FORD Australia has been quick to confirm a local arrival for the all-new German-built Ford Focus, with the first shipment expected to arrive before the end of the year.
The announcement coincided with the unveiling of the fourth-generation Focus in Europe, where it was billed as one of the brand’s most advanced mainstream cars to date.
While full details of the Australian line-up are yet to be revealed, Ford has confirmed all variants sold here will be built in Germany, where the local arm currently sources ST and RS variants from. The rest of the existing range is sourced from Thailand.
From the few details release about the Aussie range, the fourth-gen Focus line-up will include two 1.5-litre three-cylinder engines; an atmo version, and an all-new EcoBoost turbo version that’s mated with an ‘intelligent’ eight-speed torque converter auto. The new transmission features Adaptive Shift Scheduling (ASS – their acronym, not ours) which senses hard cornering manoeuvres and steep gradients and adjusts gearshifts accordingly.
The 2019 Focus will be the first vehicle built on Ford’s clean-sheet C2 global platform that’s 33kg lighter than the current architecture. Ford says body rigidity is up by 20 percent, which increases by as much as 50 percent around the suspension elements to allow for broader suspension tuning. Higher-spec models are equipped with double wishbone rear suspension and optional adaptive dampers.
All variants will have up to three driving modes (Normal, Sport and Eco) which alter steering weight and, where applicable, automatic throttle mapping and suspension damping.
Active safety also figures prominently, with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assist coming standard. Optional driver assistance features take the Focus to Level 2 autonomy, with adaptive cruise control with automatic stop and go capability in slow-moving traffic and evasive steering assist that, where possible, will manoeuvre the Focus around a potential collision at lower speeds.
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Inside, the new Focus will also be roomier with more rear legroom thanks to a 53mm longer wheelbase and a more upright windscreen that has allowed Ford’s designers to do away with the existing model’s hulking dashboard. The now clutter-free dash features an 8.0-inch floating touchscreen that will display Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
What isn’t known yet is precisely what variants will arrive in Australia. The European range includes a standard hatch, sedan, wagon, and a new semi-crossover ‘Active’ hatch variant that sits 30mm higher than the standard Focus.
It’s not yet clear if the Active or wagon will join the local range, which will eventually spawn ST- and RS-badged hot hatches, though the latter is yet to be confirmed.