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Future models - Ford - Focus

New York show: Focus sedan on the way from Ford

Four with more: Ford’s Focus sedan gets the same tweaks as the hatch, with both heading for Australia

New face for global best seller as Ford Focus sedan lands in Big Apple

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Ford logo10 Apr 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

FORD has revealed its new Focus sedan with refreshed exterior styling, revised interiors and new engines ahead of the global debut of the world best-seller’s latest four-door version at next week’s New York motor show and 2015 arrival in Australia.

The mid-life update brings the same exterior, interior and engine changes as the facelifted Focus five-door hatchback that was unveiled at Geneva earlier this year and due in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of next year.

On the outside, the new sedan wears the same characteristic ‘trapezoidal’ grille of the recently updated hatch as well as other visual tweaks including LED running lights in reshaped tailights and headlights.

The United States version of the Focus sedan will get the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine used in the Fiesta and EcoSport. It is unclear if Australia will get this unit, alongside the new 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines.

A hotter, European-built high-performance ST version will follow later, though this is expected to remain a hatch proposition only. America will also get an SE sport pack with a body-kit, revised suspension, 17-inch gloss-black wheels and paddle-gear shifters on automatic versions.

Safety systems have been given a boost with a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assistance now included, with all new systems providing information via a 4.2-inch dash-mounted screen.

That screen grows to eight inches if the MyFord Touch option is added.

Ford promises the new Focus sedan will also benefit from improved dynamics thanks to re-tuned electric power steering and modified rear suspension.

Suspension changes have also resulted in reduced cabin noise with a new shock-absorber valve design, while thicker carpets, window-glass, increased engine insulation add to the passenger comfort.

Enhancements to the SYNC software have improved application functions with access to real-time speed and location information, and voice-recognition/read-aloud systems have been given greater flexibility.

Like the hatch, the mainstream Focus sedan variants will continue to be built for Australia at the Thai Rayong plant – one of eight Focus factories in the world.

Ford global marketing vice president Jim Farley said Ford had raised the bar again on Focus, adding better technology for drivers and a sleeker, more modern exterior across the Focus family.

Ford Australia sold 19,180 Focus cars in 2013 – a 3.2 per cent boost over 2012. It was the fifth best-selling small car on the Australian market behind the top-selling Toyota Corolla (43,498), Mazda3 (42,082), Hyundai i30 (30,582) and the Holden Cruze (24,421).

Ford’s most popular model is built in eight locations around the world on four continents, and the company has the combined capacity to complete around two Focuses per second.

Last year, the Focus was the world’s best-selling car, with almost 1.1 million sold worldwide last year.

That figure represents an 8.1 per cent increase over the Focus’s 2012 performance and was driven largely by a booming Chinese market, which ballooned by a whopping 50 per cent last year.

One in three Focuses sold last year was in China.

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