The Latest Ford Focus Looks to Technology for 2012
Mon, Mar 19, 2012
- Like no other car in its class, the all-new Focus provides customers with an unprecedented level of technology that enhance comfort, convenience and safety
- Cutting-edge innovations make driving experience more involving and give the Focus stable handling and superb road manners
- The new Focus technologies will be the center of attention Ford’s recently launched inter-GCC Focus Rabaa Rally – Registrations open until end of March
DUBAI, UAE – Previous Ford Focus models were lauded for safety, driving dynamics and style, winning numerous accolades – and the 2012 Focus aims to repeat these successes by surpassing the benchmark set by its previous generations using a host of sophisticated and class-exclusive technologies developed by Ford.
“The new Ford Focus features class-exclusive cutting-edge innovations creating a remarkable car,” said Paul Anderson, Ford Middle East’s Marketing director. “Drivers of the all-new Ford Focus will benefit from a more enjoyable ownership and driving experience thanks to the latest technologies that the new model boasts.”
And these technologies will be the center of attention in Ford’s newly announced inter-GCC rally, Focus Rabaa, which kicks off registrations mid-March. Focus Rabaa [referring to a gang of friends in Khaleeji dialect] sets the ground for a fun challenge and a test for driving skills, endurance, and the use of the all-new 2012 Ford Focus technologies, as participants drive across all of the Gulf countries to complete a series of tasks and challenges.
Teams will be rated on their skills and performances rather than speed, as well as the level of participation and support of their fans. For more information and registration, please visit the Ford Middle East Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FordMiddleEast.
An area the Focus has always excelled in is handling. The new Ford Focus integrates an even greater number of features that give the vehicle outstanding road grip and driving dynamics. A key component on previous models was the Control Blade independent rear suspension, which Ford engineers have retuned and enhanced, developing optimised new designs for the multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front subframe set up for 2012.
The rear suspension also has a wider track as well as increased diameter dampers for improved ride comfort and road noise while maintaining body control among other evolutions of previous designs. Front suspension sees upgrades to improve handling too, as well as significant weight saving efforts.
A new feature to make its way to the Focus is the standard Torque Vectoring Control system which enhances cornering stability and agility. This technology has, up to now, typically only been available on premium sports vehicles. The Torque Vectoring Control system uses the car’s brakes to imitate the effect of a torque vectoring differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the front wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering, and a reduced level of understeer.
Combine these with the new Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS) and the Focus becomes a truly dynamic car to drive. With the latest rack-mounted design, EPAS is capable of delivering precise steering with a natural and confident feel. The system has been carefully tuned with sophisticated speed mapping to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking manoeuvres.
The EPAS system also features Pull-Drift Compensation, which minimises the annoying holding effort when driving along roads with a heavy camber, or with a constant side wind. Because the EPAS steering system only provides power assistance when required, it also reduces fuel consumption by approximately 3 per cent compared to a conventional hydraulic power steering system.
This is all in addition to passive features which enhance the Focus’ handling characteristics, namely a stronger, stiffer, lighter and safer steel body shell. Optimised using computer simulation techniques, the shell uses advanced high strength steels and innovative fabrication technique to minimise body weight while delivering enhanced crash performance, improved vehicle dynamics and superior refinement. To enhance handling, engineers focused on increasing local stiffness of the structure at the suspension mounting points, increasing body stiffness as much as 75 per cent.
Smart safety features
Safety has always been at the core of the Focus, and for the 2012 model, Ford’s engineers have incorporated a host of technologies to continue making the model a class leading car in safety.
The new Focus was named Euro NCAP’s “Best in Class” small family car in recognition of the vehicle’s crash test rating and advanced safety technology. The Focus scooped one of only five best in class awards accolades on the strength of its maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating as well as four Euro NCAP Advanced rewards last year, an achievement which is unmatched by any other high-volume car.
A state-of-the-art Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) system is at the heart of many of the active safety features, and uses intelligent logic to monitor the vehicle’s progress and apply effective intervention when required. The ESP includes a range of assists including Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Corner Brake Control (CBC) as well as a Traction Control System (TCS) comprising Engine Traction Control System (ETCS) and Brake Lock Differential (BLD), in addition to the Torque Vector Control among others.
Parallel Parking made easy
Ford Active Park Assist, an advanced new system which automatically steers the vehicle into parallel parking spaces, is a marquee feature on the all-new Focus. The system uses two ultrasonic sensors (one on each side of the vehicle) to scan for large enough gaps between parked cars – these gaps can be just 20 percent longer than the overall vehicle length.
Once a suitable gap has been identified, the driver is informed and clear parking instructions are shown in the centre console display using simple text and graphics.
The driver controls the accelerator and brake, and selects a forward or reverse gear, while the system turns the steering wheel completely automatically. The parking manoeuvres can be carried out at speeds of up to 10 km/h.
The standard front and rear parking sensors provide the usual audible warning to help the driver judge when the car is getting close to the surrounding vehicles. To assist accurate parking in tight spots, the system continues with multiple moves backwards and forwards until the vehicle is parked perfectly. Active Park Assist is supported by the EPAS system on the car.
The driving pleasure of the new Focus is enhanced further by the range of engines available. Topping the range is the 2.0L Ti-VCT I-4 Duratec engine, but also available is the 1.6L Ti-VCT Duratec. Both power plants offer brisk performance, but their zesty character also offers outstanding fuel economy and CO2 emissions thanks to variable cam timing.
Helping put that performance to good use is the choice of gear boxes available, from a five-speed manual to the advanced six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission. The PowerShift transmission, featuring a dual dry-clutch assembly, aids fuel economy by optimizing gearing when cruising, but when responsive acceleration is needed the user-friendly automatic uses its low-friction dry clutches and well-spaced gears to give quick acceleration and smooth transitions between gears.