Ford’s first engineering prototypes for the next-generation Focus family have hit the road. This is a mule for the new C-Max snapped outside the Nurburgring in Germany.
The C-Max will be the first of the new breed of Focus models; we should see it in 2010, ahead of the hatchback’s debut later next year. So the recent Focus facelift will have to keep the range soldiering on until the newcomer arrives in the next two years.
So what’s new about the new Ford Focus family?
Not the platform. The underpinnings of the next-generation Focus family is a development of the current car’s and will use lessons learnt from the new Mazda 3, which adds extra reinforcement around the front and rear suspension and around the rear hatch opening.
The current Focus is still the dynamic class-leader (thanks in part to its trend-setting multi-link rear suspension) and Ford aims to keep that lead, while adding a dash more refinement (a strong point in the new 3) and quality.
Ford’s new EcoBoost engines
The downsized EcoBoost engine is all-new and was first seen in the Iosis Max concept car last month. The 1.6-litre turbo four produces 178bhp but equipped with stop/start technology it emits just 125g/km. These are credible production figures, we hear.
We’ll see it in the Mondeo soon, and then it’ll spread across Ford’s range. More
downsized and turbocharged EcoBoost engines will join the price list over time.
What about the style? I expect suicide doors and F1-style wings now!
Ford’s Iosis Max concepts gives us a strong hint to the look of the next
C-Max and Ford Focus… of sorts. The front end of the Geneva concept will be almost
identical to the production car’s, though don’t expect to see the ‘hand-clap’
doors and that big rear wing. Sorry to spoil your fun.
Delve inside the Iosis Max and the shape of the concept’s dash will see production – it heavily mirrors the curvaceous shape of the new Fiesta – but the translucent
plastics and fancy lights will be dropped. Ford’s internal target is to increase
the quality of the next Focus and C-Max, as it hopes to leap past the Golf
There’s also talk of the next Focus family receiving pop-up pedestrian friendly
bonnets to meet forthcoming safety regulations, softer bumper and bonnets, and even low-speed avoidance systems similar to Volvo’s City Safety set-up.