Pressed, Ford flicks Fo­cus but­tons

Lis­ten­ing: Cus­tomer feed­back has driven the car’s in­te­rior re­design

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - News -

“All we’re con­firm­ing is 2015,” says Ford Aus­tralia spokesman Neil McDon­ald.

“We get our cars from Ford Thai­land Man­u­fac­tur­ing, so there is a cus­tom­ary de­lay while they ramp up pro­duc­tion for our re­gion.”

The new look for the Fo­cus fol­lows a sim­i­lar styling drive for the Fi­esta and Mon­deo, al­though only the for­mer is avail­able in Aus­tralia.

“Mon­deo is prob­a­bly ar­riv­ing re­ally late this year, with the of­fi­cial launch at the start of next year,” says McDon­ald. “The Fi­esta has al­ready been launched with the global front, and Mon­deo is next cab off the rank.”

The but­ton blitz in the cabin fol­lows wide­spread com­plaints about the con­fus­ing lay­out of the dash­board but there are other ma­jor changes to the Fi­esta.

Ford claims fuel econ­omy im­prove­ments of 17-19 per cent for its petrol and diesel en­gines.

A new 1.5-litre EcoBoost pow­er­plant will join the ex­ist­ing 1.0-litre mo­tor in Europe. The car is also avail­able with SYNC2 in­fo­tain­ment, per­pen­dic­u­lar park­ing as­sis­tance and an im­proved city-stop safety pack­age.

Me­chan­i­cally, Ford says the Fo­cus will re­turn to the top of the driver rank­ings in the com­pact class with a stiffer front end, re­vised sus­pen­sion and dampers and new elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

Ford is not dis­cussing spec­i­fi­ca­tions for Aus­tralia, al­though McDon­ald con­firms the Fo­cus wagon, very pop­u­lar in Europe, is not com­ing.

Pro­duc­tion of the Fo­cus has topped 12 mil­lion since it was in­tro­duced in 1998. Ford says the restyling of body and cabin is part of a new global de­sign lan­guage.

The cabin changes are likely to get the big­gest tick from buy­ers — and the Cars­guide test team.

Euro­pean de­sign boss Martin Smith says: “When redesign­ing the in­te­rior of the new Fo­cus, Ford lis­tened to con­sumer feed­back and re­sponded with a more in­tu­itive lay­out, com­ple­mented by a steer­ing wheel and cen­tral stack with fewer con­trols and switches.”

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