2008 Ford Focus demonstrates Ford's commitment to small cars
Global Auto Index
Ford has issued the following press release:
Redesigned from the inside out, the 2008 Ford Focus brings a bold new look, a modern interior and a high level of driving enjoyment to the small car segment. Joining the new Focus four-door sedan is, for the first time, ever a sporty two-door coupe, which is designed to attract new and younger buyers to a growing small car market.
The 2008 Focus strikes an impressive pose. Designers drew inspiration from the Ford Fusion's prominent chrome-bar grille design, flared wheel arches and sweeping, crisp lines to create a small car that’s stylish and sporty.
The headlights are a design story by themselves. Horizontal bars with a matte surface run through the reflection area, visually connecting the headlights with a sweeping line running through the chrome-bar grille. It is such an innovative idea that Ford has a patent request for the design.
The tail lamps share cues with the 2008 Ford Escape, with a white arc cutting across the red lens. The leading edge of the deck lid features a new clear lens center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) that illuminates with red LEDs for a progressive, modern appearance.
The 2008 Focus is available in two body styles: a two-door coupe, a first-ever for Focus, and a four-door sedan. These are the two highest volume body styles in the segment. In fact, the sedan and coupe will allow Ford to cover a full 80 percent of the small car market.
Progressive is the word that best describes the interior. The new interior design not only adds more flexible storage space, but new surfaces and materials create a modern, contemporary cabin with a sense of openness.
Eliminating the traditional brick design gave designers freedom to draw a sharp accent line across the top of the dashboard, a design element that would not have been possible with the previous model’s square radio and climate modules. A new seamless passenger front airbag door further cleans up the interior.
The 2008 Focus offers a larger center console as well as added space in front of the console shifter for extra storage. Newly designed door trim features larger bins and cup holders in the doors plus three more in the console. New seats have improved contours and offer more lateral and lumbar support. A new cloth pattern is available for 2008 while the leather trimmed seats feature contrast stitching for an added touch of craftsmanship.
The 2008 Ford Focus will be one of the first Ford Motor Company vehicles to feature Ford Sync™, a cutting-edge way to use cell phones and portable music players inside a vehicle. Developed in association with Microsoft, Sync offers a new level of in-car communications and entertainment convenience. Sync lets users easily control and personalize their electronic devices in their vehicle. This technology will be available in other 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products later this year.
Since its North American introduction in 1999, Focus has been hailed for being an affordable car that handles and drives like a car more than twice its price. For 2008, the Focus’s curb weight is down by 60 pounds, even though the body structure is stiffer. This allowed the suspension engineers to sharpen the car’s steering and handling while improving ride quality at the same time.
Engineers reworked and improved the strength of the roof structure, the package tray, the connections between the rear floor and the underbody and the door systems. A stiffened cross-car beam under the instrument panel connects the car side-to-side and provides better lateral stiffness.
The basic suspension features an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and an independent multilink design in back. The spring rates, shock absorbers, stabilizer bars, and jounce bumpers have all been re-tuned for 2008. Engineers derived unique tuning packages for vehicles equipped with 15- or 16-inch wheels and tires. Models with 15-inch wheels and tires are equipped with low-rolling resistance Hankook tires. Those with 16-inch wheels and tires are paired with sporty, responsive Pirelli tires.
Focus gets an all-new brake system for 2008. New aluminum calipers save weight and improve brake pedal feel. The brakes are 10.9-inch vented discs in front and 11.0-inch drums in back with an available anti-lock braking system (ABS).
The 2008 Focus features a 2.0-liter, Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC), inline four-cylinder engine delivering an estimated 136 hp. An all-new air intake system, cooling and exhaust system are designed to improve the powertrain’s smoothness, efficiency and response.
There’s also a super-clean Duratec 20E engine offered in states adopting California emission standards that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV). PZEVs are as clean as some hybrid vehicles, according to the EPA.
The Duratec 20 and 20E are available with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. For 2008, the transmissions have revised final drive ratios, which let the engine turn at a lower rpm rate during highway driving and get better fuel economy. For instance, the automatic transmission final drive ratio decreased from 3.73 to 3.34, reducing engine speed at 65 mph from 2490 rpm to 2230 rpm.
The 2008 Focus has an all-new climate control system that is more efficient with improved cooling and heating performance. Switching to electronic actuators for the floor, panel, defrost and temperature controls improve Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) performance. This completely redesigned HVAC system results in a climate control system that is quieter, lighter in weight and more effective in cooling and heating the cabin.
The 2008 Focus comes standard with Ford’s Personal Safety System®, thorax side air bags and side air curtains for increased coverage in the event of a side impact crash.
Ford’s Personal Safety System is a comprehensive collection of passive safety features for the front passengers. The system includes dual-deployment front air bags, energy absorbing safety belts, load limiting retractors and pretensioners, all which will help to create one of the safest cabins in its segment.