Stronger, smarter, lighter, cleaner — Ford Focus

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The front is sportier looking with new headlights, new grille designs and lower fascia changes.

"We grabbed it with both hands, to develop the best midsize family vehicle that money can buy", he says.

The new fourth-generation Focus is redesigned from the wheels up, according to Ford.

One first for the 2019 Ford Focus is the addition of Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), which should make it ride better. It includes a 140 millimetre boot-mounted subwoofer and a mid-range speaker in the centre of the dashboard which Ford claims to have been specifically calibrated to offer one of the best audio experiences in any vehicle, emphasis on any vehicle. In essence, the automaker will move from individual platforms to more flexible architectures paired with modular "families".

The next generation Focus has as few as 26 configurations, depending on the global market, versus 360 for the current generation.

While that might sound like less choice overall, Ford says it expects the decision to actually help cut through showroom confusion. Photo: Ford Motor Company. There's more connectivity and the option of adaptive cruise control amongst other goodies.

Ford says the camera uses lane markings and roads signs to "pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and - for the first time in the industry - road signs". With SYNC 3, drivers can voice control a number of functions like audio and navigation, or climate and connected devices.

Impact bumpers did no favors to this body design
Impact bumpers did no favors to this body design

The Ford Focus may not be the best-selling vehicle - or even the best-selling Ford - in the United Kingdom - that's the Fiesta - but globally it's only beaten by the massive sales enjoyed by the Ford F-150 pickup.

"Aha! Found ya! Thanks FordPass". Wonder how they pulled that off?! An electronic parking brake replaces the current lever-type brake, and the gear shifter is also gone, replaced by a rotary gearshift dial. The console also adds soft knee pads for driver comfort.

In "weird-things-you-might-not-notice-but-Ford-has-thought-about" news, the rear-view mirror has been specially shaped to mitigate that frightful buffeting throb effect you get when you open one window at speed.

Even the cheapest of the new Focus range has so many high tech features on board it is probably the most sophisticated family auto Ford has ever made. Ford confirmed it will offer the new Focus in China with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, while in Europe the Focus will be available with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost gas engine and a 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel. It's worth noting that to begin with that at launch the new 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines are not available. Other markets will also get a 2.0 petrol. Gearboxes (China): 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic.

The consumer shift to crossovers has happened so quickly that automakers are trying to adapt. As before, there are three body styles to choose from - five-door hatchback, five-door wagon, and four-door sedan. The new Focus will be available in Europe and China this year and in the U.S.in the second half of 2019.

During the press conference, Ford was light on specifics and details about the new Focus shell and chassis, but it did note some broad characteristics.

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