The complete overhaul of Ford's popular rally-bred getabout is part of the company's switch to a new design philosophy. There will eventually be five flexible basic architectures, upon which common body, chassis, electrical and drivetrain modules will sit to build out the American manufacturer's range in the coming years.
So it's far more than a cosmetic upgrade for this year's Focus, it's a top to bottom re-think, but one Ford insists won't impact the fun driving experience these things offer.
Visually, the new Focus takes some steps that'll split the crowd. There's more than a hint of Hyundai Veloster to it, with its accented wheel arches and crouched-over hatchback on the ST version. It's not a bad look – just perhaps one that might struggle to stand out. Still, the wheels and front grille are unmistakable.
Aerodynamic improvements yielding a drag co-efficient of just 0.273, coupled with low rolling resistance tires and an average weight loss around 50kg combine with the efficient powertrains to use some 10% less fuel per mile across the board. That sort of saving will add up for sure.
There are four models to start with, each aimed at a slightly different type of customer. The ST-Line is a younger, sportier model aimed at car nuts; the Vignale aims more toward luxury and refinement; the Titanium is your more practical family wagon, and the Active gets a slight lift kit and some protective exterior touches to make it a touch more capable off the tarmac.
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