2008 Ford Focus UK Unveiled…Why Does Europe Always Get the Better Versions?

Ford has unveiled the new “kinetic” Ford Focus (UK). The new Ford Focus will begin arriving in showrooms by the end of this year.

In addition to the new styling the Focus also gets the Ford PowerShift Transmission (six-speed double clutch transmission). There is also a new 2.0L Duratorq TDCi engine that puts out either 135 hp or 108 hp and a new ECOcentric version which is powered by a 1.6 liter Duratorq TDCi that produces 107 hp.

Why is it that Europe continues to get newer and better Focus models, while the US must make due with refreshed versions of the first generation that was sold here?

2008 Ford Focus (UK Version):

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2008 Ford Focus (U.S. Version):
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– New ‘kinetic design’ exterior
– New interior with enhanced quality and new centre console
– New Ford PowerShift six-speed double-clutch transmission
– New Focus ECOnetic with average CO2 of only 115 g/km
– New Focus with 1.6-litre TDCi engine – all variants achieve 120 g/km CO2
– New features including Easyfuel capless refuelling, Ford Power button, tyre pressure warning system, 230 volt socket, LED rear lights
– Production begins at the end of 2007, with prices announced closer to market launch
“The Ford Focus is very special to Ford in Europe. When it was revealed in 1998 it represented a huge step forward for us in terms of style and desirability over its predecessor. It truly changed the perception of Ford for many customers and journalists alike. That’s why we felt it was vital to apply our new Ford design language, ‘kinetic design’, to the Focus as soon as we could. At the same time, we have taken the opportunity to make Focus even more practical and contemporary and added further quality improvements. Our design and development teams have done a really great job and I’m proud to present the new Ford Focus.”
John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe

The New Ford Focus – Introduction

“It is not easy to improve something that is already good and well-proven. If you don’t take great care you run the risk of unnecessarily changing something that was really good before – and not for the better. With the Ford Focus, acknowledged as a great car, we were determined not to implement change for change’s sake. We nevertheless managed to make the new Focus even better in specific areas. But it also made us proud that many of its attributes did not have to be touched at all. So you can still look forward to enjoying the driving dynamics of the Focus.”

The Ford Focus, with around 5 million vehicles produced in Europe, is the first and – to date – the only car in the world to be acclaimed “Car of the Year” both in Europe and in North America. In total the Ford Focus has won over 80 awards in Europe alone. It has significantly influenced the automotive world and at the same time triggered a successful new direction of Ford in Europe.

With this newest version of the Ford Focus due to begin rolling off the production lines from the end of 2007 as a three-door and five-door hatchback and as a wagon, this success story is set to continue. The Focus portfolio will then be extended further in early 2008, when the four-door saloon, the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet and the sporty flagship model Focus ST, will be added.

The New Ford Focus – Design

“Energy in Motion – what Ford vehicle would better suit the Ford ‘kinetic design’ philosophy than the Focus? After all, the Focus was a major factor in establishing Ford’s excellent reputation for driving dynamics. The balance we have created between dynamics and harmony makes the new Focus the best looking Focus ever.”
Martin Smith, Executive Director Design, Ford of Europe

Exterior Design

Stefan Lamm, who led the exterior design team, was offered an open brief in the design of the new Ford Focus. “The hugely positive response to the re-design of the new Ford C-MAX gave us the confidence to push the design of the new Focus even further. The result is unmistakably kinetic, unmistakably Ford Focus and a recognisable member of the new Ford family.”

The new Ford Focus presents a bold new face to the world: Trapezoidal grilles, swept back headlamps and athletic full surfaces are all signatures of the new Ford brand character. The inverted lower trapezoid grille, in the upmarket Ghia and Titanium variants is enhanced by the elegant chrome surround. This lower grille is balanced by a smaller upper grille capped with a chrome strip visually linking it to the latest Ford kinetic entries such as Mondeo and more recently C-MAX. Great emphasis has been placed by the Design team on the headlamp appearance. The dramatic swept back housings are filled with the latest technology featuring HID
Bi-Xenon or the Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS). These technologies are highlighted by different finishes for different series levels, for example black and chrome for Titanium vehicles and full chrome for other variants.

The Side View – Dynamic and Muscular

The side profile of the new Focus features the new ‘kinetic design’ cues of bold wheel lips and the strong undercut running from front to rear of the car.

This dynamic link from front to rear gives the vehicle its new sleek appearance. The body side is clean and uncluttered. “Finishing trims such as bodyside mouldings would have negatively impacted on the neat design of the side view, something that we were keen to avoid,” said Lamm. “The expressive modelling of the side view of the car clearly brings the new Focus into the kinetic family.”

The Tail – a Neat Conclusion

The ‘kinetic design’ elements visible on the rear of the vehicle include the newly shaped rear glass and contoured tailgate as well as new tail lamps and rear bumper. Together, these elements give new Focus a wider look and a more purposeful stance. A new body coloured upper rear spoiler (for Ghia and Titanium series) completes the look. The new design of tail lamps incorporates, as an option, the latest LED technology. “We have not made any compromises in the design of the new Focus and the Exteriors design team is very proud of the final outcome,” Stefan Lamm summarised.

Interior Design

Comprehensive interior improvements were made to create an even more pleasant and user friendly space for those who travel in a new Focus, and to reflect the new dynamic exterior design on the interior as well. For the driver in particular, this has resulted in newly designed instruments providing better legibility which, along with all other interior controls, are now illuminated in red. The controls of the new audio equipment and two-zone air conditioning system were also ergonomically improved.

Furthermore, the high series now includes a newly designed centre console (optional for the Trend and part of the Sport Pack), which takes on the flowing look of ‘kinetic design’. In addition to a movable armrest and a four litre capacity storage compartment, the back of the console provides additional storage surfaces for back-seat passengers or optional items such as a 230 volt inverter or the USB audio connection box. Another feature of the console will become available as an option from the beginning of 2008: the Ford Power Button, which will be positioned near the gear shifter.

It is not just the functionality of the interior that has been improved – special attention was also devoted to its quality. Particular importance was attached to selecting and combining surface materials and colours. Now the entire instrument panel, as well as the upper trims of the front doors, is made of a new grained, soft-touch synthetic material. New colours were added to complement the look.

A variety of attractive foil finishes highlight the central functional areas of the centre console and the instrument panel.

The fabrics of seating and interior panelling were also newly designed and from the Trend series upwards, an innovative woven roof fabric is fitted.

The New Ford PowerShift Transmission

The Ford PowerShift transmission will be available from the beginning of 2008 in the Ford Focus. This completely new six-speed double-clutch transmission combines the efficiency and driving dynamics of a manual transmission with the ease of operation of an automatic transmission. Its combination with a 136 PS
(100 kW) 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail turbo diesel engine clearly demonstrates that relaxed driving does not have to come at the expense of high CO2 emission levels.

The Ford PowerShift transmission, which was developed by GETRAG FORD Transmissions GmbH, 50:50 Ford/GETRAG joint venture, consists essentially of two layshaft transmissions working in parallel, each with its own wet clutch unit. Thanks to the layout of the intermediate shafts – one carrying the “uneven” gears 1, 3 and 5, whilst the other the even gears 2, 4 and 6 – the next gear change can be prepared by pre-selecting the next gear whilst in motion and at full power. The change then takes place through the opposed activation of both clutches, the clutch activations being co-ordinated such that no torque interruption occurs.

In contrast to the conventional automatic transmission, the basic technical configuration of the Ford PowerShift transmission offers numerous advantages. It does not require any complex sub-systems such as torque converters, planetary gear sets, multiple wet clutches and multiple bands – all of which significantly reduce gearbox efficiency due to increased inertia and drag torque effects. The result is impressive: the Ford PowerShift transmission now provides the ease and permanent motion of a conventional automatic transmission as well as the performance of a manual transmission. It also delivers fast and sporty shifts while maintaining highest degrees of shift smoothness. A further advantage of the Ford PowerShift transmission is its high torque capacity and free choice of ratios, making it an ideal partner of modern high performance diesel engines.

The New Ford Focus 2.0-Litre Duratorq TDCi with Ford PowerShift Transmission

The Ford PowerShift transmission will be available from early 2008 in the new Ford Focus as well as the Ford C-MAX, in combination with the 136 PS (100 kW) 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. This powertrain combination takes full advantage of the new PowerShift transmission. As a result, in this configuration, the average fuel consumption will be approximately 10 per cent better, and CO2 emissions will be lower, compared to a conventional six-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Final homologated fuel economy and CO2 emissions data, as well as performance data for the Ford Focus with this new transmission technology, will be published closer to the car’s market launch.

The New Ford Focus ECOnetic

The new Ford Focus ECOnetic demonstrates that very favourable fuel consumption levels and significantly reduced CO2 emissions can be achieved using conventional drive technology coupled with a clever combination of individual fuel-saving measures. Powered by a 109 PS (80 kW) 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi with standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), average consumption for this vehicle has been homologated at 4.3l/100 km. This corresponds to an average CO2 emission of only 115 g/km, which is a class leading result for a conventional vehicle in this segment. A second variant with an even lower CO2 performance is currently under development.

Using the already very economical regular 109 PS version with Diesel Particulate Filter as a base, the starting point in achieving such values was to reduce drive resistances. To improve aerodynamics, the vehicle was lowered by 10 mm at the front and 8 mm at the back. In addition, an aerodynamics kit is standard, consisting of a modified front bumper skirt and rocker claddings and a rear spoiler. To also improve the aerodynamics, the outer areas of the lower grille were given blanking plates on the inside. In combination with 195/65R15 tyres a very good cd of 0.31 is achieved.

A further measure to reduce driving resistance and which was tested for the first time in the development of the Focus ECOnetic was the introduction of a new low-viscosity transmission oil developed by Ford’s partner BP. The benefits were so clear that it is being introduced across other Ford products in the C and CD segments.

Besides a re-calibration of the engine-module, the reduction in energy consumption in conjunction with the electro-hydraulic EHPAS steering underlines the fact that sometimes even minor causes also produce a major benefit. By re-calibrating the no-load performance of the electric servo pump, the respective current consumption was reduced sufficiently to result in a reduction in fuel consumption.

New Ford Focus 1.6-litre TDCi variants to achieve 120 g/km CO2

Another direct result of the Ford ECOnetic initiative is that all 1.6-litre TDCI variants will achieve 120 g/km CO2. By re-calibrating the engine and electro-hydraulic EHPAS steering modules, as well as using a low-friction transmission oil, all versions of the new Ford Focus fitted with the acclaimed 1.6-litre TDCi engine, will have an average CO2 emission of 120 g/km or even less – and this is regardless of power rating, bodystyles and wheel dimensions.

Dr. Thilo Seibert, Supervisor Performance and Economy, Ford of Europe, explains: “Developed from an already very economical basic vehicle, the Focus ECOnetic combines new ideas and approaches. The result is a highly usable and extremely economical and clean car with favourably priced conventional drive technology. We are especially proud of the fact that we were able to achieve our target values without having to increase the length of the gear ratios – thereby ensuring that the Focus ECOnetic drives just as well as you would expect a Focus to do. What’s even more – with the consequent adopting of Ford ECOnetic ideas to the core model range of the new Ford Focus, we made another important step in affordable and sustainable mobility.”

Other Alternative Fuel Applications in the Ford Focus Range

The Flexifuel version of the 1.8-litre Duratec petrol four-cylinder engine can be fuelled with bio-ethanol E85-fuel as an alternative to conventional unleaded petrol – or in any mix of both. Bio-ethanol is a regenerative energy source produced from renewable biomass. Greenhouse CO2 emission is reduced by 30-80 per cent over the entire life cycle as a result, without performance and driving pleasure being compromised.

Ford has been offering Focus Flexifuel models since 2001 in Sweden and they are today available in several other European markets. Around 80 per cent of all Ford Focus vehicles sold in Sweden now are Flexifuel.

Other alternative fuel versions for the Ford Focus range include CNG (compressed natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), both based on the 2.0-litre Duratec petrol engine. The availability of these versions is connected to market preferences for these alternative fuels.

New Equipment and Options

Easyfuel Capless Refuelling System

Like the Mondeo, the new Focus now also enjoys the benefit of the acclaimed Ford capless refuelling system. Apart from being simple and clean to use when re-fuelling, this system is designed to prevent mis-fuelling and the associated damage, inconvenience and expense.

Ford Power Button (from early 2008)

The optional Ford Power button enables the vehicle to start up simply and in style, without having to insert and turn a key in a steering column switch. As long as the driver has the key with them in the car, the Focus communicates wirelessly with a micro-chip in the key to activate the ignition system. All the driver has to do is lightly touch the Ford power button twice and the engine fires up. A further touch of the button in turn switches the engine and ignition off, with a safeguard to prevent it being operated while the car is in motion.

Tyre pressure warning system

Taking account of the respective driving situations, a sensor system checks the wheel turning speeds and, by means of a warning light in the instrument panel, reports any anomalies to indicate a change in wheel diameter due to a drop in tyre pressure. Simple, effective and secure – it is optional for every new Ford Focus.

230 Volt power socket

All vehicles with the ‘High-Series’ centre console can be ordered with a 230 Volt power socket as an option. A power inverter is accommodated in the console and the socket is positioned on the back of the centre console where it can be used easily by those sitting in the rear seats. By means of this option it is possible, at any time, to connect regular electrical appliances of up to a capacity of 150 Watts without the need for a specific inverter for each individual electrical appliance.

LED rear lights

All three- and five-door models, as well as the wagon, are fitted with LED rear light technology when the Adaptive Front lighting System or Bi-Xenon headlights are specified.

The Planar Light Guide technology gives the rear lights a unique appearance. In the centre of the rear light unit is located a hidden element with six LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). These LEDs transfer their light energy via vertical optical fibres onto the rear of the tail light lens. These optical fibres are, in turn, traversed by horizontal cross bars on whose 45 degree edges the light energy is broken up and radiated to the outside. The visual result is unique and an industry first.