1 Apr 2009
FORD completed its LV Focus hatch and sedan range rollout in May 2009, a year after LV XR5 Turbo flagship turned up in Australia.
However, the South African-made LV Focus models coming to Australia are subtly different to their European-built counterparts, carrying over the same old side sheetmetal.
This is most evident in the pronounced door crease bisecting the door handles on the German-built XR5 Turbo that other LV Focuses do not have.
Ford says the changes to the front of the South African Focus were carried out in Melbourne.
Except for the doors and roof, the LV is a reskin of the previous two Focus models (2005 LS and 2007 LT), wearing the ‘Kinetic’ design language deployed for the latest-generation Mondeo (MA series, 2007) and Fiesta (WS series, 2009).
This is clearest in the LV Focus’ nose, which boasts a sleeker set of headlights and grille, a larger Ford badge, and a different bumper bar compared to before.
Modifications have also been made to the rear window shape on the hatch, as well as the tail-lights, bumpers and positioning of the badges. Larger side mirrors and new colours complete the exterior massaging.
The changes inside are limited to a restyled central dashboard fascia, revised instruments, and the addition of fresh convenience items like USB and Bluetooth connectivity. All aim to lift the perceived quality of the Focus’ cabin.
Underneath, one of the biggest changes to the Focus will be the addition of an ‘automatic’ gearbox on the TDCi. Dubbed ‘Powershift’ and co-developed with Getrag, it is Ford’s six-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox to take on Volkswagen’s successful DSG unit.
Meanwhile, while the power (107kW at 6000rpm) and torque (185Nm at 4500rpm) of the 1999cc 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (shared with the new Mazda3) remains the same as before, Ford says that it can run on E10 ten per cent ethanol, while the 1997cc 2.0-litre TDCi (100kW at 4000rpm and 320Nm at 2000rpm – or 340Nm during brief over-boost periods, says Ford) can operate with B5 five per cent bio-diesel mix.
For the record, the LV XR5 Turbo’s Volvo-built 2522cc 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine’s headline numbers are 166kW at 6000rpm, 320Nm from 1600 to 4000rpm, 9.3L/100km and 224g/km.
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