to new small car

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

change to the wheel­base, but the car crouches 20mm lower and the nose has been stretched by 30mm to im­prove pedes­trian crash pro­tec­tion.

There are two De­sign Study teaser cars at the Detroit show but only one, the sedan, has a fully fit­ted cabin.

The in­te­rior has an up­mar­ket look with stitched up­hol­stery, high-end Sony sound sys­tem, con­trast­ing pi­ano black and satin metal fin­ishes, and trape­zoidal shapes in a driver­fo­cused lay­out.

It’s far too early for Ford Aus­tralia to set pow­er­plants or equip­ment lev­els for the do­mes­tic mar­ket, but the plan in­cludes an all-new 2.0-litre en­gine — with di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and a six-speed, twin-clutch gear­box.

Th­ese are be­ing read­ied for the US and some parts of Asia. There is also a 1.6-litre Ecoboost en­gine, a cousin to the 2-litre four that will be fit­ted to the lo­cally made Fal­con this year. Ford says the Ecoboost pack­age uses di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and tur­bocharg­ing to re­duce en­gine ca­pac­ity without per­for­mance loss, with the ben­e­fit of a 20 per cent im­prove­ment in fuel econ­omy and a sim­i­lar drop in CO2 emis­sions.

A great deal of work has gone into mak­ing the Fo­cus qui­eter, more comfortable and safer while im­prov­ing the car’s famed agility. The body for the global Fo­cus will be 55 per cent high-strength steel. Eight dif­fer­ent thick­nesses of steel will be com­bined in the B-pil­lar for sideim­pact pro­tec­tion.

Ford is promis­ing a raft of tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing the sort of dy­namic cor­ner­ing con­trol nor­mally fit­ted to high-end sports cars.

In­stead of us­ing brak­ing the way it op­er­ates in ESP sta­bil­ity con­trol, DCC uses ‘‘torque vec­tor­ing’’ of the driven wheels to help the car pull it­self through cor­ners. En­gi­neers have also tweaked the steer­ing for bet­ter pre­ci­sion and to im­prove fuel econ­omy.

The Aus­tralian on-sale date for the global Fo­cus is still be­ing de­cided, with Amer­ica and Europe up first.

Ford Aus­tralia spokesper­son Sinead McAlary says: ‘‘We be­lieve some Asian mar­kets will get it early in 2012, and we are in the mid­dle there some­where be­tween the US and Asia.’’

In­side story: the in­te­rior fea­tures pi­ano black and satin metal fin­ishes.

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