took advantage of powerful computer resources to design the concept vehicle entirely within the digital environment, and in record time.
'Its four-season character was created in record time to demonstrate the potential we have in the new Ford Focus range to design future niche derivatives,' said Chris Bird, Director of Design for Ford of Europe. 'We are lòòking forward to hearing the reaction to the car – we believe the Ford Focus Vignale Concept builds on all the strengths of the mainstream Focus, but has extra appeal in an emotive and visceral way. This, we believe, will be an especially appealing trait of future Fords.'Source - Ford Media
PARIS, September 23, 2004 – A surprise star headlines Ford's La Collection Focus at the 2004 Paris Motor Show: a concept car inspired by the new Ford Focus.
'The Ford Focus Vignale Concept is an elegant, stylish design model wîth a dual personality, design flair and contemporary details that hint at classic Italian sports cars,' says its chief designer, Ehab Kaoud.
Sitting alongside the all-new Focus production range as it makes its debut in Paris, the Focus Vignale Concept is a one-off design study that explores the potential for future Focus derivatives.
'We believe the dynamic design of the new Ford Focus offers tremendous promise from which we can develop additional models that truly inspire desire in our customers,' said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's European Vice President for Product Development. 'The Ford Focus Vignale Concept clearly demonstrates the intriguing possibilities to expand the all-new Focus family into specific niches.'
The Italian Connection
The Focus Vignale Concept takes its inspiration and name from the renowned Italian designer, Alfredo Vignale (1913 – 1969), who has an historical connection wîth Ford's European design heritage.
His Carrozzeria Vignale company produced many stylish, coachbuilt sports cars during the 1950's and 1960's and joined Ford Motor Company's De Tomaso Automobili in 1969.
Metamorphosis of Mood and Function
'Imagine. You get up early in the cool of a summer morning for a spirited drive in your coup é around those empty mountain roads . Then you head down to the coast for lunch, where the sun is hotter and the promenading crowds soak up the atmosphere watching people go by in their convertibles. That is exactly the kind of day this car is made for!'Source - Ford Media
PARIS, 23 September 2004 – Ford of Europe is introducing the all-new Ford Focus to the world's media and the French public at the 2004 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris. Ford's theme for the show, appropriately, is La Collection Focus. La Collection Focus debuts the all-new model as an entire family of vehicles. New 3-door, 5-door and wagon versions of the dynamic and stylish new Focus family will be revealed alongside the Ford Focus C-MAX, which the comprehensive new Focus family clearly embraces. A stylish new 4-door Focus is also previewed prior to its launch in early 2005.
' It is difficult to overstate the importance to Ford of the all-new Focus,' said Lewis Booth, Chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. 'This is true not just for Europe but also globally as the new Focus is central to Ford's plans in the rapidly growing Asian Pacific markets.
'The presentation of La Collection Focus in Paris is the first opportunity for the public to assess the new model and appreciate the unique blend of style, craftsmanship and affordable, relevant technologies that the new Focus family delivers.' Booth added.
After six years and 4 million sales worldwide, the original Focus is still one of Europe's top-selling cars and a benchmark for quality of driving and ownership experience in its class. The next generation model aims to deliver more: maturing in terms of involving and engaging its driver, while providing improvements for all occupants in terms of quality, craftsmanship, packaging and refinement.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW FORD FOCÚS RANGE EXTERIOR DESIGN: A DISTINCTIVE PROFILE
Sleek and sculpted lines flow across the new Focus range guaranteeing that, regardless of bodystyle, all models share a common design DNA.
The new model is unmistakably a Focus, retaining the original model's spirit of individuality from the rest of its §egmènt – wîth a fast, coupe-like profile for the 3-door and 5-door models and the sporty new wagon.
'Our target was to build a coherent and distinctive family of derivatives that would be successful designs in their own right,' said Chris Bird, Director of Design, Ford of Europe.
Slightly larger than its predecessor, the new Focus has a more muscular stance – highlighted by flared wheel arches that are more prominent and yet more integrated into the overall design. It appears to be hugging the road even when at a standstill, while the bold lines of Ford's ‘family' radiator grille, headlights and air dam – shared wîth Focus C-MAX – give the new Focus a purposeful personality. Sitting lower than on any other Ford vehicle, the ‘family' nose is steeply raked. From it the key lines of the body structures sweep up towards the rear – creating a hunched and athletic profile. From the low, wide styling of the nose, a power bulge arches back from the radiator grille to the A-pillars, set off wîth prominent ‘cheekbones' that are shared by all Focus models.
'The profile features two distinctive lines,' said Bird. 'First is the sharp crease that comes very tightly around the front wheel arch and actually runs the full length of the vehicle, which I believe expresses a ‘milled out of solid metal' look. Secondly, the very sharp line from the centre of the nose back over the whole length of the vehicle that highlights the fast lines of the A-pillar and the C-pillar across the range of body styles.'
Moving the front pillar forward 100mm in a steeper angle generates space and has a positive impact on crash protection, while from an external sculpting point of view it allowed the designers to give the new Focus family its unique silhouette.
Visually the most dramatic and obvious difference between Focus and its competitors is at the rear. Through ingenious packaging of the components beneath, Ford has innovated in creating a very fast profile at the rear, which allows the 3-door to look believable as a coupé as well as being a full-value 5-seater – a silhouette which is shared elegantly by the 5-door model. The wagon embodies this sporting sculpture, bringing a new elegance and purposeful stance to what remains an extremely functional and space efficient design. Claudio Messale, Chief Designer of the new Focus, says it incorporates 'a little Italian flair' of its own.
'As wîth the 3-door and 5-door models, we were able to achieve this because the centreline of the wagon is relatively upright, which not only forms the basis for the exterior sculpture but also allows for a large luggage compartment within the styling of the car,' Messale §äid. 'There was no compromise in what is now a functional yet very stylish vehicle.'
The sharp and sporting lines of the front and rear pillars give the new Focus its bold personality, every bit as dynamic as its predecessor but in a more refined and integrated manner. From within those lines the cockpit feel of the driving environment is nurtured, while still increasing the real world space available to driver and passengers.
'It is an entirely new way of lòòking at Focus but it remains clearly a Focus nonetheless, balancing that sportiness wîth functionality and practical daily living,' said Chris Bird. 'The body section is undoubtedly the fullest in the class, which allows us to create very successful derivatives. We have exactly the same overall length and wheelbase wîth the Focus as we do wîth the Focus C-MAX – very different designs that are still instantly recognisable as Fords wîth the high rear lamps, the solid-lòòking surfaces and premium quality appeal.'
PREVIEWING THE FOCÚS 4-DOOR: A SLEEK NEW ELEGANCE
Completing the range of body styles in the new Focus family, and being previewed at the Paris Motor Show, is the Focus 4-door. This model will go into production early in 2005.
The new Focus 4-door fully shares the dynamic and confident design DNA of the other members of the Focus family, creating an elegant yet modern shape that invigorates the traditional compact sedan market. 'The 4-door has benefited greatly from the approach we have taken at the front of the car,' said Bird. 'The bonnet flares out gracefully into the faster, elongated A-pillars, which in turn lead the flowing line back over the roof back to a very fast C-pillar that integrates a class-leading luggage compartment into a very elegant car that will definitely widen its appeal.'
Messale said the new design was driven by customer expectations. 'Today's c ustomer is more sophisticated and demanding, and new Focus was designed wîth the understanding that the tiniest touch can make the difference in executions . This is particularly true of the 4-door, for although a lot of people in Europe don't want a big car they do want something wîth status. The new Focus 4-door demonstrates that Ford can create an elegant car wîth fresh thinking.'
The new model shares the full body sectioning of the new family and the Focus-signature 'uptick' in the side window graphic. Iconic Focus styling at the rear of the new 4-door includes the sculpted licence plate recess and upper trim detail, while new rear light clusters mirror the lines of the headlights. A wide bootlid tapers gracefully to a recess in the rear bumper that provides an extremely low lift-over height into the generous boot.
The new Ford Focus 4-door has been designed to meet the needs and aspirations of not only Europeans but a rapidly increasing number of Asian customers.
The new Focus 4-door will play a key role in Ford's growing commitment to what is fast becoming the world's most dynamic and exciting market place – China and the Asia Pacific region. Medium sized 4-door passenger cars are at the core of these major markets, which now form the epicentre of global growth for the automotive .
'Cars developed by Ford of Europe are pivotal in the company's strategy to compete successfully and expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific and African markets,' Booth §äid. 'Our role promises to increase dramatically, and the new Focus 4-door model is paving the way.'
INTERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP: PREMIÚM ENVIRONMENT
'Delivering a premium quality driving environment was of prime importance,' said Adrian Whittle, Ford Focus Chief Programme Engineer. 'Inside the car this is borne out by the ‘cockpit' driving position, the ‘flow-through' instrument panel and console design and the use of carefully selected high quality materials. The goal was consistent: to give the driver an environment that communicated the Focus DNA. The Focus is still a real driver's car!'
The philosophy that sculpted the original Focus interior has matured wîth a graceful unity. Sights, sounds and textures all play a part in delivering the new range's interior refinements, but the interior of the new Focus remains a vibrant environment which sees an injection of colour.
Rich, bright blue is a new interior environment feature on Sport and Titanium models. Combined wîth a medium light stone colour in the lower half of the interior, the blue tone gives the Focus interior a warm and airy feel. Black remains an option on all models. The Focus interior and exterior colour teams worked closely together to ensure colour compatibility in the array of customer choices and series offerings, which now include five levels: Ambiente, Trend, Sport, Ghia and Titanium.
'In the past, premium quality finish has gone hand-in-hand wîth exclusive cost, but wîth the new Focus we are providing that same quality at an affordable cost and making the feeling of exclusivity more accessible,' said Mick McDonagh, Manager, Interior System Engineering.
The new Focus instantly reflects its design team's attention to the feel of the interior, both in terms of the look and feel of the materials used in the touch zones and the ambience created by the design, which very naturally forms the impression of each area being specifically fitted around the occupants. All interior materials in the new Focus range meet strict allergy-testing standards based upon TÜV (Toxproof) criteria – as does Focus C-MAX.
ADVANCED FEATÚRES: AFFORDABLE, RELEVANT TECHNOLOGIES
Focus also introduces several new technologies to the Ford range that are developed wîth an emphasis on relevance and affordability for customers, including:
KeyFree System – interacting directly wîth the car to unlock it without fumbling.
Solar Reflect Windshield – blocking nearly five times the level of solar radiation as standard tinted glass, significantly improving the efficiency of air conditioning.
Adaptive Front Lighting System – technology that guides headlight beams in line wîth the front wheels. Ford's approach uses halogen rather than xenon lamps, making the option less expensive and thereby affordable for a broader range of customers.
Blue Tooth™ Hands Free Phones – wireless technology that allows the connection of mobile telephones without compatibility issues.
Voice Control – hands-free command of audio, telephone, climate control, in-car entertainment and navigation systems.
In-Car Entertainment – optimised Ford systems are available throughout the range of series, wîth premium sound systems by Sony, featuring either a 6-disc in-dash changer or an MP3-capable single disc CD player wîth four 20-watt premium speakers that deliver a characteristic 'Sony Sound'.
Rear Seat Entertainment – MP3-enabled independent audio system available, wîth high-mounted screen for DVD or games consoles provided in the wagon.
DRIVING QÚALITY: BÚILDING ON SÚCCESS
The new Focus has been engineered to build on the dynamic capabilities of the original – carrying on the tradition of providing an ultra-stiff body shell, enhanced Control Blade rear suspension and stiff, new front chassis subframe – while making strides in comfort and refinement, including reduced noise and enhanced sound quality in a spacious cabin environment.
A longer wheelbase (by 25mm) and wider track (by 40mm) than its predecessor give the new Focus a sure-footed stance and an improved interior package. Knee room and shoulder room are more generous, and, despite the ‘fast' shape of the new Focus's roofline and rear decklid, rear-seat headroom remains generous and luggage capacity has been expanded by 10 per cent over the previous model to 385 litres.
Ergonomically the new Focus invites drivers to make themselves at home, from the high quality instrument panel to the centre console, which is very much the hub of the interior design. The interior's ‘cockpit feel' conveys the sense that the car is wrapped around its occupants and that everything they want is where it should be.
Focus engineers worked to lock out unwanted intrusions from wind noise and road rumble. The serenity of the driving environment is immediately clear, wîth 20 per cent thicker front door side glass, double door seals and lightweight foam insulation in the engine compartment and rear body cavities all working together to isolate unwanted environmental noise. Wind noise has been cut by 20 per cent on the road, making for class-leading performance, particularly in difficult wind conditions.
From the moment the engine is started, the absence of vibration in the seat, §teering wheel and gear lever is tangible in both Duratec petrol and Duratorq TDCi diesel variants. The car settles quickly into its low speed purr through the advanced insulation and tuning of the exhaust, intake and engine mounts.
On the move, the driver senses refinement, in which the engine sound is accompanied by much reduced road noise – even over rough or broken road surfaces – thanks to stiffer suspension attachments and rigorous development of the body and chassis systems.
Driving quality has been a Focus trademark from the beginning. The new Focus extends that strength to encompass the entire driving experience. Enhancements under the skin build on seven years of experience wîth the Control Blade rear suspension, and a stiff, new front subframe is the foundation for chassis elements that have undergone extensive tuning.
'To establish a benchmark for best-in-class agility, precision, comfort and stability, we evaluated the strongest ride and handling characteristics of the competitors,' said Jürgen Pützschler, Supervisor, Vehicle Dynamics. 'It quickly became clear that the best benchmark was still the original Focus.'
Drivers will appreciate enhancements in comfort that have been achieved in the new Focus without sacrificing its signature agility, stability and precise reaction to §teering inputs. The new chassis has been engineered to provide high levels of vibration isolation and stable, confidence-enhancing body control, making it reassuringly comfortable even on coarse roads.
The Focus body structure also plays a major role in the car's driving quality. It has been engineered wîth a 10 per cent increase in torsional stiffness over its class-leading predecessor.
Electric-hydraulic power-assisted §teering (EHPAS), on all but 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engine-equipped models, makes low speed manoeuvres easier while preserving precision on the open road. Larger diameter brakes also provide more ‘feel', enhanced emergency stopping power and longer brake pad life.
BODY STRÚCTÚRE: PREMIÚM CONSTRÚCTION
Robustness and manufacturing quality, attributes for which the Focus C-MAX has already been recognised, flow through the sculpture and engineering of the entire Focus family. Enhanced safety and premium build quality feature as strongly in the new Focus range as the class-leading dynamic prowess customers have come to expect.
Much of Ford's commitment to raising standards of quality – led by a robust body structure that provides solidity and security – will be unseen by the customer. Minute attention to detail has been applied to the car's construction, wîth analytical build-ups of the vehicle in both digital and physical form allowing further refinement and tuning of the build process.
Technicians at Ford assembly plants in Saarlouis, Germany, and Valencia, Spain, who delivered 3 million European Ford Focuses wîth award-winning build quality, have refined their processes wîth lessons from the first Focus and the Focus C-MAX.
Laser sighting and laser welding, state-of-the-art robot construction, specialist techniques and the latest technology, such as X-ray checking of welds, help give the new Focus exemplary build quality: panel gaps have been reduced to 3.5mm throughout the vehicle, wîth tolerances cut by one third to just 1mm.
FOCÚS SAFETY: NO COMPROMISE
Throughout the bodystyle range, the new Focus has a structure that was designed to protect its occupants within a lightweight and highly efficient survival cell. It is constructed from variable-gauge laser-welded panels of high strength steel. Both the occupant cell and surrounding envelope of energy absorbing crush zones have been rigorously tested in virtual and physical form, verified by the most powerful computers in the and tested in the state-of-the-art Volvo Safety Centre in Sweden.
Crash load paths through the body structure have been optimised for maximum energy absorption outside the passenger environment, both in straight frontal impacts against a rigid barrier and in offset crashes. More crush space has been achieved by a controlled detaching of stiff chassis components from the body structure underfloor, which allows the impact energy to pass beneath the rigid passenger cell, reducing the deceleration values for the occupants and avoiding deformation of the underfloor structure.
The structure includes such features as new compression members inside the door waist to reduce the A-pillar and instrument panel beam deformation and a new straight cross-car beam bolted between the A-pillars, which is designed to stabilise the body side structure and minimise the intrusion of the §teering column and pedals.
Focus is equipped wîth standard front air bags and optional thorax-protecting side air bags and inflatable side curtains, which deploy between the A and C pillars to provide protection in the event of a side impact.
POWERTRAINS: A WEALTH OF CHOICE
The new Focus pioneers Ford's new 115 PS, 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine – wîth twin independent variable camshaft technology – as part of a comprehensive powertrain line-up.
Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) improves airflow through the engine and delivers more torque while reducing average fuel consumption by up to 5 per cent. The new Duratec Ti-VCT augments the Focus family's broad petrol engine range that also includes 16-valve engines in displacements of 1.4 litres (80 PS), 1.6 litres (100 PS) and 2.0 litres (145 PS).
Focus also offers advanced, Duratorq TDCi high-pressure common-rail diesel engines. The range features 1.6-litre (109 PS) and 2.0-litre (136 PS) Duratorq TDCi choices, which made their debut in the Focus C-MAX. These lightweight, low-friction engines offer an optimal balance between strong torque at low engine speeds for smooth responsive driving fun and low fuel consumption – the 2.0-litre unit benefiting from Ford's six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) To meet and surpass emissions requirements both diesel engines will be available wîth a Diesel Particulate Filter.
Ford's new Durashift CVT Continuously Variable Transmission is available on models powered by the 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. Developed by Ford wîth ZF Transmissions, the Durashift CVT can switch between fully automatic and seven-speed manual selection. It cuts fuel consumption by up to 8 per cent over traditional four- or five-speed automatics. Focus also offers Durashift 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions and the Durashift 4-speed automatic.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FORD AT PARIS:
Flanking La Collection Focus during the second press day and all public days of the 2004 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris are a number of fresh products from Ford's other car lines, including Mondeo, Fiesta and Fusion. New Transit technology is featured in a separate commercial vehicle exhibit. Among the highlights are:
EXCITING FIESTA ST PREVIEWED
The new Ford Fiesta ST, an exciting new arrival to Ford's stable of affordable performance cars, appears at Paris prior to its introduction at the end of 2004. Developed by Ford's TeamRS and powered by a 150PS Duratec engine, the new Fiesta ST promises to offer the best all-around package in its class wîth unrivalled driving dynamics to impress performance enthusiasts. 'It is simply so much fun you just don't want to stop driving it,' said Nick Collins, project leader for TeamRS.
AFFORDABLE NEW FIESTA SPORT
The Fiesta range gains another sporting derivative wîth the announcement of the new Fiesta S (for ‘Sport'), the new baby brother to Fiesta ST. The Fiesta S shares visual and dynamic features wîth its faster sibling but has its own personality wîth a unique chassis and suspension set-up. Based on the three-door Fiesta, it is powered by a choice of two engines, the existing Fiesta Duratec 1.6L petrol, 100PS, 16-valve unit and the new Duratorq 1.6 litre TDCi, 90PS, 16-valve turbo-diesel. Fiesta S debuts in late 2004.
NEW 1.6 LITRE TDCi ENGINE COMES TO FIESTA AND FÚSION
A new 16-valve intercooled and turbocharged diesel power unit will be added to the Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion models this autumn, extending the comprehensive range of engines available wîth these small Fords. The new 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi (90 PS) gives Fiesta an entrant into what is a fast expanding small car diesel class.
This sub-§egmènt already accounts for around a quarter of all B-§egmènt diesel sales in the ÚK, Germany, France and Spain . Ford's small car also has a 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi and Duratec petrol power units ranging from 1.3 litres (68PS) through to 2.0 litres (150PS) when the Fiesta ST arrives.
MORE MONDEO CHOICE WITH NEW ENGINES AND TITANIÚM SERIES
Two new powertrains, launched in an exclusive and limited production series called Titanium X, strengthen the powerful presence of the Ford Mondeo in the European large car market. Designed to enhance Ford's penetration at the premium end of the §egmènt, Mondeo's new 2.2 litre 155 PS Duratorq TDCi engine boasts the highest power and torque outputs (360-400 Nm) for a four-cylinder diesel in its class. Petrol engine choice is also extended wîth a new 204 PS version of Ford's smooth and powerful Duratec V6 engine, derived from Mondeo ST220.
MORE POWERFÚL TRANSIT DIESELS
Two new engines and a new, slick-shifting, six-speed gearbox are now available on the Transit range, including the new, range topping 137 PS, 2.4-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. Apart from being the most powerful Transit diesel engine ever, the new TDCi unit boasts monumental torque of 375Nm at 2000 rpm, to add a new dimension to driveability. It was created to satisfy an increasing demand for more powerful and refined panel vans capable of consuming vast distances on Europe's major roads. Also new is a 2.4-litre Duratorq TDdi engine (115 PS) wîth different performance characteristics and improved fuel-efficiency over the outgoing 125PS 2.4 TDdi Duratorq engine in the Transit range.Source - Ford
FORD FOCUS: QUALITY, PERFORMANCE AND REFINEMENT
'It's more than fitting that we kick off our Year of the Car wîth Ford Focus – one of the highest quality cars on the road today. With the 2005 Focus, we have taken a great car and made it better. Our newest addition, the 2005 Focus ZX4 ST sedan, has a performance suspension that borrows key components from the SVT Focus and our European Focus ST170, and it's powered by a smooth revving 2.3-liter engine that we certify to a level twice as clean as the Últra-Low Emissions Vehicle standard.'
– Phil Martens, Group Vice President, Product Creation, Ford North America
The Ford Focus, a favorite of enthusiast drivers and now recognized as one of the highest quality small cars available, will receive major design and engineering improvements for the 2005 model year.
Focus is one of six new Ford and Lincoln-Mercury cars that will launch in 2004. It follows the complete redesign of the company's sport utility vehicles that began in 2002 and the launch of two new minivans and the all-new F-150 pickup in 2003.
Since Focus' North American launch as a 2000 model, auto enthusiasts have frequently praised the car's sporty handling, modern design and exceptionally roomy cabin. In subsequent model years, Ford advanced the basic concept and improved quality. Today, J.D. Power and Associates ranks Focus well above the average in its Initial Quality Study.
Focus Chief Engineer John Sidelko's priority for 2005 was to add more refinement to areas that customers can see and make a bold statement in places they feel and hear – particularly in the 'stop and go' departments.
'We refined the Focus' exterior styling and gave it a smart new interior wîth a very clean, very contemporary instrument panel design. We took a great handling car and made it steer, ride and stop better. And we backed up a great chassis wîth some of the most sophisticated, powerful and ‘green' four-cylinder engines you can buy in any car,' he §äid.
For 2005, Focus will again offer four unique body styles but wîth new, simpler model and trim designations. The range includes a three-door hatchback (ZX3), a four-door sedan (ZX4), a five-door hatchback (ZX5) and a station wagon (ZXW). The entry-level trim series is S, followed by SE and SES, which have higher levels of standard equipment and unique options.
New for 2005, a Focus ZX4 ST performance sedan has been added to the line-up. This sedan will marry chassis components from Ford of Europe's Focus ST170 and the SVT Focus wîth a 151-horsepower, 2.3-liter Duratec engine.
Cleaner, Greener and Meaner Engines
The 2005 Focus, like all other vehicles Ford will launch in 2004, will benefit from the company's 'Revolution Únder the Hood' – a massive undertaking that began about four years ago to improve powertrain performance, refinement, fuel economy and emissions.
Ford estimates the 2005 Focus fleet will produce 32 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than its 2004 fleet – which was already exceptionally clean. But at the same time, base horsepower will rise 24 percent and fuel economy is expected to improve slightly.
Three engines will be offered:
• A new 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter Duratec 20 dual overhead cam, in-line four-cylinder (I-4) engine replaces both the base 110-horsepower, 2.0-liter single overhead cam I-4 engine and the available 130-horsepower, 2.0-liter Zetec DOHC I-4 engines offered since Focus' North American debut in 2000.
• In California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, a super-clean 20E version of the Duratec 20 is the standard engine. All Focuses powered by the Duratec 20E meet California's Super Últra Low Emissions Vehicle tailpipe standard and have zero fuel system evaporative emissions to qualify as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle. This means the 20E version of Focus is cleaner than some hybrid electric vehicles.
• A 151-horsepower 2.3-liter Duratec 23 DOHC I-4 engine will power the new Focus ZX4 ST performance sedan, which will be available in all 50 states. This free-revving engine is derived from the same family as the Duratec 20, but its larger displacement and performance-tuned exhaust help it produce 10 percent more horsepower. Torque is 154 foot-pounds, a 16 percent increase, for exceptionally strong off-the-line and mid-range acceleration. The Duratec 20 and 20E are available wîth a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Focus ZX4 ST is offered wîth the Duratec 23 engine and a five-speed manual.
Modern and Refined Design
Every 2005 Focus receives a new front-end treatment that echoes cues from Ford's new flagship sedan, the Five Hundred, which was unveiled at the 2004 North American International Auto Show.
Focus designer Larry Erickson calls the look more 'upscale' and 'aspirational.' The new hood and fenders fall away less sharply than the original design, so the car appears more substantial, particularly in a three-quarter view. Detail changes include new headlamps wîth reshaped clear lenses, a larger grille wîth a new diamond pattern ringed in chrome and a new fascia that incorporates a wide lower air intake and new, round fog lamps.
To better resist dents and dings, a new, harder steel alloy is used for the hood, and the plastic fascia is 11 percent thicker. Sedan models also receive new taillamps and a new rear bumper fascia that looks sportier and has a more finely detailed lower valance.
The most dramatic design departure from the original Focus, however, is the car's new interior. The instrument panel is an all-new design that directly reflects the priorities Ford has set for its interiors: clean and modern lòòking, highly functional and built of high-quality materials.
'Úsing simpler forms and straightforward, easy-to-use instruments and controls allows you to achieve a very high level of craftsmanship,' said Erickson. 'We then use color and texture to create a personality for each vehicle.'
The instrument panel is symmetrical; the driver and front passenger areas are divided by two rectangular climate control registers, the hazard switch and a shallow center stack for the audio and climate control systems.
Four different interior color themes are offered across the model lineup. A monochromatic Charcoal environment is offered on Focus ZX4 ST, ZX3 and ZX5. All models except Focus ZX4 ST offer a two-tone Flint interior; Focus ZX4 and ZXW also offer a two-tone Pebble interior. On two-tone models, the lower portions of the instrument panel and door trim panels are finished in a lighter shade to create an open feeling in the cabin. Both cloth and leather seating surfaces are available; Focus ZX4 ST offers unique woven fabrics or preferred suede seating surfaces wîth leather trim.
Several storage areas were designed into the new instrument panel, including a large glove box, a storage drawer for six compact discs, located by the driver's left knee, and an open storage space located just below the climate control dials.
A standard floor console houses the shifter assembly, two cup holders, the parking brake lever and controls for certain optional features, including the traction control system. An overhead console, that includes a sunglass holder and space for a garage door opener is a new option. Additional storage can be found in the front doors, which now include molded-in bottle or cup holders.
Chassis Refinements Build on Focus Strength
The soul of every Focus is its chassis. Rack-and-pinion §teering and a four-wheel independent suspension that uses MacPherson struts in front and a multilink Control Blade design in the rear combine to deliver nimble handling wîth a smooth, well-controlled ride.
Entry-level S models now ride on 15-inch steel wheels and all-season tires, instead of 14-inch designs. Fifteen- and 16-inch alloy wheels are available on the SE and SES series.
SES series sedans and hatchbacks, the ST sedan and the SE wagon are fitted wîth a 21mm front and 20mm rear stabilizer bars for even sharper §teering turn in, reduced body roll and better tracking. The rear stabilizer bar also allows lower rear spring rates to be used for good ride quality.
Focus ZX4 ST delivers an even higher level of performance. It rides on unique 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, Pirelli P205/50R16 all-season radials and uses the same front struts and rear shocks as the European Focus ST170 and the 2004 Focus SVT. These struts and rear shocks are about 50 percent stiffer than the ones used wîth the SE and SES suspension.
Customers already familiar wîth Focus' dynamic capabilities will notice an even higher level of braking performance. Most models continue to use a combination of front disc and rear drum brakes. But for 2005, new brake linings are used, and total brake swept area is increased by 17 percent, thanks to a 1-inch increase in front rotor diameter to 10.9 inches.
The new linings have a less aggressive initial 'bite' but cover a larger swept area. The new system is responsive and easy to modulate. In addition, the linings will be quieter, last longer and generate less black brake dust than the old design. The larger rotors are expected to improve brake cooling performance and rotor durability under severe duty.
The ST model uses the same front brakes but adds rear-wheel disc brakes, which are more responsive than drum brakes.
Comfort, Safety and Convenience – No Matter the Budget
Focus has always been distinguished from other small cars by the range of models, features and options that make the car attractive to everyone from entry-level customers to performance enthusiasts. For 2005, the models, options and packages are simplified to make ordering easier.
With an eye towards safety, Focus uses the latest occupant-sensing technology for the front passenger seat. In certain frontal impacts, this system will turn the front-passenger air bag on or off after determining whether the seat is occupied by an adult or a child. Ford continues to recommend that children under 12 ride in the back seat secured by a safety belt or child safety seat.
Side-impact air bags are optional on all series. Other available equipment (depending on model) includes a four-speed automatic transmission, antilock brakes wîth traction control, power moonroof, leather seating surfaces, heated seats, perimeter alarm and an Audiophile sound system wîth Sony speakers and subwoofer.Source - Ford
ONE MILLIONTH FORD FOCUS STARS AT BRITISH SHOW
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 12 July, 2006 – Sales of Britain's top-selling car have broken seven figures, wîth car number 1,000,000 on display at the British International Motor Show. The 1,000,000th Focus sold in Britain is a five-door, bio-ethanol flexi-fuel vehicle (FFV), and will be handed to its new owner by Ford of Britain chairman Roelant de Waard at the British International Motor Show on Tuesday.
Roelant said: 'Ford has developed a real winner wîth the Focus. Top of the bestsellers list for eight years proves its amazing popularity wîth British motorists. The Ford Focus was first wîth a flexible fuel vehicle in its range. I'm delighted we have found another Ford Focus FFV customer who will be joining us on motor show press day.'
The Ford Focus has been Britain's best-selling car for its entire lifetime. When the original went on sale in 1998, it transformed family motoring. With cutting edge styling, exceptional driving dynamics, practicality and value for money, it hit 100,000 sales in just 12 months.
The Focus was initially launched in three and five-door versions, but four-door and estate models soon followed. In 2002 the iconic 215PS, WRC-inspired Focus RS rolled off the production line and British customers snapped up 2,147 of the 4,500 produced for Europe. In 2003 the Focus C-MAX multi-activity vehicle was launched.
An all-new Focus arrived in 2004 and just 12 months later the fastest ever production Focus went on sale: the 220PS Focus ST. At the same time a bio-ethanol version of Focus badged Flexi Fuel Vehicle (FFV) was introduced and in 2006 the Focus family will expand once more wîth the stylish Coupe Cabriolet due to go on sale in October.
• 1,000,000 Ford Focus models from its debut at the 1998 British International Motor Show to this year's show
• Favourite body style is five-door hatch, accounting for 32 per cent of sales
• Next favourite is the five-door Focus C-MAX Multi-Activity Vehicle (27.5 per cent of sales), followed by three-door hatch (20 per cent), estate (14.5 per cent) and four-door saloon (six per cent)
• Blue is currently the most popular Ford Focus colour (33 per cent), wîth silver not far behind on 31 per cent .
• 15 per cent of Focus cars are black. Red, accounts for five per cent of the range
• Most blue Focus models were bought at Ford dealers in the Hounslow area of Middlesex, Leicester and Úxbridge, also in Middlesex
• Leicester is the number one home of the grey Ford Focus
• Ford employees take the biggest share of racy red Ford Focus sales, which are registered in Brentwood, Essex – home of Ford of Britain HQ Source - Ford
FOCUS ON FOCUS
There's a reason Ford's small car is making headlines.
The Ford Focus has been garnering a lot of attention lately. The Ford Focus earned the top rating in the compact car §egmènt in the 2006 AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards. CNNMoney.com named the Focus one of its '2006 Best Cars for Teen Drivers.' Focus sales have increased steadily in 2006, driven in part by higher gas prices. May sales of 20,391 were up 13 percent over the same month a year ago.
The Focus' appeal goes beyond fuel economy and affordability. Focus customers can choose from four body styles: three-door and five-door hatchbacks, a sedan and a wagon. The wagon offers 73.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seat. For those seeking a little more sport in their small car, the ST version includes such features as a sport-tuned suspension, ground effects and two-tone red and black seats.
Three engine choices include a 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter, Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) inline four-cylinder (I-4) and a 151-horsepower, 2.3-liter Duratec 23 DOHC I-4. Customers in California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine can opt for a super-clean, 130-horsepower Duratec 20E that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle. The 20E version of Focus is cleaner than some hybrid gas-electric vehicles. The Focus also offers a choice of a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The Focus interior is clean and modern-lòòking, highly functional and built of high-quality materials. Storage areas include a drawer for six compact discs, located by the driver's left knee, and an open space just below the climate control dials. Focus has two cup holders molded into the console and a beverage holder molded into each front door. A CD and MP3 player is standard across the Focus lineup.
Focus adds even more options for 2007. Customers can choose leather-trimmed sport seats wîth contrasting leather inserts on the ST sedan, as well as on all the SE and SES models except the wagon. The Street Appearance Package's unique body-color fascia wîth fog lamps and lower air deflector, body-color rear bumper trim wîth black diffuser insert and bright exhaust tip give the Focus an aggressive, customized tuner look.
Two colors are added to the palette for 2007. Choose from Kiwi Green Clearcoat Metallic and Aqua Blue Clearcoat Metallic.Source - Ford
'FORD FOCUS WRC SIMULATOR' DELIVERS REAL WORLD EXCITEMENT OF CHAMPIONSHIP AUTO RACING
The 'Ford Focus WRC Simulator ' will bring the thrills and excitement of championship auto racing to the 28th Bangkok International Motor Show through the driver's seat of its Ford Focus WRC – winner of the World Rally Championship 2006. The Simulator will make an advance-public preview at Siam Paragon's Auto Gallery, 2nd Floor, from March 23-25. Bangkok, Thailand, March 23, 2007 - Ford Thailand is bringing the real-world thrills and excitement of championship auto racing to Thailand wîth the debut of its 'Ford Focus WRC Simulator '. Demonstrations will be open to the public at Siam Paragon's Auto Gallery (2nd Fl.) until March 25, and the Simulator will move to Ford's booth at the 28th Bangkok International Motor Show at BITEC from March 30-April 8, to give attendees the ride of their life without ever leaving the show floor.
The Ford Focus WRC Simulator, which Ford showcases around the world during the auto 's biggest events, was imported from the ÚK especially for the Thai public to enjoy during the Bangkok International Motor Show. The built-in simulator puts willing and eager volunteers in the driver's seat of the Ford Focus WRC car – winner of the World Rally Championship 2006 – to experience, first-hand, the excitement of professional WRC racing .
The Simulator is designed wîth exact specifications of the real Ford Focus rally car, and the action is simulated wîth Sony Play Station software and specially installed sensors that provide the visual, audio and varying physical effects of a real racing experience. Drivers who get behind the Simulator's wheel will have their performance and time recorded, so winners can be determined.
Mr. Piemsuk Suthapreeda, Brand Manager – Passenger Cars, Ford Thailand, said, 'The Ford Focus WRC Simulator was built to celebrate the success of the Ford Focus WRC at the World Rally Championship 2006. The Ford Simulator will give Thai motor sport fans the unique and enviable opportunity of experiencing the power, speed, sounds and sensations of true championship racing. It will also give them something truly memorable to take home from the Motor Show.'
The World Rally Championship (WRC) is the only motor sport worldwide where real-world road cars are used to compete. It's also one of the automotive world's biggest and most challenging rallies, where only the most durable and high-performance cars can compete. So WRC cars, like the Ford Focus, have been modified to enhance their performance and ability to handle various challenging road conditions, ranging from smooth asphalt, to snow and ice, and rutted boulder-strewn tracks. Each season of the WRC runs for 12 consecutive months and includes 16 rounds of rallies on five continents.
'Winning the WRC is clearly highlights the underlying durability, reliability and performance of the Ford Focus, especially its superior suspension and handling, its powerful, high-performance engine, and its aerodynamic design that significantly improves its speed,' said Mr. Suthapreeda.
Bangkok International Motor Show – Ford Focus WRC Challenge
During the 10-day Bangkok International Motor Show, Ford will organize the 'Ford Focus WRC Challenge,' wîth a limited number of customers eligible to participate. Customers who fill out a provided application form will have the opportunity to compete for each day's highest score. Special prizes will be awarded from the Puma shoes, and daily winners will compete for the Grand prize of a Sony Play Station on the final day of the Show.
Ms. Duangkamon Isarapandh, Public Affairs Director, Ford Thailand, said that Ford's theme at this year's Show will reflect its recently launched 'Make Every Day Exciting' campaign. The booth will highlight Ford's brand image in a creative and colorful atmosphere, and present the personality and benefits of both its vehicles and aftersales services in a friendly and approachable way.
'Our booth is designed to enhance Ford's brand image and personality as warm, friendly, and energetic, and one that gives peace of mind to our customers. The activities we've prepared and the presentation of our vehicles will help highlight the unique ways that Ford helps to make every day of our customers' lives exciting,' said Ms. Isaraphand.
Ford will also introduce a new customer service program at the Show – Ford Solutions – which will continue to strengthen its aftersales service offerings.
Ford Solutions offers the largest variety of programs of any extended-warranty service in the Thai market, helping give Ford customers' peace of mind and worry-free driving. Each program is designed to provide world-class coverage to customers when and where it might be needed, whether it's warranty protection, road-side assistance or first-class insurance. Ford Solutions customers are guaranteed authentic Ford spare parts, maintenance performed by certified Ford technicians, and the convenience of one-stop service.
'Our new 'Make Every Day Exciting' campaign illustrates the active role of the Ford brand and Ford vehicles in their lives of our customers, and our booth really highlights that genuine and direct connection,' Mr. Isaraphand concluded.Source - Ford
FORD FOCUS WINS 'BIO AWARDS' AT MOTOR EXPO
• Visitors to the Motor Expo 2006 voted Ford Focus the best in terms of environmental friendliness.
• Ford Focus is the country's first passenger car that is capable of running on either gasoline or gasohol wîth up to 20% ethanol blend and the country's best-selling sedan in 2006.
• Ford Focus has also proven its power by winning the World Rally Championship Mnufacturer's title in 2006 by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.
Bangkok, Thailand, February 23, 2007 – Ford Thailand has added another award to its collection when its E20-capable Ford Focus was voted by the visitors at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2006 the winner of the 'Bio Award', an award presented to the passenger car that best suite the event's theme of the year which is 'biofuel vehicles'.
Ms. Duangkamon Isarapandh, Public Affairs Director , Ford Thailand, said, 'Ford Focus is not just a fashion car, but an environmentally friendly and powerful passenger car. The BIO Award is clear proof of Ford's commitment to innovative product development based on environmental responsibility and our intention to campaign for public participation in environmental conservation.'
Ford Focus is the country's first passenger car that can support both gasoline and gasohol wîth up to 20 percent ethanol blend (E20). Its E20-capable engine not only saves fuel costs but also effectively reduces emission and the country's dependency on import oil because ethanol can be produced from locally grown crops.
With its environmental friendliness, European styling and superior ride and handling, Ford Focus became Thailand's 4 th best selling passenger car of 2006. Its total sales throughout the first 14 months after November 2005 launch were 5,466 units. The sedan has also won several awards including the Car of the Year 2006 in both 1.8L 4-door model and the 2.0L 5-door model category at the Bangkok International Motor Show 2006.
In addition, Ford Focus is second to none in terms of performance. The Focus RS WRC 2006, a modified version for rally, recently won the World Rally Championship's Manufacturer's title for 2006.
'These accomplishments, be it the awards for quality, design, environment or power, are the pride of Ford, the manufacturer, as well as all the owners. Ford Focus is ready to 'Make Every Day Exciting' for all customers by helping them enjoy all aspects of lives,' said Ms. Isarapandh.Source - Ford
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