Ford is giving an advance look at the 2015 Focus, which will make its official debut at the New York International Auto Show, which opens April 17 at the Jacob Javits Center.
According to data compiled by R.L. Polk/IHS Automotive, the Focus is the best-selling car model in the world with 1,097,618 sales in 2013 , an 8.1% increase from 2012. The key to the Focus’ success is China where over a third of all Focus sales were made.
In the U.S., the Focus was the third best-selling American-badged car and No. 15 out of all vehicles offered in America. 2013 Focus sales were down 4.6% so the time is ripe for a refresh.
The renewed Focus was first shown in Geneva in March with the introduction of the three-door and five-door hatchbacks for Europe. For the U.S. market, the three-door hatch is replaced with the four-door sedan body style preferred over here.
The new Focus features a restyled hood and grille in line with Ford’s current design language, LED lighting for headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid.
“It is remarkable to see Focus again lead the industry as the No. 1-selling vehicle nameplate on the planet,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president. “With the new car, we’ve raised the bar again, showcasing Ford’s commitment to continuous improvement – adding better technology for drivers and a sleeker, more modern exterior across the entire Focus family.”
One of the key changes for American 2015 Focus is the addition of the three-cylinder, 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that was named as one of the International Engines of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Paired with a six-speed manual transmission, Ford expects fuel efficiency to be competitive with any non-hybrid vehicle.
A handy upgrade is the rearview camera that will be standard equipment on all 2015 Focuses (Foci?). Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and lane keeping system are optional.
Ford’s BLIS uses two multiple-beam radar modules in the rear quarter panels that identify vehicles entering the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the sideview mirror to warn the driver that a vehicle is approaching. The lane-keeping system warns of lane drift caused by driver inattention. If it detects a drift without a turn signal being activated, it vibrates the steering wheel much in the way a rumble strip would. If the driver persists, the system actively steers the car back into the current lane.
This might also remind Focus drivers to signal lane changes, an unintentional but useful side effect.
Other options include a heated steering wheel and a new SE Sport Package featuring body treatments, paddle shifters (with automatic transmission), a revised touring suspension, 17-inch black gloss aluminum wheels and P215/50 HR-17 tires.
A bit of a downer for would-be-wayward teens is the fact that Ford’s MyKey will be standard on all Focus trim levels. MyKey is Ford’s system that allows parents to help their children be better drivers by reminding them to buckle up as well as preventing the sound system fro being operated at eardrum-splitting levels. MyKey also chimes at preset speeds to remind young drivers to watch their speed and can be set to limit the top speed to 80 miles per hour. Best of all (or worst of all, depending on one’s point of view), MyKey blocks incoming phone calls and text messages on phones paired with the car.
Ford has not yet announced pricing or availability for the new Focus. The current version starts at $17,635, including destination charges.