En­thu­si­asm as Ford fo­cuses on the economies

Fred­eric Manby likes the look of the new Ford Fo­cus.

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST -

FORD is cut­ting back on the guest list at its Press launches of new mod­els so I missed “the cut” for the de­but of its high out­put three-cylin­der one-litre turbo petrol engine in the Fo­cus.

I read the en­thu­si­as­tic re­views and won­dered if the gloss of the launch party had mud­died ob­jec­tiv­ity.

Now I have tried one on home soil and feel pretty much the same en­thu­si­asm as the other testers.

This lat­est in its EcoBoost engine fam­ily is sold in 98.6bhp or 123.2bhp tune. Ford says: “It de­liv­ers the power you’d ex­pect from a con­ven­tional 1.6 engine, but uses up to 20 per cent less fuel. That means a con­sid­er­able sav­ing at the petrol pump.

“Its diesel-like fuel con­sump­tion is thanks to a fun­da­men­tal reengi­neer­ing, re­sult­ing in a faster engine warm-up and re­duced fric­tion, among other ben­e­fits.”

On pa­per there is noth­ing in its class to match its com­bi­na­tion of power, econ­omy and emis­sions.

Ford says: “This is a classlead­ing engine for fu­el­ef­fi­ciency and emis­sions, so a great choice for any dis­cern­ing driver.” So, no mis­un­der­stand­ings there, then.

The engine weighs less than 100kg and the cast iron block is small enough to sit on an A4 sheet of pa­per. A small tur­bocharger, di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and twin vari­able camshaft tim­ing bring econ­omy, plus an un­bal­anced fly­wheel to off­set the typ­i­cal throb of a three-cylin­der engine.

It has stop-start ig­ni­tion, a six speed man­ual gear­box.

Among the en­gines it knocks spots off is Ford’s out­ward-bound petrol 1.6 which, in its 103.5bhp tune, records 47.9mpg and 136g/km of CO2. The 99bhp one-litre new­comer records 58.9mpg and 109g/km and costs from £16,445 in Edge trim – a £245 pre­mium over the less com­pet­i­tive 1.6.

The one-litre engine is also avail­able in the Fo­cus es­tate from £17,545 – with a slight loss of mpg and rise in CO2. It will also be of­fered in the C-Max and Fi­esta mod­els.

My test Fo­cus had the 123bhp tune engine, which records 56.5mpg over­all (44.8 ur­ban, 67.3 ex­tra ur­ban) and 114g/km CO2 on stan­dard 16 inch wheels.

The fac­tory demon­stra­tor was on 17-inch wheels which will al­ter the fig­ures slightly. Its 0-62mph time is a re­spectable 11.3 sec­onds and its max­i­mum torque of 125 lb ft is de­liv­ered over a wide band from 1,400 to 4,500rpm. This is the peak achieved by the 99bhp ver­sion but the 123bhp ver­sion has an over­boost to 148 lb ft for a short ex­tra over­tak­ing burst.

This de­liv­ery of high torque at low speed, nor­mally a fea­ture of diesel en­gines, with rel­a­tively high gear­ing, helps make the new Ford engine so eco­nom­i­cal,

At 70 in fifth it is run­ning at a re­laxed and un­stressed 2,500rpm. The drive train is smooth, quiet, re­fined and rather lovely. The 123bhp prices start at £17,945 for the Zetec spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which is a £500 pre­mium on the 99bhp Zetec. The test car was in Ti­ta­nium spec­i­fi­ca­tion which costs from £19,195.

Ex­tras in­cluded candy red pearles­cent paint (£745) with a qual­ity fin­ish wor­thy of a car five times the price. An­other £850 went on the “driver as­sis­tance pack” which brings ac­tive city stop, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, lane keep­ing as­sis­tance, driver alert mon­i­tor­ing, wing mir­ror blind spot warn­ing, au­to­matic head­light dip­ping and speed limit recog­ni­tion – shown on the fas­cia. Some of the speed signs were in­ac­cu­rately read and thus not safe to rely on.

KEEN: Ford’s lat­est ver­sion of the Fo­cus has re­ceived a warm wel­come.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.