Based on repeated viewings at auto shows, the new Focus is much sportier-looking, with way more design savvy than the Chevrolet Cruze or Toyota Corolla. Available both in four-door sedan and five-door hatch body styles right from the start, the new Focus.
Under the hood, there's an all-new DOHC direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, employing Ford's Ti-VCT variable valve timing system, and making 160 hp; it's mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (PowerShift) transmission—an automatic, for all intents and purposes, but one that shifts quicker. A four-wheel independent suspension underpins the Focus, four-wheel discs are standard on upper trims (including the Titanium sedan pictured above), and the power-steering system has gone electric. And with a 40-mpg highway fuel economy figure with the automatic transmission, the new Focus will be very frugal, too.
All but the base Focus S will get Sync, while the MyFord Touch system, essentially the same as in 2011 Ford Edge, 2011 Lincoln MKX, and 2011 Ford Explorer models—with the same beautiful eight-inch screen—is standard on the top-of-the-line Titanium models and optional in the Focus SEL. Every other Focus comes with a colorful, high-contrast screen—essentially a better version of the interface you get in the Fiesta. There are plenty of other interesting available tech features, too, including Active Park Assist; it's a segment first, and no, we're not just talking about parking sensors, rather the system that sizes up a parking spot and steers you into it.
Prices for the Focus, including destination charges, range from $16,995 for the base Focus S up to $23,490 for the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium five-door. A fully loaded Titanium still runs about $27k—to put it in perspective, a little less than the average new vehicle.
Keep an eye out for our First Drive of the 2012 Focus early next week. And in the meantime, flip through those images.