LOS ANGELES -- The all-new Ford Focus will be the first premium small car to bring legendary sound quality and component design from Sony to drivers, plus segment-exclusive features such as HD Radio and iTunes Tagging, with the availability of the new 355-watt audio system from Sony.
Available for the first time on Focus in North America, arriving early next year, this is the latest example of the long-term partnership between Ford and Sony, one of the most recognized consumer brands in the world. The relationship between Ford and Sony began in 2000.
“Sony is an important partner in our drive to deliver cars that consumers view as a second home on wheels,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “With the new Focus featuring the first global application of the designed and engineered audio system from Sony, we’re adding another highly recognized and trusted brand inside the car.”
The matchup with Sony is part of a broader Ford Motor Company effort to incorporate products and services from complementing brands consumers already know and trust into the Ford signature vehicle experience. Other Ford partnerships include Microsoft, SIRIUS® and THX.
Bringing the Sony experience to Focus
The audio system from Sony in Focus has a signature piano-black interface design with the iconic Sony center controller, mimicking the appearance of popular home audio equipment from Sony.
According to internal Sony research, more than 60 percent of U.S. consumers have, on average, more than two branded products from Sony in their household, helping foster familiarity with the audio system from Sony in Focus even before the power button is pressed.
For legendary Sony sound quality, a class-D digital amplifier was developed specifically for the Ford Focus system. Durable polypropylene main speakers combine with soft dome tweeters and a subwoofer, all driven by a nine-channel amp. These components yield 355 watts of continuous power, resulting in a maximum of 111 decibels bass sound pressure level.
Coupled with available Ford SYNC® and MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology, the Focus will provide a segment-leading 8-inch touch screen for control over media along with the convenience of voice commands and steering wheel controls. Recorded content can be accessed from a variety of sources, including MP3, CD, USB and Bluetooth® streaming audio.
Thanks to HD Radio technology, which relies on digital transmission, the sound quality of the Focus audio system is dramatic – FM sounds like a CD and AM sounds like today’s FM broadcasts. And unlike analog broadcasts, digital broadcasts are less susceptible to interference, fadeout and other issues.
With HD Radio also comes segment-first iTunes Tagging. A simple push of the “TAG” button on the MyFord touch screen display will store song information, so when customers connect their iPod® to the SYNC system, the tagged song information will transfer to that iPod. When the iPod is then synced to iTunes, a playlist of tagged songs will appear. Customers can preview, and if desired, purchase and download tagged songs from the iTunes Store.
“Power, capability and pure sound quality – everything really comes together in this audio system,” added Kuzak. “Like so much else in Focus, this audio experience is going to force many consumers to rethink their expectations for small cars.”