2015 Ford Focus gets more Aston-y [w/video]Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:02:00 EST
With more and more members of the Ford brand adopting a new familial face, the Focus has been left looking like an odd man out. At the Geneva Auto Show, though, it properly rejoined the family, adopting the now familiar Aston Martin-ish grille that's proliferated throughout the range.
Overall, we're liking the refreshed Focus' look. Aside from the new grille, the headlights have been restyled and now look like elongated versions of the lamps on the Focus ST. Functionally, those headlamps are bi-xenon units, complete with an adaptive front lighting system. Out back, the rear retains the same overall look, which has been smoothed out for 2015.
In the cabin, the second-generation of Ford's much-maligned Sync system makes its debut. Sync 2, as it's called, is supposedly more intuitive than the first-gen system. Ford is promising "one-shot" navigation functions for the system. Saying "I'm hungry," should bring up a list of nearby restaurants. Of course, we'll be reserving final judgment until we can test the new system in person.
Take a look up top for our complete gallery of the new Focus, live from the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
FORD TO REVEAL HIGH-TECH NEW FOCUS WITH SYNC 2 CONNECTIVITY AND ADVANCED DRIVE ASSIST FEATURES AT GENEVA
Ford reveals most advanced Focus ever – with innovative new and improved technologies – at Geneva Motor Show tomorrow
New Focus brings SYNC 2, Ford's advanced in-car connectivity system that features high-resolution colour touch screen and advanced voice control for easy access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones
New Focus is the first Ford globally to offer the new hands-free Perpendicular Parking technology, which helps drivers reverse into spaces side-to-side with other cars
GENEVA, Switzerland, 3 March 2014 – Ford Motor Company will reveal the advanced new Focus at this week's Geneva Show – the first European Ford to offer the voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC 2.
SYNC 2 is among a suite of life-enhancing new technologies making their European debut (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQo7mQoWJRw).
Ford's advanced in-car connectivity system features a high-resolution, eight-inch colour touch screen and advanced voice control for easier access to audio, navigation, climate control and compatible mobile phones. SYNC 2's navigation system also offers a split-screen display for the first time in Europe with detailed intersections, spoken street names, 3D highway junction and landmark views, plus the MICHELIN guide and MICHELIN Green Guide.
SYNC features in more than eight million Ford vehicles since being launched in the U.S. in 2007. SYNC 2, the second generation of the system, is more intuitive and enables drivers to issue simpler "one-shot" navigation destinations. Pushing the voice control button and saying "I'm hungry" will bring up a list of local restaurants, for example.
The new Ford Focus elevates the world's best-selling nameplate* with a bolder, more emotive exterior design, a finely crafted, intuitive new interior, and major fuel economy improvements.
"Not satisfied with being number one, we wanted to blow people away with a stunning new version of the Focus that would build on this car's reputation for introducing advanced technology," said Stephen Odell, president of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa. "New Focus will enable people to switch seamlessly between touch screen and voice commands, and also to control more in-car systems than ever before, while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel."
Advanced driving technologies
The new Focus is the first Ford to offer Perpendicular Parking, a new hands-free parking technology that helps drivers reverse into spaces alongside other cars. The current Focus introduced the parallel parking aid Active Park Assist that, at the push of a button, uses ultrasonic sensors to locate parking spaces and steer the vehicle while the driver controls the accelerator and brake. The addition of two new sensors to the rear of the new Focus enables Perpendicular Parking to operate in the same way.
The extra sensors also enable Ford to debut technologies that help drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces:
Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them
Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left or right hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
New Focus will also be offered with Ford's MyKey technology for the first time. MyKey enables owners to programme a key – usually for younger drivers – that restricts the top speed, reduces the maximum volume of the audio system, and can disable it altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts. The system can prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control and Active City Stop, which can help mitigate or prevent low-speed collisions.
Lighting the way
The improved Adaptive Front Lighting System adjusts the beams of the new Bi-Xenon HID headlamps to best suit the road layout. The system assesses the ambient light surrounding a vehicle, as well as objects in the road ahead and then adjusts the headlight beam angle and intensity to one of seven settings depending on the vehicle's speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front.
At high speeds, such as on a motorway, the headlights are raised to project a longer, straighter beam for visibility further ahead; in towns where speeds are lower and street lighting more intense, the beam spreads out downwards for more intense illumination of the road immediately ahead. When cornering at lower speeds, the system projects a beam towards the side of the road to make cyclists and pedestrians more visible. The system supports drivers cornering at higher speeds by directing light further into the bend.
The new Focus takes the model's acclaimed fun-to-drive personality up a level with enhanced handling and steering, and also offers significantly improved fuel efficiency on many versions thanks to new powertrain options. The 120 PS 1.5-litre diesel PowerShift will offer a 19 per cent improvement compared with today's equivalentfor example.
The new Ford Focus will go on sale in Europe in the second half of 2014. For further information on the new Ford Focus, go to www.newfocus.fordpresskits.com.
Ford's Geneva Show news conference on March 4 at 13.45 (CET) will include the European motor show debut of both new Mustang and the Edge Concept as well as the new Ford Focus.
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*The Ford Focus is the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world, based on Ford's analysis of the latest Polk global vehicle registration data through the third quarter of 2013.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 181,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.
By Brandon Turkus
See also: How Ford made its 2015 Ford Mustang safer for toupee wearers [w/video], Consumer Reports says these are the worst new cars of 2014, Ford moving medium-duty F-Series production from Mexico to Ohio.