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Ford Focus update sees range cut back

Focus up: Ford has streamlined and updated its Focus line-up with the ST-Line now scoring independent rear suspension.

Ford Australia down to just three Focus variants with major update due December

9 Jun 2020

FORD Australia has announced an extensive model update for its Focus small car and in the process has slashed the local line-up from six variants down to just three, leaving the recreationally aimed Active, sports-oriented ST-Line and hi-po ST flagship.


The changes will come into effect when the updated Active and ST-Line five-door variants touch down here in December, both priced from $30,990 plus on-road costs and brandishing several key “equipment upgrades and specification improvements”.


This raises the entry point to the Focus range from the current $23,490 Ambiente hatch, which is now on the way out, and also deletes the Trend hatch that starts at $26,490. 


The current Focus Active is priced from $30,490 – meaning a $500 increase applies with the update – while the ST-Line is currently only available with a wagon body style (from $31,490), which now switches to the hatch. 


The Titanium hatch, set at $34,990 plus on-roads, is also now driving out of showrooms and will not be replaced. 


The headline act with the forthcoming update is the addition of the FordPass Connect embedded modem for drastically increased compatibility and a bigger range of features, most of which can be accessed via the FordPass smartphone app.


Other new standard features across the range include the previously optional front parking sensors, new LED headlights and extra colour options including ‘Race Red’ and ‘Fantastic Red’.


The rest of the standard equipment lists for both the Active and ST-Line otherwise stay the same, highlighted by a 180-degree reversing camera, 8.0-inch infotainment screen, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and autonomous emergency braking.


Under the skin, the ST-Line has been treated to a sizeable rear suspension change, moving to a fully independent multilink set-up in an effort to make the sports-flavoured variant more engaging, but comfier as well.


This brings it into line with the Active, which was introduced with the multilink rear end at its launch last year.


As before, the ST-Line has a lower ride height lower than other mainstream Focus variants to match its sportier disposition, while the Active sits at the other end of the spectrum, riding slightly higher and boasting additional Trail and Slippery drive modes.


Under the bonnet resides the familiar 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine good for 134kW of power and 240Nm of torque, fed to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.


As reported, the high-performance ST hot hatch arrived last month, priced from $44,690 and armed with a 206kW/420Nm 2.3-litre turbo-four engine.


Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO Kay Hart said the revised line-up reflects the Focus’ “reputation as a driver’s car”.


“We’ve made the ST-Line an even better drive with its suspension upgrades, while the Active clearly reflects the outdoor adventurous spirit that its name implies with added practicality too,” she said.


So far this year ending May, Ford has sold 899 examples of the Focus, accounting for just 2.1 per cent of the crowded sub-$40,000 small car segment and marking a sales slip of 50.1 per cent compared to the same time last year (1803).


2020 Ford Focus pricing*

Active (a) $30,990
ST-Line (a) $30,990
ST (a) $44,690
ST $44,690

*Excludes on-road costs

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