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Geneva show: Focus on a fetching wagon

Mini Mondeo: The Ford Focus Estate has been styled with Ford's Kinetic design philosophy, for a sleek shape resembling the Mondeo wagon towards the rear.

Ford’s next-gen small car strikes a surprisingly stylish pose in Focus wagon guise

Ford logo2 Mar 2010

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

FORD’S important third-generation small car has been revealed in a five-door wagon shape at this year’s Geneva motor show.

Looking a lot like the rear half of its current Mondeo wagon brother, the 2011 Focus Estate is a likely non-starter in Australia on the face of it, as the two previous generation wagons have only come as close as New Zealand.

However, Ford Australia communications manager Sinead McAlary told GoAuto that everything regarding the next-generation Focus was open to discussion, including the wagon.

“It is too far away for us to announce which models we will be bringing to Australia, but we will be looking at everything on offer,” Ms McAlary said.

“We are not discounting anything for the time being.” Whatever the decision, do not expect any version of the Mk3 Focus to arrive in Australia before the second half of next year – at the earliest. Even Europe will not get it before the second quarter of 2011.

Ford says the wagon is expected be the second most popular new-Focus based variant globally after the hatchback versions, and so should outsell the four-door sedan, C-Max five-seater Renault Scenic rival and seven-seater Grand C-Max people-mover that have already been revealed, as well as five other Focus-derived models that Ford has yet to show the world.

27 center imageTo aid the newcomer’s popularity, Ford has infused its Kinetic Design philosophy into the mix, for a sleeker and more detailed appearance compared with the Focus Estate’s boxier predecessors.

Some of the more upmarket visual items include full-length roof rails and an integrated rear spoiler, while the tailgate can be had with a self-closing feature.

Engine choices include low-carbon variations of the existing common-rail 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDCi four-cylinder turbo-diesel units, as well as new-generation direct-injection 1.6-litre naturally aspirated and turbocharged petrol powerplants.

Direct-injection 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines will be on offer, with the high-efficiency EcoBoost variety expected to replace the ageing Volvo-sourced five-cylinder in-line unit employed in the XR5 Turbo/ST and RS models in the current generation car.

Whether all of these make it to Australian Mk3 Focus models remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the other five Focus variants are rumoured to include swoopy coupe in the mould of the original European Capri, as well as a convertible, compact SUV to replace the existing Kuga, and even a commercial van application.

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