Pressed, Ford flicks Focus buttons
Listening: Customer feedback has driven the car’s interior redesign
“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.”