Car makers are increasingly developing and installing advanced technology systems into their automobiles. One such manufacturer is Ford, which this week introduced to the Philippine market its most advanced Focus, a compact car which features a host of cutting-edge technology, such as automated perpendicular parking and Sync 2, an updated version of Ford’s in-car connectivity and entertainment system.
The new Focus features the Enhanced Active Park Assist, which builds upon Ford’s popular Parallel Park Assist with the addition of Perpendicular Park Assist. Once activated, the system scans for available parking spaces alongside other cars. When it finds one, the system takes control of the car’s steering to guide the vehicle into the space while the driver controls the shifting, braking and acceleration.
Perpendicular Park Assist uses two new ultrasonic sensors on the rear of the car, which also enables Park-Out Assist. Park-Out Assist takes the stress out of exiting a parallel parking space by taking control of the steering while the driver operates the brake and accelerator.
The car also boasts of an improved Active City Stop system which can help mitigate collisions. Using a windshield-mounted sensor to detect braking, slower-moving or stationary vehicles in front, the system pre-charges the brakes if the car is approaching a vehicle in front too quickly. If the driver fails to take action, the system reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of a collision.
Advanced connectivity system
The new Focus is equipped with Ford’s advanced connectivity system, SYNC 2, which offers a smarter and safer way to stay connected. Drivers can operate the car’s climate controls, entertainment system and a linked smartphone with natural voice commands. A centrally placed, high resolution, 8-inch touchscreen puts even more control at the driver’s fingertips, with color-coded corners for easy menu navigation.
The new Focus even allows owners to encourage safe driving when they are not behind the wheel with Ford MyKey. Owners can program a spare key to reduce the maximum speed of the vehicle, give an earlier low-fuel warning, limit the volume of the in-car entertainment or even disable it completely if the seatbelt is not fastened. This feature is very helpful if the owner usually lends his car to his children or less experienced drivers.
“These driver assist technologies used to be found only in more premium vehicles. With the new Focus, we are making these segment-first features more accessible to our customers for that ultimate driving experience,” said Joseph Ayllon, assistant vice president for communications at Ford Philippines.
Efficient and powerful EcoBoost engine
Ayllon says the new Focus is powered by a powerful and efficient 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which offers 180 PS of power and 240 Nm of torque. “Its 1.5-liter engine is even more powerful than a 2.0-liter engine,” he adds.
The engine uses the core EcoBoost technologies of turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel-injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to ensure optimum performance. A new aluminum engine block helps to reduce weight, which improves performance and efficiency.
It also features technologies introduced in Ford’s multiple-award-winning 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. A new cylinder head design with improved cooling and an integrated exhaust manifold improves efficiency by delivering a more efficient feed of air into the engine and helping it to operate at optimal temperatures. By minimizing the distance exhaust gases travel from the cylinders to the turbocharger, the integrated manifold also reduces turbo lag for rapid torque delivery. Ford says that a reprogrammed engine control system helps to ensure high levels of engine refinement, quietness and performance.
The 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is paired to a new modern, lightweight and efficient six-speed automatic transmission, delivering refinement together with excellent performance and fuel economy. Paddle shift controls enable drivers to change gears without taking their hands from the steering wheel for an enhanced feeling of performance.
On the go, Ford engineers have carefully tuned the suspension and shock absorbers for a more solid and responsive vehicle that feels firmly connected to the road.
A more refined Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system further improves the driving experience with more precise steering and lower effort, while reducing unwanted damping and providing excellent feedback to the driver.
On the outside, the new Focus has a lower, wider stance that emphasizes width, and a new hood that sweeps elegantly toward the signature trapezoidal grille, giving the car a bolder and more muscular presence on the road.
Slim, chiseled front headlamps link the aggressive front end to the clean, flowing lines of its sides, which kick up at the rear window. More rectangular, elongated fog-lamps add to the bolder front end. The rear of the car has a sleek new fascia and tailgate arrangement, as well as thinner tail lamps, and a sculpted rear spoiler to enhance aerodynamics.
The refined exterior is complemented by a more intuitive interior with fewer controls and switches. The simplified interior offers more space with a variety of new convenient storage options for a more comfortable driving experience. An adjustable console fits a variety of bottles and cups, and can simultaneously hold a 1-litre water bottle and a 400 ml cup.
The new Focus also offers impressive levels of cabin quietness, with sound deadening materials – including sound-insulating windshield glass, thicker side-window glass, thicker carpets, increased insulation in the door trims, and improved engine insulation – for increased refinement.
UpgradeMag.com got to ride on the new Focus during the media launch. On track, with the “pedal to metal,” the Focus was surprisingly stable, smooth, and responsive, especially when we sped around the curves. We also witnessed how the car assisted our driver, professional racer Louis Ramirez, park in perpendicular and parallel slots, which got us awestruck. This feature will be very useful to drivers who find parking stressful.
The new Focus will be available for delivery this month and shall be offered in four variants at the following price points: 1.5L Focus GTDI EcoBoost Sport+ AT (P1,278,000); 1.5L Focus GTDI EcoBoost Titanium+ AT (P1,278,000); 1.5L Focus GTDI EcoBoost Sport AT (P1,088,000); and the 1.5L Focus GTDI EcoBoost Titanium AT – (P1,088,000).
The car comes in eight colors; Frozen White, Panther Black, Ingot Silver, Winning Blue, Magnetic Metallic, Lunar Sky, Candy Redand Mustard Olive.