Taking a break from crossovers, this week a major carmaker bucked the trends and launched an actual hatchback.
The all-new fourth-generation Focus is Ford’s answer to the Golf, and with production based in Europe and China the Blue Oval’s global compact will come with a new line of engines and options of different body styles. Including a crossover… And we were so close getting through a week without one.
You’ll notice the new design, working rather nicely with the hatchback’s exterior dimensions which remain unchanged, although the wheelbase has been lengthened to free up extra passenger room inside, with over 70mm more legroom for example.
Morphing into a saloon body style, the design doesn’t work as well on the booted Ford Focus, although it looks nice enough as a wagon, and better still in the Focus Active trim, which makes the fourth-generation model a bit of an SUV wannabe with black plastic cladding and a raised ride height.
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Coming back to Ford’s bread and butter, the Focus hatch, and the big deal is a suite of driver assistance technologies in this budget beater, with available hands-free tech as well as adaptive cruise, wireless phone charging, and an 8.0in touchscreen.
Engineers stiffened up the new body with a 20 per cent improvement in rigidity, and an optional eight-speed automatic transmission will be one of the class highlights. Ford says it will be offering the new Focus with a choice of modern turbocharged four-cylinder engines, including an entry-level 1.0-litre and a 1.5-litre available in two tunes, going up to 180 horsepower.
Naturally enthusiasts are already salivating at the prospect of a new Ford Focus ST and Focus RS, but the company is tight lipped about any of that, so we can only speculate about 250 to 300 horsepower and some pretty trick electronically actuated chassis gizmos.
Until then, the Ford Focus will go on sale in Europe and China later this year with markets like the US and the Middle East getting their shipments in 2019.