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New look for Ford’s flagship Focus XR5 Turbo

Edgy: XR5 is the first Focus to receive Ford's kinetic design language.

Kinetic facelift for XR5 Turbo heralds first LV-series Focus from Ford

23 Jun 2008

FORD has released a new-look Focus XR5 Turbo hot-hatch, complete with “kinetic” body styling and a host of interior cosmetic and equipment upgrades.

On sale this month for $36,990, representing a $500 price increase over the ($36,490) LT-series version it replaces, the upgraded XR5 is the first example of Ford of Europe’s facelifted LV-series Focus range to arrive in Australia.

LV iterations of the rest of the South African-built Focus range, which was first released here in second-generation LS-series form in July 2005 (the LS XR5 followed in April 2006) and received a mostly technical update in July 2007, won’t be seen in Australia until early next year.

27 center imageBut they too have received running changes in their final six months on sale, including the fitment of side front airbags as standard across the entire LT Focus sedan and hatch range.

As a result, entry-level Focus pricing for the base CL hatch and sedan rises by $500 – from $19,990 to $20,490.

The optional Focus safety pack, comprising side curtain airbags, traction/stability control (DSC) and emergency brake assists (EBA), remains a $1300 option for CL, LX and TDCi variants.

“Safety is an essential want for small car consumers, so we have taken the step of standardising side front airbags on every Focus sedan and hatch model,” saidFord Australia vice-president, marketing and sales, Mark Winslow.

Meantime, the German-built XR5 Focus flagship’s almost completely new external appearance is spearheaded by a lower and more aggressive new unique front bumper, featuring a larger lower inverted trapezoidal grille and restyled foglights.

The XR5’s signature honeycomb-pattern upper and lower mesh grilles continue, this time presented in “graphite”, while new-look headlights that incorporate specific black housings to give them a quartz effect in sunlight are separated by a new body-coloured bonnet appliqué.

The sheemetal changes continue beyond the front quarter panels to the doors, which lose their rub strips but gain an aggressive new full-length shoulder crease.

New 18-inch alloy wheels complete the fresher side profile appearance, while at the rear there is another new bumper with an integrated lower diffuser that frames two pronounced exhaust outlets. A roof-mounted rear wing and new LED tail-lights complete the XR5’s new-look rear-end.

LV enhancements continue inside to a new “premium” centre console that comprises Bluetooth connectivity and voice control, while the Mondeo’s Easyfuel capless refuelling system with misfuelling inhibitor now appears on the Focus – as does a new “Ford Power” start/stop button.

The latter is located unconventionally on the new Focus centre console, which is claimed to create both a “flow-through effect” from the instrument panel and a cockpit feel for both driver and front passenger.

It now includes a movable armrest with 80mm of travel, a four-litre storage compartment, two open cup-holders with rubber mats, a coin holder and a card holder.

Ford says attention was also paid to quality and surface materials, via a new “carbon-effect” finish for the centre of the instrument panel, centre console and switch bezels.

A soft-touch surface has also been applied to the instrument panel and storage compartments, alongside the XR5’s unique three-spoke leather steering wheel, door-sill scuff plates, alloy sports pedals, leather gearshifter and unique handbrake cover.

The Focus XR5 continues to feature Recaro sports front seats as standard (leather trim remains a $2000 option and also adds 10-way adjustment for the front seats), along with woven black headlining and A-pillars.

There is no change to the top-shelf Focus XR5’s Volvo-sourced 166kW/320Nm turbocharged 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder engine, nor the list of seven exterior paint colours led by the Turbo’s signature Electric Orange hue, which remains an $1800 option.

Other options include “GT-style” overhead stripes with selected colours ($350), a power tilt/slide sunroof ($1900 – not available with overhead stripes) and prestige paint ($310).

“Ford set a real benchmark in hot-hatch motoring when the original Focus XR5 Turbo was launched a little over two years ago,” said Mr Winslow.

“We believe we can cement this position with the introduction of a fresh new, feature laden, sports-performance Focus XR5 Turbo which offers unparalleled levels of functionality and versatility.”

Ford Focus pricing:

CL hatch - $20,490
CL sedan - $20,490
CL hatch (a) - $22,490
CL sedan (a) - $22,490
LX hatch - $23,990
LX sedan - $23,990
LX sedan (a) - $25,990
Zetec hatch - $26,490
Zetec hatch (a) - $28,490
Zetec sedan - $26,490
Zetec sedan (a) - $28,490
TDCi hatch - $27,990
Ghia hatch (a) - $29,490
Ghia sedan (a) - $29,490
XR5 Turbo hatch - $36,990
Coupe-Convertible - $45,490
Coupe-Convertible (a) - $47,490

Read more:

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