Ford gives Focus sportier design, more high-tech features

Ford has redesigned the Focus compact to put more emphasis on semi-autonomous technology and a sporty exterior design as part of a strategy to make it globally relevant.

The hatchback and wagon versions are being unveiled today in London while the sedan variant is being shown in Shanghai.

The fourth-generation Focus is built on Ford’s new C2 architecture that the automaker says lower costs by reducing complexity while also allowing specific regional variants targeted directly at its biggest markets: the U.S., Europe and China.

“We’re evolving our successful One Ford strategy to find new ways to create a sporty-looking small car our customers will love,” Jim Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, said in a statement.

Ford showed a new crossover-inspired Active variant of the Focus hatchback in London, as well as versions with the upscale Vignale, mid-market Titanium and sporty ST-Line trim packages. In China, the sedan was shown in ST-Line and Titanium trims.

In the UK, Ford’s largest European market, the Focus will start at 17,390 pounds ($24,600) for the base Style version. That is more than 2,000 pounds less than the base version of the model that is being replaced. The top-of-the-line Vignale starts at 25,450 pounds.

All versions of the new Focus were designed and engineered at Ford’s technical center in Cologne, Germany.

European models will continue to be built at Ford’s factory in Saarlouis, Germany, while the automaker’s plant in China will make the sedan for both the local market and for the U.S., Ford said last year.

The car goes on sale in Europe and China this year and in the U.S. in 2019. Variants for the U.S. will be announced later, Ford said.

News Reporter

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