The 2012 Focus
By the time you're reading this, the 2012 Ford Focus is entering its first few days of actual production (Jan 31/11). You're probably seeing various media outlets now out with their reviews.
Just as the very first model was introduced on the world stage, the new model continues to polarize Focus enthusiasts around the world. Some European fans are denouncing it as the "Americanization" of the Focus due to its perceived world introduction last year in Detroit. The 5-door hatchback's rear tail lights are still receiving mixed opinions because the "trademark" Focus vertical taillights are now gone. Some aren't sure about the gaping mouth resulting from the Kinetic Design theme. North Americans will only see a 4-door sedan or the 5-door hatchback. There are rumours now that the wagon has been given the green light in North America, but it has yet to be confirmed..
The 2012 Focus represents the "One Ford" operation mantra of Ford. What does that mean? It means that the Ford Focus will be essentially the same whether you drive one in Europe or Asia or the US or Canada. That being said, there are still some subtle differences between each market, such as option availability.
The 2012 Focus sports a brand new powertrain. The engine is now a new direct-injection 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) with aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off (ADFSO - basically engine shuts fuel supply off if you're idling). For those who are really about fuel economy, there's a Fuel Saver model that includes grille shutters that help the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. You can opt for a 5-speed manual in the S or SE model, or a dry-clutch PowerShift automatic transmission. There are already complaints that a manual transmission isn't available on higher models (like the SEL or Titanium), but this is a trend that's (unfortunately) reflecting the purchasing and driving habits of today's motoring public.
Vehicle dynamics build on the Control Blade suspension set-up we've come to love in all previous Focus models. In addition to AdvanceTrac stability and traction control, there's now Torque Vectoring Control that uses the brakes to act like a limited-slip differential. For those wanting a bit more "sport" in their handling, there is an SE Sport package available on the SE, which is the same as the standard Titanium suspension, that includes revised suspension and steering tuning, as well as larger tires. For those who want more, the Titanium Handling Package with different suspension tuning and 18-inch wheels may be your cup of tea.
MyFord Touch also makes an appearance, which integrated controls for all of climate, navigation and entertainment. There are several other new features and technologies being offered in the Focus, which Ford wants to aim at those who want a premium compact car with all the technology goodies
Hopefully the 2012s will arrive very soon at dealerships in Ontario and across Canada soon. Learn more and register for updates at Ford's website.
Focus Enthusiasts Check Out The 2012 ST *Yes, it is coming*
About a dozen Focus ST enthusiasts in the US and Canada were invited to an exclusive Focus ST preview event during the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
We were offered an unprecendent opportunity to inspect it, feel it, sit in it, and offer our thoughts on the car before it hits the market next year. Included in this year's event were some notables from Ford and SVT/ST (inluding Jost Capito), and members from our US friends at SVTOA, FocalJet.com and FocusFanatics.com.
And yes, folks, the ST is coming.