2010 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) – 2011 Ford Focus: Ford unveiled the 2011 Ford Focus at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show as part of their ONE Ford strategy, a one platform for all markets philosophy. In the past, Ford has left us pining for what we couldn’t have in the Europe while we were forced to choke down what many viewed as substandard second cousins to their lust worthy European counterparts. Ford says not so this time around claiming that the 2011 Ford Focus will be virtually identical in all markets and be able to share 80-percent of their parts.
The new Focus will be available in either a five-door hatchback, or a four-door sedan. European styling replaces the bland and featureless-sided outgoing model and is even more evident in the hatchback version which verges on hot hatch territory. A wide mouth lower grille and an upper grille with a chrome strip horizontally dividing the grille into two also adds a dash of panache and a hint of performance missing from the current generation.
You can go ahead and judge this book by its cover, too, it looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. A cockpit inspired instrument panel replaces the mostly linear 2009 dash, while more heavily bolstered seats hint at improved comfort and support, and interior material quality appear to be greatly improved as well.
The North American market 2011 Ford Focus will be powered by an all new 2.0-liter direct injection (DI) engine with twin cam variable cam timing (VCT). Ford states the new engine delivers 20 more horsepower while offering a 10-percent increase in fuel economy over the current 2.0-liter Duratec engine. The 2.0 DI VCT engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic, and we couldn’t help but to notice the “S” on the gear selector, is that a sport mode? Let’s play.
The 2011 Ford Focus competes with the Nissan Versa, Suzuki SX4, and Hyundai Elantra. It is slated to begin simultaneous production in Europe and North America later this year and hit dealer lots early in 2011.
–by Vernon Heywood
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company