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Ford Focus

From Academic Kids

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A 2000 Ford Focus (estate version)

The Ford Focus is an automobile made by the Ford Motor Company and sold in most Ford markets worldwide. It was launched in 1998 in Europe, and in 2000 in North America. Since then it has become the most popular car in the United Kingdom, following in the success of the Escort, its predecessor. A new version of the Focus was launched in Europe in January of 2005 while the United States received an updated version of the old model.

Unlike previous Fords in the North American market, the Pinto and Escort, no luxury Mercury version is available.

In Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries in the region, it replaced the Laser, based on the Mazda 323 (called the Mazda Protege in some markets).

Contents

Focus Mk I

Codenamed CW170 during its development, the original Focus took its name from a Ghia concept car which was shown in 1991. Initial spy photographs of the car seen in 1995 took the world by storm at the design's apparent boldness - further developing Ford's "New Edge" styling philosophy first seen in the Ka and Cougar. The daring styling made it largely unchanged into production metal three years later.

Mechanically it drew heavily from other European Ford models, using a sophisticated fully independent multi-link rear suspension (dubbed "Control Blade") derived from the Short-Long Arm system used in the Mondeo station wagon, giving the Focus class leading handling and ride. The engines used are the well-proven Zetec and Zetec-SE units, with the Endura diesel (a development of the old Deutz-designed motor which Ford had been using since the 1980s), although the Duratorq unit replaced this in 2002.

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A 2003 Ford Focus

It is produced by factories in Saarlouis, Germany; Valencia, Spain; Hermosillo, Mexico; Pacheco, Argentina; and Wayne, Michigan in the U.S. Knocked down kits are supplied for assembly to Vsevolzhsk near Saint Petersburg, Russia.

In 1999 Ford revealed its first version for the World Rally Championship: the Focus WRC. A new version of the Focus WRC will be released in 2006.

Engines

Bodies (offerings vary by market)

Almost all the bodies of the ford focus have a ZXx codename of identification.

  • 3-door ZX3 hatchback
  • 5-door ZX5 hatchback (part of the original line in Europe, added in North America starting in 2002)
  • 4-door sedan/saloon (not available in Japan or New Zealand)
  • 5-door wagon (only available in Europe, Japan and North America) - 27 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway (manual)

Transmissions

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual (Euro ST, US SVT)
  • 4-speed automatic

Competition

Europe

North America

Sales and history

In Europe, the hatchback is the biggest selling bodystyle. Ford attempted to market the sedan version in Europe as a mini-executive car by only offering it in the Ghia trim level, something that it had tried before with the Orion of the 1980s. It has since given up on this strategy, and has started selling lower specified versions of the sedan.

Despite its radical styling (the hatchback version in particular), and some controversial safety recalls in North America, the car has been a runaway success throughout the globe, even in the United States, where Ford has traditonally failed to successfully sell its European models.

This was the best-selling car in the world in 2000 and 2001. It was elected Car of the Year in 1999. The Focus won the North American Car of the Year award for 2000. In Europe, the original had a very subtle facelift in 2001.

Interestingly, unlike the Escort, the Focus was never offered in a panel van body style. Ford was therefore left without a light duty commercial vehicle when the Escort finally went out of production in 2000. The purpose-designed Transit Connect, introduced in 2002 largely served as its replacement. A convertible version was another notable ommission, although there is talk of producing a drop-top version of the Mk.II for Europe.

USA Focus Mk II

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US-Spec updated 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SE sedan

In North America, a major facelift is due in the 2005 model year, but on the old CW170 platform. Ford has apparently decided that a completely new car would not be profitable in this heavily price- and incentive-driven market.

The new Focus drops the Zetec family of engines entirely in favor of the new Mazda-derived Duratec 20 and 23.

The US Ford Focus fits smallest into a line of sedans (smallest to largest) by Ford:

European Focus Mk II

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A 2005 (C307) Ford Focus Mk.II photographed in a dealer's lot

The Focus Mk II, codenamed C307, uses a new platform called C1 shared with the Volvo S40, Mazda 3 and Focus C-Max. It was launched at the Paris Motor Show on September 23, 2004 as a three and five door hatchback and a station wagon. The four-door sedan version was previewed as a concept developed by Ford Australia at the Beijing Motor Show in mid-2004 and joined the range after the hatchbacks.

Available powertrains include petrol 1.4 L, 1.6 L, 1.6 L VVT and 2.0 L engines and 1.6 L and 2.0 L TDCi engines. The basic suspension design has been carried over largely unchanged from the Mk I, although Ford claims that the stiffer bodyshell further improves the Focus' handling.

Changes

The Focus Mk II is larger than its Mk I predecessor with a 25 mm (1 in) increase in wheelbase, 168 mm (6.6 in) longer, 8 mm (0.3 in) taller and 138 mm (5.4 in) wider. As a result the interior and boot space has increased. The car has a more Italianate feel in its exterior styling. New technologies include a KeyFree system, a solar-reflect windshield, adaptive front lighting, Bluetooth hands-free phones and voice control for audio, telephone and climate control systems. The interior and dashboard are made from far higher quality plastics than before, and the overall feeling of solidity of the car has been increased markedly in a deliberate attempt to emulate the standards set by the VW Golf. It also featured either Durashift 6-speed manual, Durashift 4-speed automatic transmission or the all-new Durashift advanced manual transmission or just the standard manual.

Stylistically, the Mk II has come in for some criticism from the motoring press, many arguing the the new bodyshell lacks the flair and boldness of the 1998 original, although interestingly the new car uses styling features from the abandoned B-Proposal for the original Focus which were never signed off for production.

There is much talk about a cabiolet version, designed with Pininfarina and due to be lauched in 2006. The vehicle will have a metal folding roof. Another model to watch out for in 2005 is the Focus ST. It uses the same powerplant from the Volvo S40 T5, a turbocharged 2.5 L engine with 5 cylinder capable of achieving 220 hp DIN (162 kW).

Awards


Since its launch in 1998 the Mk I Focus has won over 60 awards including 13 Car of the Year awards in both Europe and North America, and more recently the best family car ever (Autocar UK 2003). The Focus was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for five consecutive years (2000 through 2004).

In 2001 and 2002, Focus was the world’s best selling car.

See also

Preceded by:
Ford Escort
Succeeded by:
(still in production)

External links

de:Ford Focus fr:Ford Focus hr:Ford Focus simple:Ford Focus

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