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Ford Focus

LT Focus

1 Jul 2007

FORD has added more safety features like DSC stability control availability and curtain airbags to the Focus for the LT facelift.

Released in July 2007, it also sees the inclusion of ABS brakes across the range, thus addressing one of the LS Focus CL’s biggest criticisms.

Ford has also dropped prices between $1000 and $1500.

Three new model variants join the Focus line-up.

The luxury Ghia now comes as a five-door hatch as well as a sedan, and vice-versa for the previously hatch-only Zetec.

Finally, the Focus hatch gains a diesel powerplant – Ford’s first for an Australian-market passenger car.

Dubbed TDCi, it is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Only available as a six-speed manual for now, the Focus TDCi develops 100kW of power at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm, and can deliver 5.6L/100km and a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 148g/km.

Ford is equipping the TDCi to LX hatchback specification. Priced at $27,990, going diesel thus adds $4000 to the price.

Visually, it will take a trained eye to pick new from old.

Changes include a redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, repositioned side repeater lamps in otherwise identically sized exterior mirrors, restyled alloy wheel designs on the Zetec and Ghia, and the deletion of body side mouldings.

Inside, there is a new-look audio unit, different instrument lighting on some models and a flip-out key fob.

Mechanically, all petrol-powered LT Focus models stick with the 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder Duratec unit that is also seen in altered form in the Mazda 3.

Outputs on 95 RON premium unleaded petrol are 107kW at 6000rpm and 185Nm 4500rpm, with 90 per cent of the latter occurring at 2000rpm.

Performance drops slightly on regular 91 RON while it rises with 98 RON.

Fuel consumption is rated at 7.8L/100km (auto: 8L/100km).

Gearbox choices for petrol models are a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission with a sequential-shift function.

FORD jumps into the C-segment convertible market with a coupe-cabriolet designed, engineered and produced by Ford of Europe in conjunction with famed Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, which is better known for its work with Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

Based on the Focus Vignale concept car that appeared at the 2004 Paris motor show, the CC is built on the Focus sedan platform.

Apart from the obviously different coupe-like side profile and entirely different rear end, the CC is distinguished from regular Focus models by extra chrome strips around the upper and lower grilles, the fog lamps and around the higher waistline, as well as at the rear between the tail-lights.

Bumpers, mirrors, door handles and bodyside protection mouldings are presented in body colour – and the eight available colours are all exclusive to the convertible.

The two-piece hardtop opens or closes at the push of a button in 29 seconds but, unlike many other similar systems, it cannot be done while the car is moving because of safety and durability concerns.

Luggage capacity with the roof up is a healthy 534 litres – 94 litres more than the Astra – and that reduces to 248 litres with the roof retracted into the boot.

A horizontal luggage separator blind in the boot acts as a sensor and will not allow the roof to retract unless it is in position, preventing the roof from folding on top of items in the boot.

Volvo-style pop-up roll bars behind the rear seat provide rollover protection, along with reinforced A-pillars, and re-engineering under the skin was required to maintain the sedan’s crash safety standards.

Ford’s familiar 2.0-litre Duratec HE alloy petrol engine (as found in other Focus models and also the Fiesta XR4) powers the CC, producing 107kW at 6000rpm and 185Nm of torque at 4500rpm, with 90 per cent of torque available from 2200-6000rpm.

Its fuel consumption figures are claimed to better its rivals, being 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle for the manual and 8.3L/100km for the auto.

The manual gearbox is a five-speed unit while the US-built auto has only four speeds.

Front and rear suspensions are taken from the XR5 Turbo, but have been tuned to provide more comfort.

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