20 years of the Ford Focus
The Ford Focus was first introduced back in 1998 and since then it has been a part of over 12 million owners. With the brand new 2018 model descending into our showroom, towards the end of the year, we look at the Ford Focus’ evolution to find out how the vehicle has stood the test of time.
The evolution of the Ford Focus started with the Ford Escort—which has been part of Ford’s European line-up since 1968. Although the fifth and sixth-generation Escort struggled to achieve the legendary status of its predecessors, Ford planned to continue the Escort name for it’s replacement but made a last minute decision to switch to the Focus instead. And that’s how Ford Focus of today was born.
Launched at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show, the Focus was a shock to the system for those used to Ford Escort’s safe styling. Using Jack Telnack’s futuristic ‘New Edge’ design philosophy the focus looked like it came from another planet.
The Focus offered angled bodywork and multi-link ‘Control Blade’ rear suspension matching its ability to ride and comfort, with the choice of four Zetec petrol and one diesel engine. This was enough to convince judges to make the Focus the 1999 European Car of the Year.
The Focus was given a facelift and was put on display at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Featuring a more comprehensive overhaul to bring it into line with the rest of the Ford range, almost every body panel was changed along with new lights and grille designs. Inside was no exception, higher quality materials were used for the dashboard alongside the introduction of DAB radio and a push-button starter.
It was the Focus Mk2 which saw Ford break through the 300ho barrier with the second-generation Focus RS. Using a modified version of the five-cylinder turbo from the ST, peak power was 201hp with a corresponding 325lb ft if torque. 0-62mph took less than 6 seconds while top speed continued to more than 160mph.
The Mk3 Focus official launch took place at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. More than ever, Ford intended the Focus to be a true ‘world car’ streamlining product lines on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Mk3 sees bold styling, dramatic angles and swooping curves reminiscent of the original car. Active grille shutters hid behind the triangular front air intakes, significantly improving aerodynamics of the previous model.
Ford launched the new third generation facelifted model at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The updated version features a new redesigned front end, grille and slimline headlights now the familiar trademark of the Ford family.
In April 2018, Ford unveiled the fourth generation Focus. To mark its 20th anniversary sees four new Focus models with vast technologies including Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Park Assist 2. The New Focus will be available with a range of powerful highly fuel-efficient engines, all complimented by 8-speed automatic or 6-speed automatic manual transmissions.
The new Focus is set to be available later on this year.
It is safe to say the Focus has evolved and will continue to do so, much to the delight of the Focus enthusiasts around the world.
Learn more about the Ford Focus and other Ford models on our site. If you want to experience the Focus yourself, then please Contact Us or Book a Test Drive.