Ford hopes to ‘blow people away’ with the new Ford Focus.
Strong and proud are two words Ford has associated with the new model, which will be available in Ireland later this year.
Unveiled in Barcelona, the new model offers a ‘bolder, more evotive exterior design’ as well as ‘an intuitive new interior’ and ‘a suite of life-enhancing new technologies’, it said.
Fuel economy has also been improved.
The new Ford Focus features a number of firsts, including the upgraded SYNC 2 in-car connectivity system and the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol and TDCi engines.
The new model is also lower and wider than the outgoing one, bringing it in line design-wise with the Ford Mondeo and the Ford Fiesta. Exterior design is distinguished by has a new bonnet, grille and front fascia.
SYNC 2 features a high res 8in colour touch screen and advanced voice control to operate sat nav, audio, climate control and mobile phone.
For the first time the nav system will feature a split screen display, with spoken street names, detailed intersection and landmark views.
Meanwhile, drivers will be able to ask the system to play a specific artist or if you tell it that you’re hungry it will bring up a selection of nearby eateries and directions.
On the road, Ford promises to take the Focus’s ‘fun-to-drive DNA up a level’ through enhanced handling and steering, which delivers ‘a more solid, responsive and connected-to-the-road feel’.
The new model also offers Perpendicular Parking, an advanced hands-free system that helps drivers to reverse into spaces.
The new Ford Focus will be available in a range of fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines. Ford says it has ‘significantly improved’ fuel consumption, with the most improved petrol model offering a 17 per cent reduction and the diesel a 19 per cent reduction.
President of Ford Europe, Stephen Odell said: ‘We weren’t satisfied with being No 1; we wanted to blow people away with a stunning new version of the Focus.
‘New Focus marries modern design, advanced technology and leading fuel efficiency with the fun-to-drive DNA for which Focus is rightly acclaimed.’
The new Ford Focus will be available in Ireland towards the end of 2014. Prices and Irish specification will be announced closer to launch.