Ford has unveiled an all-new generation of one of its most important products before a late 2018 Australian launch. The 2019 Ford Focus was revealed to the world at an event in London overnight before production begins in July. With over 16 million units sold since production started in 1998, this is an extremely important car for Ford worldwide.
Now sitting on an all-new platform, the 2019 Focus features a significantly more modern look than before, with a wider range of available technology, more available models for customers to choose from and a more economical yet higher performance range of available engines. The 2019 Focus will compete with everything in the small car class, especially the Volkswagen Golf.
“Our all-new Ford Focus is the pinnacle of technology and driving appeal in its segment,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
“The chance to build a completely new car from a fresh piece of paper does not come around often. We grabbed it with both hands, to develop the best mid-size family car that money can buy.”
Stylistically, the 2019 Ford Focus remains familiar yet more modern than the car it replaces. Featuring an updated take on Ford’s corporate grille, and appearing similar to the smaller Fiesta, the 2019 Focus is more aggressively styled than before. Featuring a long bonnet like the Mazda3, the new Focus is a sportier-styled car than before, with angular intakes regardless of which model is chosen. The side of the Focus uses a windowline similar to the BMW 1 Series, and allows more light into the cabin than the previous model, whilst the muscular shoulder lines add to the sporty theme. The rear is chic with several modern details such as LED tailights.
The interior of the 2019 Ford Focus is a dramatic change from the model it replaces – instead of the blocky, button-heavy interior of the previous model, there’s a tablet-like 8.0-inch touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system that sits atop the dashboard. Look lower and there’s a clean controls for the climate control, whilst the automatic version features a rotary dial controller – like in a Jaguar Land Rover product. Material quality appears to have improved significantly, with soft touch materials covering most of the cabin – even the posh Vignale model gets a leather-covered dashboard and wood-like trim inserts.
The range of available technology with the 2019 Focus has been improved, with features such as LED lighting, active lane keep assist, radar cruise control with stop and go functionality, a panoramic glass roof, fully automated parallel parking, rear traffic alert with automatic braking, a heads-up display and a 650W Bang & Olufsen stereo system all available. Ford Australia has confirmed that autonomous emergency braking with night-time pedestrian and cyclist detection will be standard equipment on all new Focus models.
The 2019 Ford Focus now sits on Ford’s new C2 platform, which has allowed for up to 88kg to be cut from the kerb weight of the car, yet its length has increased in the wheelbase by 53mm alone for increased interior space. The C2 platform has allowed for superior front load crash capability by up to 40 percent over the previous model, and torsional rigidity has been increased by 20 percent. Combine this with shorter front and rear overhangs, as well as the positioning further back of the A-pillar and the 2019 Ford Focus appears to better proportioned than previous models. Ford has also put effort into the car’s aerodynamics, with features such as active grille shutters contributing to the car’s 0.25 drag-coefficiency rating.
A range of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel powertrains are available overseas ranging from 63kW to 134kW, though Ford Australia is initially set to only take two drivetrains – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, and a 110kW 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol unit that will have both a particulate filter and cylinder deactivation. The latter drivetrain will be solely matched to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission – considering the driver appeal that the Focus has always had, we hope for the available six-speed manual option as well. In the future, a higher-output 2.0-litre turbo petrol will be sold in the hot Focus ST, whilst a rumoured four-wheel drive hybrid Focus RS is believed to be in the works.
Like the previous generation of Focus, the 2019 Ford Focus offers three different bodystyles – though Ford Australia is yet to confirm if we will receive anything but the five-door hatchback. A five-door wagon and four-door sedan are also available, with all three models carrying a similar family look with similarly-shaped tailights and an identical front end. Whilst Ford is yet to confirm figures such as bootspace, they have confirmed that the wagon will offer up to 1,650-litres with the rear seats folded – more than competitive in the small wagon segment. Further newness to the 2019 Ford Focus lineup comes from the different available models – as well as the regular trims such as Ambiente and Trend, the 2019 model will also be available in Active, Vignale and ST-Line.
Much like the Fiesta, the Focus Active is a high-riding alternative to small SUVS – it rides 30mm higher than regular Focus models and uses grey plastic body cladding to separate it from regular Focus models. It doesn’t use an all-wheel drive system, but is aimed at those forging light paths away from the road. The Focus Vignale is the luxury-focused Focus, with leather surfaces in the cabin, darker available exterior colours and chrome details whilst the Focus ST-Line replaces the current Focus Sport, with a sports bodykit and larger alloy wheels to give it the same styling of the incoming Focus ST, but not the same performance.
Ford Australia have confirmed that the 2019 Focus will go on sale locally before the end of 2018, with pricing, specifications, available bodystyles and exact timing to be confirmed before its launch. Whilst the five-door hatch is confirmed, we’d also like to see the handsome five-door wagon on Australian roads. Significantly, Ford have also confirmed that the local Focus will be produced in Germany – the first time since 2013.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news and reviews regarding the Ford range.