Ford Focus (2011): the testing continues

Published: 20 April 2010

Ford continues to test the new Focus ahead of launch in spring 2011. Our man with the long lens caught this prototype – intriguingly still disguised despite having been unveiled at the start of 2010 – on test in Germany, as the engineers continue to hone the settings for the Euro-spec hatch.

Why's the new Focus disguised then?

Blame the hyper early motor show debut for the new Mk3 Ford Focus. This being a product of CEO Alan Mulally's new One Ford global mantra, the new Focus will be sold across the globe and, most importantly, in the US.

While previous Focus iterations over the Pond have been US-bespoke models differing significantly from the European Focus, this one is essentially the same bar some minor engine tuning, chassis mods and equipment levels for local taste.

That's big news as the US switches on to the importance of downsizing – and a big opportunity for the  Blue Oval. Hence the early unveiling at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

So when can we buy the new Ford Focus in the UK?

Sadly, not until the first quarter of 2011, with the new Focus Estate coming in the second quarter. Ford seems to be locked in long-lead delivery to market at present; we're still waiting the year from the new C-Max's debut at the Frankfurt motor show 2009 until we can buy Ford's new midi-MPV in September 2010 in long-wheelbase Grand form, the regular C-Max following in November.

Ford's desperately hoping that we don't lose that new-car buzz in the interim. Which neatly explains why it's still busy disguising its prototypes...

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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