2008 FORD FOCUS DEMONSTRATES FORD'S COMMITMENT TO SMALL CARS
- The 2008 Ford Focus brings a bold design, modern interior, improved driving dynamics and competitive fuel economy to the growing small car market.
- All-new exterior design strikes an exciting pose in two-door coupe and four-door sedan body styles.
- Redesigned cabin offers contemporary styling and features such as silver metallic finishing on the dashboard and center console, available ambient interior lighting and available leather seating with contrast stitching – all creating a modern atmosphere.
- Available Ford Sync™ offers advanced levels of connectivity to help create a second home on wheels inside the car.
- New suspension tuning and chassis refinements improve an already rewarding and dynamic driving experience.
- Improvements to sealing and sound deadening materials reduce noise, vibration and harshness levels providing a quiet, comfortable ride.
Redesigned from the inside out, the 2008 Ford Focus brings a bold new look, a modern interior and a high level of driving enjoyment to the small car segment. Joining the new Focus four-door sedan is, for the first time, ever a sporty two-door coupe, which is designed to attract new and younger buyers to a growing small car market.
Ford is renewing its commitment to the small car market as an influx of younger buyers and the instability of gas prices have led to growing sales in the segment. Small cars make up the largest vehicle segment in the Ú.S. today and growth is expected to continue. The 2008 Focus will be poised to capture some of this growth when it hits the streets in fall 2007.
'We know the formula for success in the small car segment: Affordability, quality and a fun to drive, sporty personality,' says Cisco Codina, Ford group vice president, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. 'These are the priorities that drove the redesign of the Focus for 2008.' Muscular stance, sharp character lines and a high beltline define Focus
The 2008 Focus strikes an impressive pose. Designers drew inspiration from the Ford Fusion's prominent chrome-bar grille design, flared wheel arches and sweeping, crisp lines to create a small car that's stylish and sporty.
'We raised the beltline to give Focus more modern proportions,' says Lon Zaback, Focus chief designer. 'By raising the beltline we created a sleeker profile. The overall look is solid and more substantial.'
Flared wheel arches give Focus its firm, secure stance and work with the raised beltline to give Focus its muscular look.
The design is further refined by a taut character line that runs from the taillights, sweeping across the doors just below the door handles and snapping suddenly down at the front wheel well. Another crisp line runs from the A-pillar to the headlight and down to the bottom of the front bumper, defining the corners of the car.
'Having surface areas break sharply in places gives the car a sense of forward motion,' says Zaback. 'A lot of cars today use forms and lines that are parallel and predictable. If you look at Focus, you will see one sweep going through the hood and headlamps, and a different sweep going through the fascia. This creates movement, tension and drama.'
Zaback says the goal was to use detail and forms to create unpredictable visual interest. For example, the hood uses four separate creases to break up a typically large flat area. 'When you're working with a small car, you want to add surface detail that will create interest from any angle,' says Zaback. 'We definitely wanted to appeal to the more progressive customer.'
The headlights are a design story by themselves. Horizontal bars with a matte surface run through the reflection area, visually connecting the headlights with a sweeping line running through the chrome-bar grille. It is such an innovative idea that Ford has a patent request for the design.
The tail lamps share cues with the 2008 Ford Escape, with a white arc cutting across the red lens. The leading edge of the deck lid features a new clear lens center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) that illuminates with red LEDs for a progressive, modern appearance.
Focus SEL models feature a front fender appliqué integrated just behind the front wheel arch, adding a bright accent to the profile. And the 'Focus' name is spelled out in bold italic letters on the deck lid, scuff plates and instrument panel.
The 2008 Focus is available in two body styles: a two-door coupe, a first-ever for Focus, and a four-door sedan. (concept carz) These are the two highest volume body styles in the segment. In fact, the sedan and coupe will allow Ford to cover a full 80 percent of the small car market. Redesigned Focus cabin is quiet, inviting and modern
Progressive is the word that best describes the interior. The new interior design not only adds more flexible storage space, but new surfaces and materials create a modern, contemporary cabin with a sense of openness.
'We've taken cues from fashion and home design and translated them into a more upscale Focus interior,' says Zaback. 'We've given it some sophistication and flair by adding touches of silver metallic finishing like you see in today's home appliances, and used materials that provide a higher-quality feel to surfaces and touch points throughout the car. The overall package is simply more inviting.'
On SEL models, the dashboard and center console sport brilliant matte silver-metallic finishing. On SE models, the dashboard center finish panels are a contrasting dark stone non-metallic color.
A 'top-of-dash' display, positioned at eye-level at the top of the center stack, features a message center that shows radio function readouts. This simple, efficient design makes it easier and quicker to read when driving.
A new 'poke-through' center console design replaces the traditional 'brick' design for the radio and climate control. The center panel houses the controls for the audio and climate control as well as a standard auxiliary audio input jack and two power points. In vehicles equipped with the available Sync option, a ÚSB 2.0 port is located on the center stack near the power points.
Eliminating the traditional brick design gave designers freedom to draw a sharp accent line across the top of the dashboard, a design element that would not have been possible with the previous model's square radio and climate modules. A new seamless passenger front airbag door further cleans up the interior.
The 2008 Focus offers a larger center console as well as added space in front of the console shifter for extra storage. Newly designed door trim features larger bins and cup holders in the doors plus three more in the console. New seats have improved contours and offer more lateral and lumbar support. A new cloth pattern is available for 2008 while the leather trimmed seats feature contrast stitching for an added touch of craftsmanship.
SE models come with a Stone interior; SEL models come in Stone or Charcoal Black. The coordinating interior instrument panel colors are Satin Pewter Metallic for the Charcoal Black interior and Dusk Metallic for the Stone interior. Focus models equipped with Sport and Deluxe packages feature a white face instrument cluster and chrome accents on the door handles, climate control vents and shifter.Focus lets you set the mood
The Focus interior is even more distinctive at night thanks to a new approach to lighting that builds on recent Ford advances like the white LED instruments on the 2003 Lincoln Navigator and the configurable 'My Color' instrument display on the Mustang.
In the Focus, the instruments and switches are lit in a new color called 'Ice Blue.' Customers can also order an ambient lighting package that places tiny LEDs inside the front and rear cupholders and footwells. The LEDs can highlight the cabin in any of seven different colors (red, orange, blue, indigo, violet, green and yellow) and are controlled by a simple dash-mounted switch.
Both of these features will eventually make their way into other Ford and Mercury products.
'The idea was to let owners give the car its own mood,' says Philip Smoker, 2008 Focus product marketing manager. 'Customizable ambient light gives the interior a whole different look and keeps it fresh. Focus is the first in this segment to offer ambient lighting as a factory installed option.'
Smoker says customizable and unique interior lighting inside cars and trucks is an emerging trend. According to a recent survey, over 90 percent of vehicle consumers said they would be interested in unique lighting to enhance the appearance of their vehicle's interior.
'With manufacturers often producing upwards of 150,000 copies of any particular model, vehicle differentiation is still the key,' says Smoker. 'The interior ambient light inside the 2008 Focus gives owners the chance to make the car their own.'
Since its North American introduction in 1999, Focus has been hailed for being an affordable car that handles and drives like a car more than twice its price. For 2008, the Focus's curb weight is down by 60 pounds, even though the body structure is stiffer. This allowed the suspension engineers to sharpen the car's steering and handling while improving ride quality at the same time.
Engineers reworked and improved the strength of the roof structure, the package tray, the connections between the rear floor and the underbody and the door systems. A stiffened cross-car beam under the instrument panel connects the car side-to-side and provides better lateral stiffness.
The basic suspension features an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and an independent multilink design in back. The spring rates, shock absorbers, stabilizer bars, and jounce bumpers have all been re-tuned for 2008. Engineers derived unique tuning packages for vehicles equipped with 15- or 16-inch wheels and tires. Models with 15-inch wheels and tires are equipped with low-rolling resistance Hankook tires. Those with 16-inch wheels and tires are paired with sporty, responsive Pirelli tires.
'Fuel economy was at the top of the improvement list for 2008, so we put the new Focus on a diet, dropping the curb weight of the vehicle by over 60 pounds,' says vehicle dynamics manager Mark Rushbrook. 'To maintain good ride character, we reduced the spring rates. Improvements to steering and handling were accomplished by increasing the size of the front stabilizer bar for both the 15- and 16-inch tire packages, as well as detailed tuning of the shock absorbers to optimize the ride and handling balance.'
Rushbrook says the revised chassis settings help improve steering feel over the previous Focus without sacrificing ride quality. The front stabilizer bar diameters have been increased over 2007, from 18 millimeters to 20 millimeters on the 15-inch wheel tuning package, and from 21 millimeters to 22 millimeters on the 16-inch wheel tuning package.
'From a dynamics perspective, the new Focus feels much more solid and substantial,' says Rushbrook. 'The chassis has been tuned with the new body structure to continue that feeling of confidence. Whether you're driving down a twisty back road or an interstate highway, it always feels like you're in a very solid yet responsive and fun vehicle.'
Focus gets an all-new brake system for 2008. New aluminum calipers save weight and improve brake pedal feel. The brakes are 10.9-inch vented discs in front and 11.0-inch drums in back with an available anti-lock braking system (ABS).
The 2008 Focus features a 2.0-liter, Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC), inline four-cylinder engine delivering an estimated 136 hp. An all-new air intake system, cooling and exhaust system are designed to improve the powertrain's smoothness, efficiency and response.
There's also a super-clean Duratec 20E engine offered in states adopting California emission standards that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV). PZEVs are as clean as some hybrid vehicles, according to the EPA.
The Duratec 20 and 20E are available with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. For 2008, the transmissions have revised final drive ratios, which let the engine turn at a lower rpm rate during highway driving and get better fuel economy. For instance, the automatic transmission final drive ratio decreased from 3.73 to 3.34, reducing engine speed at 65 mph from 2490 rpm to 2230 rpm.NVH improvements provide a quiet ride
The new exterior design doesn't just look good, it provides improved functionality as well. Improved airflow over the vehicle reduces the coefficient of drag (CD) from 0.33 to 0.32.
'Getting just a tenth of a difference in CD is a lot,' says Focus chief engineer Marcio Alfonso. 'This is quite significant. We spent many hours in the wind tunnel developing the shapes of exterior parts like mirrors and front openings, spoilers, and the shape of the air deflectors under the car. There was a lot of work done to improve aerodynamics and reduce noise inside the car.'
At a simulated 80 mph in the wind tunnel, the previous Focus had 28.8 sones of wind noise while the new model recorded 25.6, an eleven percent reduction in wind noise. In a test of road noise (boom, rumble, roar), decibel levels inside Focus dropped from 70 dBA to 67.3.
'We know that customers equate quiet with quality,' says Alfonso. 'The difference between the previous car and the 2008 model is far more dramatic than the numbers show. Sones reflect overall noise levels and not the directionality of the noise. A noise coming from a particular area can be perceived as being louder, even though the overall noise level is similar. With Focus, we addressed not only the overall noise level, but also where the noise is coming from.'
Engineers reduced wind noise by installing a new acoustic windshield and thicker side glass in the front doors (increased in thickness from 3.2 to 3.8 millimeters). Closed-cell foam for the dash panel seal, as opposed to open-cell foam material, also helps reduce wind noise. Fluffy cotton-like sound-deadening material has been added to the door trim panels, C-pillars and the flat shelf behind the rear seats to reduce cabin noise, and the sealing around the side mirrors is redesigned to reduce noise entering the passenger cabin. The front air dam is stiffened and produces less noise. New Climate Control System is lighter, quieter and more efficient
Standard safety features offer peace of mind
The 2008 Focus has an all-new climate control system that is more efficient with improved cooling and heating performance. Switching to electronic actuators for the floor, panel, defrost and temperature controls improve Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) performance. This completely redesigned HVAC system results in a climate control system that is quieter, lighter in weight and more effective in cooling and heating the cabin.
The 2008 Focus comes standard with Ford's Personal Safety System®, thorax side air bags and side air curtains for increased coverage in the event of a side impact crash.
Ford's Personal Safety System is a comprehensive collection of passive safety features for the front passengers. The system includes dual-deployment front air bags, energy absorbing safety belts, load limiting retractors and pretensioners, all which will help to create one of the safest cabins in its segment.
Focus uses thorax side air bags and side air curtains that deploy in certain side-impact collisions to help protect front- and second-row outboard occupants using 'roll-fold' technology. If occupants are resting their heads against a window, the side air curtains are designed to slide between the glass and occupants as it inflates. The curtains remain inflated for several seconds after deployment to enhance protection during an extended crash event.
Available anti-lock brakes are designed to help drivers maintain great steering command during hard stops.Source - Ford
‘TOP TEN' REASONS TO CHECK OUT 2008 FORD FOCUS
Redesigned from the inside out, the 2008 Ford Focus goes on sale this fall with a long list of improvements that make it better than ever, including 35 miles per gallon highway fuel economy and a starting price under $15,000.
Below are just a few reasons why the 2008 Ford Focus is better all around:
1. Ford SYNC™ – The 2008 Ford Focus is the first vehicle to offer the company's industry-exclusive Ford SYNC technology. SYNC – a voice-activated, hands-free, in-car communications and entertainment system – seamlessly integrates mobile phones and media players into the vehicle using Bluetooth technology and ÚSB connectivity. It is also updatable to support the portable electronic devices and services of tomorrow.
Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, SYNC will be offered exclusively on 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles this year. It will be standard on Lincoln vehicles and widely available on Ford and Mercury vehicles. In most cases, SYNC will be included as standard equipment on high-series models from Ford and Mercury. On models where SYNC is optional, it will be priced at $395.
3. Fun to Drive
2. Fuel-Sipping Focus – Although Ford engineers added an average of 64 pounds of content to the 2008 Ford Focus, they also took dozens of actions to trim the weight –making the average car nearly 38 pounds lighter. The weight reduction, along with an improved powertrain, upgraded parts and fine-tuning from bumper to bumper, help the Focus achieve better mileage than the model it replaces. Initial figures show the 2008 Focus delivers a 3-5 percent improvement in fuel economy over the 2007 model. Únder the EPA's revised – and more realistic – mileage test standards, the 2008 Focus delivers 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway fuel economy with the automatic transmission and 24/35 with the 5-speed manual. Únder the same standards, the previous model's fuel economy rating would have been 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for the automatic and 24/33 for the manual.
– The Focus has long been hailed as an affordable car that handles and drives like a car twice its price. Its acclaimed driving dynamics are further improved in the 2008 model with a retuned suspension and chassis refinements, including new spring rates, dampers and stabilizer bushings. Its more powerful 2.0-liter engine delivers 140 hp, a 3 percent gain that comes from an all-new air intake system and a new cooling system, both designed to improve efficiency. 4. Mood Lighting
-- Tapping the emerging trend of configurable lighting, Ford is making its ambient lighting system available to Ford Focus customers as a factory-installed option. The feature lets customers set the mood inside the vehicle with subtle LED lighting in the cupholders and in the front and rear footwells. The driver or front-seat passenger can choose from seven different colors – red, blue, aqua, purple, white, green and yellow – by cycling through a dash-mounted switch. 5. Cool Coupe
– The 2008 Ford Focus features expressive new exterior styling inspired by the highly successful Fusion: a prominent chrome-bar grille design, flared wheel arches and sweeping, crisp lines, along with a sporty stance. For the first time, a Focus coupe is available in addition to a four-door sedan. (concept carz) Both are offered in three distinct trim series.
7. Focus on Safety
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder
5-speed Manual4-speed Automatic
6. Inviting Interior – Focus introduces an all-new interior design with unique materials, plenty of storage space and new levels of craftsmanship. The redesigned cabin features an integrated instrument panel, a new top-of-dash display, new 'Ice Blue' lighting for instruments and switches and distinctive cues such as metallic finishes. New seating provides more lateral and lumbar support.
– The 2008 Focus comes standard with Ford's Personal Safety System®, including thorax side air bags and side air curtains for increased coverage in the event of a side-impact crash. A tire pressure monitoring system also has been added as a standard feature. Anti-lock brakes are an available option. 8. Value Leader
– The 2008 Ford Focus offers the best value in its segment, starting at only $14,695 for the Focus S coupe and $14,995 for the Focus S sedan, including $620 destination and delivery. Focus SE models are an additional $1,000. The top-of-the-line Focus SES coupe and sedan, with SYNC standard, begin at $16,695 and $16,995, respectively.
According to the Automotive Leasing Guide (ALG), the projected 36-month resale value of the 2008 Ford Focus is as high as 50 percent for the Focus SE and SES coupe and 49 percent for the SE and SES sedan, which is fully competitive with small cars from Asian manufacturers. 9. Sounds of Silence
– Ford engineers made numerous enhancements to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) on the 2008 Focus. Improved quietness comes as the result of new exterior design cues, a new acoustic windshield, new moldings and sealing systems, redesigned mirrors and much more. The 2008 Focus performs among the leaders in wind noise and powertrain NVH. It's 3 dBA quieter than the outgoing model – a 10 percent improvement – and it achieves a 19.4 percent improvement in powertrain NVH, tying for best-in-class powertrain noise levels. 10. Manufacturing for Quality
– Along with its new look and new features, the 2008 Ford Focus benefits from new manufacturing methods designed to deliver outstanding quality. Ford invested $130 million in its Wayne ( Mich.) Stamping and Assembly Plant to build the new Focus, with much of the funding dedicated to enlarging and upgrading the body shop. The upgrades included the installation of new robots with much more precise welding guns that attach the body sides to the underbody. The new machinery allows the assembly process to be more flexible.
The plant also has installed 130 new direct-current electric hand tools with error-proofing for use during assembly. The new tools reduce workers' strain and allow for constant precision monitoring during the build. Every new Focus also is scanned by Perceptron vision cameras to measure its dimensional integrity for fit and finish and to eliminate squeaks and rattles. These and numerous other factory-based improvements mesh with the car's engineering upgrades to produce a more refined vehicle.Source - Ford
RETAIL SALES FOR FORD'S NEW FOCUS UP 88 PERCENT, PACING STRONG CAR AND CROSSOVER RESULTS
• Ford's new Focus posted an 88 percent increase in retail sales compared with a year ago; highest April sales for Focus since 2000.
• Retail sales for mid-size sedans also were higher; Ford Fusion up 31 percent, Mercury Milan up 19 percent, and Lincoln MKZ up 20 percent; Fusion and Milan set April sales records.
• Total car retail sales up 21 percent.
• Crossover retail sales up 11 percent led by Ford Edge (up 24 percent) and Ford Escape (up 13 percent).
• Rising gas prices accelerate the industry-wide shift from trucks and SÚVs to cars and crossovers.
• Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 189,247, down 12 percent; retail sales were down 7 percent and daily rental sales were down 32 percent.
• Total Ford Motor Company sales (including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo) totaled 200,727, down 12 percent.
Ford's new Focus continues to defy gravity -- and the Ú.S. economy -- with a 88 percent jump in retail sales versus last April and the highest total Focus April sales since 2000.
'Focus is the right car at the right time,' said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications. 'This is the little car that delivers in a big way for customers, with outstanding fuel economy, cool features including SYNC, a fun drive and the right price, right along with the rest of our newest cars and crossovers.'
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars achieved a 21 percent increase in retail sales. While Focus was the standout, the company's mid-size cars also posted higher retail sales. Ford Fusion retail sales were up 31 percent, Mercury Milan retail sales were up 19 percent and Lincoln MKZ retail sales were up 20 percent. The Fusion and Milan set April sales records with total sales of 15,059 for the Fusion and 3,809 for the Milan.
Retail sales for the company's crossovers were 11 percent higher than a year ago, paced by the Ford Edge (up 24 percent) and Ford Escape (up 13 percent). Retail sales for the Mercury Mariner were up 6 percent and Lincoln MKX retail sales were up 4 percent.
Higher gas prices are accelerating the industry-wide shift from trucks and traditional sport utility vehicles to cars and crossovers. At Ford, April sales for sport utility vehicles were 36 percent lower than a year ago and trucks were 19 percent lower.
Lower sales to daily rental companies (down 32 percent) also contributed to the company's sales decline. Overall, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 189,247, down 12 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales to individual customers were down 7 percent.
Total Ford Motor Company sales, including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo, totaled 200,727, down 12 percent.Source - Ford