New Ford Focus

revealed

Ford Focus ST, 2018, front
Ford Focus ST, 2018, side
Ford Focus, 2018, front
Ford Focus, 2018, rear
Ford Focus Vignale, 2018, front
Ford Focus Vignale, 2018, overhead
Ford Focus Estate Titanium, 2018, side
Ford Focus, 2018, interior
Ford Focus, 2018, console
Ford Focus Active, 2018, interior
Ford Focus, 2018, instrument panel
Ford Focus, 2018, range

FORD'S all-new Focus has been unveiled and goes on sale early in September with a big cash boost - all are cheaper than the current model.

Prices for the five-door hatchback will start at £17,930 for the entry-level Style and that's £2,300 less while the expected best UK seller, the Zetec, starts at £19,300, some £850 cheaper.

The sporty ST Line enters at £21,570 which is over £250 cheaper than the current model.

Crucially, the new Focus is based on an all-new Ford platform, called C2 which will be used in other future models.

Even the cheapest of the new Focus range has so many high tech features on board it is probably the most sophisticated family car Ford has ever made.

In terms of looks it's completely different from any previous Ford medium-sized model with a sleek styled body and sitting lower on the road.

Overall it has a more aggressive look about it although the length is much the same the current car.

It's low slung body is really stylish and nowhere near as upright looking as any previous Focus. From the front there is a slight hint of a Mazda3 while at the back there's a touch of the looks of the current Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

The front end is particularly striking with a wider grille than before and nicer designed headlamps while at the back there's a more squat-like appearance which in itself is quite striking.

''The designers literally started with a clean sheet of paper and have come up with a most striking shape that is so different from any other car in its class today,'' Steven Armstrong, Ford's European president told me.

''Crucially too we have listened seriously to the comments of many current Focus owners and taken their input on board - and no we have not payed lip service as some rivals do because we have taken all their comments seriously and used some points to incorporate in this latest Focus,'' he added.

''We feel that as a result this Focus is the ideal smart car in every respect and a global car for the company,'' he said.

The new Focus hatchback, which is 50kg lighter the current model and has a 20 per cent stiffer body, also has a vastly improved drag coefficient over the current model - 0.273 - and apart from a hatchback there is also an estate version along with an Active small crossover available as either a hatchback or an estate.

There will not be a four-door saloon Focus in this country because of a perceived lack of appeal although it will be sold in some overseas markets.

As for engines there is a new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol, not seen in any previous Ford and with a choice of either 150ps or 182ps while Ford's award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost unit will also be available with outputs of 85ps, 100 or 125ps.

There's just one diesel engine available and it's a 2.0-litre 150ps unit.

Emissions for the EcoBoost engine will be as low as 107g/km which equates to 61mpg.

Depending on engine and trim level there is a choice of drivetrain with either a standard six-speed manual gearbox and for the first time in a small or medium sized Ford, an eight-speed automatic complete with a new-look rotary-style selector.

In the UK Ford bosses, who sold 70,000 Focus models in 2017, expect the five-door hatchback Zetec with either the 1.0-litre 125ps or the new 1.5-litre 150ps to be the best seller.

As with the current Focus there is a choice of seven trim levels starting with the Style, then Zetec, ST, STx, Titanium, Titanium X and top specification Vignale which is priced from £25,450.

Two immediate plus points of the new Focus is that it looks striking and stylish from the outside while inside there is noticeably more room, particularly in the back of the hatchback, mainly due to the wide wheelbase of the car helped by the engineers and designers pushing all four wheels further towards the outside of the car's body.

All the new Focus models, even the entry-level Style, are far better equipped with more standard features and more high tech aids including variable drive modes.

Other features available on the new model include adaptive cruise control, an adaptive front lighting system with a new camera-based predictive light curve that adjusts the beam by monitoring bends and - for the first time in the industry - road signs, evasive steering assist to help steer around hazards and a head-up display - a first for Ford in Europe.

At the reveal of the new Focus in London on Tuesday, Ford also confirmed more versions are in the pipeline including a petrol-electric model and a super-sports performance variant due for release next year.

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