Ford has done a lot of work to remake its image and they've really struck gold with the last few models to roll out of Dearborn. Overseas, Ford has built quite a reputation, with cars like the Mondeo and the Fiesta (which is now available in the US starting this year), but that same build quality and finish has been lacking at home.
However, Ford has started to globalize its platform and now buyers here in the States are being treated to the same quality cars found abroad - and this is epitomized in the 2012 Ford Focus.
The 2012 Focus is brand new to the US market, but has already been available in Europe. Ford calls its styling "kinetic design," the car is designed to look in motion even when standing still. This lends a more aggressive looking edge to the new Focus, a welcome styling change. When compared to the previous generation Focus, the new design jumps out even more. The Focus will be available in sedan, or five-door hatchback forms.
Much work has also gone into refreshing the powerplant in the Focus. Under the hood is now a 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injection inline-four cylinder engine, with variable cam timing. The front-wheel drive Focus also carries Ford's new Torque Vectoring Control system, which transfer torque between the front wheels depending on which has more grip in corners, which nips understeer in the bud. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or a six-speed PowerShift automatic.
Inside of the Focus expect to find technology not usually available in C-segment cars, much like the Fiesta and the sub-compact market. Foremost is a variation of the MyFord Touch technology which can currently be found in the Edge and forthcoming 2011 Explorer. A large touchscreen dominates the center console, while a customizable LCD screen also sits front and center in the instrument panel so the driver can see information without taking their eyes off the road for too long. The steering wheel-mounted controls also let the driver operate the system while keeping their hands on the wheel.
Also available is Ford's SYNC connectivity suite, push button start, navigation, and a Parking Technology Package which includes front parking sensors and a rearview camera.
Expect the Focus to be released in the spring of 2011, with a sticker price starting at around $19,000, plus destination.
Ford also is producing a sporty version of the Focus, known as the Focus ST. The Focus ST will come with a 247-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that also pumps out a robust 266 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission, the Torque Vectoring Control system, exterior styling touches, and 19-inch alloy wheels round out the ST, which is expected to hit showrooms early in 2012.