With so many new features focused on automation and connectivity, it's little wonder that the company has chosen the Mobile World Congress, rather than the Geneva Motor Show, to launch the latest version of its most popular car.
The Ford Focus is one of the world's best-selling cars and
to make sure that it continues to be so, Ford has pulled out all of the stops to make sure its latest family hatchback is still at the head of the queue when it comes to looks, performance and features.
In terms of looks, the car has a new grille, bumpers and headlights to bring it into line with the design of the Fiesta and Mondeo. So that Aston Martin-esque nose and fewer but clearer lines that add up to a sleeker, wider presence.
Under the hood, the new Focus also gets Ford's latest EcoBoost engines, which are wonderfully economical yet somehow don't sacrifice driver enjoyment thanks to turbocharging.
However, it's inside where all of the real fun starts. The new Focus is the first Ford to get the latest suite of automated and assisted parking technologies. The car can automatically identify a parallel parking space big enough to accommodate it and steer into it.
All the driver need do is manage the accelerator and brake. And the same goes for exiting the space, too. It can also do the same trick when it comes to reverse parking into a perpendicular space alongside other cars. It will even keep watch to make sure no other vehicles are about to pass when it comes time to reverse out of the space again.
The Focus also gets the MyKey system, which enables the owner to program each key that is going to be used with the car; so, when the kids borrow the car, they will find it's set up differently, say with a restricted top speed or a lower maximum volume on the sound system.
The other major innovation making its debut on the new car is SYNC 2, Ford's next-generation in-car connectivity system, which brings with it better voice recognition and simpler voice commands and better, more detailed navigation features. It means that the driver can simply press a button and say "I'm hungry" and a list of nearby restaurants should automatically appear on the car's 8-inch color touch screen.
After making its debut in Barcelona this week as part of the Mobile World Congress, the Focus will be heading for the Swiss border for an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show, which opens its doors to the public on March 6.
Expect the new Focus to appear in dealerships in the second half of 2014.
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