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 Dynamic New Focus Drives Into China

DATE: Will be calculated from "Release Start Date" field.

beijing, China — The new Ford Focus is setting a new standard in the compact car segment in China with its combination of smart technologies, outstanding fuel economy, expressive design, responsive performance and high levels of craftsmanship and occupant safety.
Featuring new fuel-efficient engines – a 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine and a 2.0-litre Ti-VCT GDi engine – the New Focus is available in two exciting body styles, a sporty five-door hatchback and a sleek four-door sedan across 12 new variants. It will be built at the newly launched Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) Chongqing Plant 2.
The current-generation Focus will remain in the China market – rebadged as Classic Focus – and will continue to be produced in China. This "Twin-Car Strategy" will further strengthen the competitiveness of the Ford brand in the segment. Classic Focus provides more choices for customers who want a vehicle with great driving dynamics and a sporty exterior at a competitive price. It will be available only with a 1.8-litre engine. 
"The New Focus is the first true global car under the One Ford strategy. It is also the first of 15 vehicles that Ford plans to bring to China by 2015. The New Focus delivers on our ongoing commitment to bring to China the newest and best products which our customers truly value and want,” said Marin Burela, president, CFMA.
“The New Focus will bring to the Chinese market features and smart technologies that were previously not available in the C-segment. We are confident that the New Focus will capture the hearts and minds of Chinese customers and will build on the strong heritage of the Focus’ brand in the Chinese market.”
A global brand DNA
Following an unprecedented global development programme under the company’s One Ford strategy, the New Focus is set to continue this successful tradition in China. It demonstrates how Ford can scale to meet the universal needs of worldwide customers, while fine-tuning to suit Chinese customer preferences.
The New Focus is the first Ford product to benefit from a new global brand DNA which will define a consistent character and performance for Ford vehicles worldwide.
"The global DNA encompasses all the attributes that have a direct impact on a customer’s experience in the vehicle – from the way it drives to the comfort and quality of the interior and the layout and function of its controls," said Nigel Harris, general manager, Changan Ford Sales Company.
“Global teams of product specialists worked together to deliver the optimum solution in defining the DNA requirements for each attribute, ensuring that the needs of Chinese customers are fully satisfied."
Striking design and superior craftsmanship
Both the New Focus four-door sedan and five-door hatchback models share a sporty character, reflecting Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design form language. With a striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the New Focus signals the rewarding experience awaiting a driver.
The dynamic quality of the New Focus’ exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design inside, featuring a modern, cockpit-style interior with a stylish centre console.
The sporty five-door hatchback and sleek four-door sedan models have been carefully developed to have their own distinctive appeal. Each body style has its own clear identity and unique rear-end treatment, while sharing the same sporty front-end appearance with a dynamic interpretation of Ford’s signature lower trapezoidal grille.
While drivers will appreciate the cockpit-style driving environment and superior craftsmanship, the cabin has lost none of the comfort and practicality which is a key characteristic of the Focus brand.
Addictive Dynamic Driving
When it was first introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and responsiveness to the C-car segment. The New Focus seeks to raise the benchmark once more, targeting class-leading driving quality that blends outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control.
To achieve this goal, the New Focus employs a stronger body structure and the latest chassis technology, including the Torque Vectoring Control system.
More typically found on high-performance cars, the Torque Vectoring Control system uses the car’s brakes to imitate the effect of a torque vectoring differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the front wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering, and a reduced level of understeer.
The Focus’ chassis design is complemented by a new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system that has been carefully tuned to deliver precise response at highway speeds while remaining light and manoeuvrable at lower speeds for ease of parking.
The suspension systems have also been completely updated, with optimized new designs for the ‘Control Blade’ multilink rear suspension and semi-isolated front subframe. The front suspension is based on the same MacPherson strut arrangement, but with lighter and re-optimized components, and a wider front track.
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have been reduced and driving dynamics improved by the increased stiffness of the body structure, with 30 percent greater rigidity than the previous Focus model.
Superior fuel efficiency
The New Focus features a completely new 2.0-litre Ti-VCT GDi engine mated with the latest six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission. The engine combines high-pressure gasoline direct injection (GDi) and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. Delivering 125 kW of power and 202 Nm of torque, the engine boasts almost 20 percent more power than the previous Focus 2.0-litre unit while delivering a significant improvement in fuel economy.
A second powertrain comes in the form of a 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine that serves up 92 kW of power and 159 Nm of torque at outstanding fuel efficiency. This engine can be matched to either the six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission.
"We are committed to making our models the most fuel-efficient in their respective segments through the application of our powertrain technologies," said Harris.
"We've made tremendous progress in fuel economy and performance by combining direct injection and Ti-VCT technologies. The enhanced powertrains will allow more Chinese consumers to benefit from better car handling and fuel efficiency."
To further improve fuel efficiency, the New Focus spent nearly 1,000 hours in a wind tunnel, resulting in an impressively streamlined shape, with the four-door sedan boasting a drag coefficient as low as 0.295. The New Focus achieves significantly improved aerodynamic performance, cutting drag by up to 10 percent to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The reduction in drag was achieved not only by detailed optimisation of the vehicle design, but also by the adoption of innovative technologies such as the Active Grille Shutter system which uses vents to automatically control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine. The New Focus is the first vehicle in its class to offer the Active Grille Shutter.
Unmatched Smart Technologies
The global scale of Ford’s C-car program makes additional technologies and features more economically viable for cars in this segment. This exceptional technology investment is aimed at ensuring the New Focus offers customers an exciting spread of advanced features generally found only in larger, more expensive vehicles.
Leading the way is Ford SYNC® which provides hands-free, voice-activated in-car connectivity. This award-winning system allows customers to connect almost any mobile phone or digital media player to their Focus via Bluetooth® and USB connection respectively. The driver is able to make calls or play his or her favourite music via voice commands and a steering wheel-mounted control, all the time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
The New Focus is the first Ford vehicle in China to offer the voice-activated SYNC system in Mandarin.
"SYNC is a fine example of Ford being able to offer an addictive driving experience through smart technologies," said Harris. "As soon as the car is started and the system activated, the consumer can get all wanted information easily by connecting with SYNC. Such a smart, multi-connectivity in-car experience is what the New Focus delivers in response to what consumers are after."
The New Focus also offers an array of smart features that assist the driver, many of which are a first in the segment:
·         Active City Stop: This system applies the brakes when it recognises that a low-speed collision is imminent. It can prevent collisions at speeds up to 15 km/h and reduce the severity of impacts at speeds between 15 km/h and 30 km/h.
·         Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®): When a vehicle enters the New Focus’ blind spot, an orange light appears in the corresponding side mirror as a caution. Likewise when backing out of a parking spot with limited visibility, BLIS can warn the driver of impending traffic from either side of the Focus.
·         Smart Keyless Entry: This feature enables the New Focus customer to lock or unlock the driver’s door without taking the key out of a bag or a pocket. Sensors around the car detect the presence of the key fob and lock or unlock the door when the driver grabs the door handle.
·         Ford Power Start: The engine can be turned on simply by pushing the Ford Power Start button while holding the clutch down (or brake pedal on an automatic). There is no need to insert a key into the ignition. The New Focus will start as long as the key fob is in the cabin.
Superior safety levels
The New Focus was designed to exceed global safety standards for occupant and pedestrian protection.
To ensure that the New Focus exceeds the toughest global safety standards, it has been subjected to a comprehensive testing and development programme, including 80 vehicle crash tests and 2,500 full vehicle Computer-Aided-Engineering (CAE) simulations.
High-strength steels comprise more than 30 percent of the New Focus’ exceptionally strong and light body shell, with ultra-high-strength and boron steels making up about 20 percent of the skeletal structure. These advanced materials help New Focus meet crash regulations across world markets while minimising the vehicle’s weight and contributing to fuel economy.
Passive safety features include a new generation of advanced airbag restraint systems with driver and front passenger airbags, side front airbags and segment-exclusive side curtain airbags for front- and rear-seat occupants.
The driver’s airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a “pocket” to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes. Innovative side airbags feature unique shoulder vents that stay open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces.
The new Ford Focus also features a comprehensive suite of advanced active safety technologies to help the driver maintain safe control of the vehicle and avoid collision situations.
A state-of-the-art Electronic Stability Program system is at the heart of many of the active safety features, and uses intelligent logic to monitor the vehicle’s progress and apply effective – and often imperceptible – intervention when required. The system incorporates Emergency Brake Assist, Hill Launch Assist and Anti-Lock Brake System.
A New Home for a Global Product
Focus is Ford’s most significant global nameplate. With more than 10 million units sold since launching in 1998, Focus has become a sales leader with consumers worldwide for its blend of outstanding value, comfort, safety, technology, and driving dynamics.
The New Focus will be assembled in multiple locations worldwide, with CFMA Chongqing Plant 2 as its new home in China.
To optimise quality and efficiency, this global network of plants will build the New Focus using shared processes, tools and technologies. CFMA has worked together with the global team using advanced virtual manufacturing simulations to verify the assembly process from start to finish.
This new approach will help all global locations maintain the highest product quality standards from the manufacturing launch through to volume production.
Editor’s note:
The Bluetooth word mark is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.



4/22/2012 9:30 PM