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Ford teases next Focus ahead of reveal

Focus on me: The next-generation Focus’ tailgate is more steeply raked than before and now features its model name between its tail-lights.

Fourth-generation Ford Focus small car set for international debut on April 10

Ford logo3 Apr 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

FORD Motor Company has released an 18-second teaser video of the fourth-generation Focus small car ahead of its international reveal on April 10.

Published on the Blue Oval’s Romanian Facebook page, the video shows off elements of the latest Focus’ front and rear ends – likely in five-door hatch form with sporty ST Line trim – as well as its alloy wheels.

Specifically, a large trapezoidal front grille with a honeycomb insert is prominent but will likely be available with horizontal slats for non-ST Line variants.

Full-LED headlights with bisecting LED daytime running lights will be on offer for the first time, however halogen units are likely for entry-level grades.

The tailgate is more steeply raked than before and now features Focus spelt out between the tail-lights, while a reversing camera is mounted above the number plate area.

While several alloy wheel designs will be available, the machine-finish rims depicted appear to measure 18 inches in diameter and are wrapped in Michelin tyres – potentially sticky Pilot Sport 4S rubber.

Spy images published overseas last year revealed Focus engineering mules in four-door sedan and wagon guises as well as the aforementioned five-door hatch – which will launch first – meaning a full complement should again be on offer.

However, a high-riding body style, dubbed Active, is reportedly set to join the model mix and will go toe to toe with its key rival, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, when it launches.

Performance-focused ST and RS variants are on the cards, too, but will arrive later on in the new model’s production run, with the latter lobbing as late as early next decade.

Details regarding the Focus’ new interior are scarce but a large floating touchscreen – consistent with the current industry trend – has been spied and will be powered by the latest version of Ford’s Sync infotainment system, while overall quality is in line for a lift.

The Focus will reportedly adopt a larger platform that results in it measuring about 50mm longer, helping to improve cargo capacity and rear legroom while reducing weight by about 50 kilograms.

As previously reported, the North American Focus will be, for the first time, sourced from the Changan plant in Chonqing, China, which replaces the Detroit, Michigan operation that is retooling in preparation for the next-generation Ranger pick-up and Bronco SUV.

Alternatively, the European-market model will reportedly once again be manufactured at the Ford factory in Saarlouis, Germany.

Given Australia currently takes non-performance variants from the Blue Oval plant in Pluak Daeng, Thailand – which is rumoured to drop the Focus alongside the Fiesta – doubt has been cast over whether their next iterations will be built in Germany or China.

However, GoAuto exclusively reported in September last year that Ford Motor Company Australia will not import the Focus from China, opening the door for the German variants to return after they were dropped in favour of the cheaper Thai versions in 2012.

European customers will be able to purchase the new Focus before the end of this year, while their American and Canadian counterparts will reportedly have to wait until mid-2019 for availability.

GoAuto has contacted Ford Motor Company Australia to confirm when the Focus will arrive in local showrooms and where its entire line-up will officially be sourced from.

Sales of the Focus took a hit last year, with 5953 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 12.2 per cent decrease over the 6783 deliveries made in 2016.

This effort placed the Ford model 10th in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment last year, trailing the Toyota Corolla (37,353 units), Mazda3 (32,690), Hyundai i30 (28,780), Kia Cerato (18,731) and Volkswagen Golf (18,454), among others.

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