Ford expands its flagship Focus range with the launch of the new Focus Active crossover.
Available in spacious five-door hatchback and estate body styles with rugged exterior styling, the Focus Active features raised ride-height and a bespoke chassis configuration to retain class-leading Focus driving dynamics while delivering enhanced rough-road ability and a higher driving position for more confident urban and highway driving.
Perfect for active lifestyles
The active lifestyles of Europe’s growing numbers of SUV and crossover customers are further supported by the addition of bespoke Slippery and Trail modes to the Focus Active’s Selectable Drive Modes, and standard roof rails to help carry bicycles or sports equipment.
Earlier in July, Wheels24's Janine Van der Post drove the new Focus range in Nice, France. She said: "
Sophisticated powertrain options include Ford’s powerful and fuel efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines delivering up to 133kW, and Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBlue and 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines delivering up to 110kW – combined with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions.
Advanced driver assistance features first introduced with the all-new Focus earlier this year include more advanced versions of Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Front Lighting System and Active Park Assist technologies.
"Ford SUV sales grew more than 19% in October year over year, and SUVs now account for more than one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service. Ford of Europe.
"Our Active family of crossover models offers a further compelling SUV-style option for customers.
"The all-new Focus Active does more than just look the part – its bespoke chassis and new Selectable Drive Mode options deliver genuine rough-road capability for families who want to explore off the beaten track."
The all-new Focus Active is the third in Ford’s new family of Active crossover models, following the introduction of the all-new Fiesta Active and new KA+ Active models earlier this year.
Rough road-capable. Fun to drive
Equipped as standard in five-door and estate body styles with Ford’s sophisticated short-long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration, the Focus Active chassis features unique springs, dampers, stabiliser bars, and front and rear knuckle geometries, alongside a ride height, raised 30mm front and 34mm rear over the standard Focus.
The SLA system optimises comfort and response and features an isolated subframe that delivers a desirable balance between front and rear compliance over larger bumps in the road, for smoother journeys.
Multi-compound bushes feature different stiffness characteristics when stressed in different directions, for better isolation of smaller bumps and improved noise, vibration and harshness.
A unique SLA geometry for the wagon model repositions the dampers helping the vehicle remain agile and responsive even with a fully loaded boot, and helping maximise boot space with a wider load-floor area.
For improved rough road ride and durability, 17" alloy wheels are fitted with higher-profile 215/55 R17 tyres; 18" wheels with 215/50 R18 tyres are also available.
In addition to the Normal, Sport and Eco Selectable Drive Modes equipped as standard for all Focus models, the Focus Active introduces:
• Slippery mode - adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip such as mud, snow and ice; reduces straight-ahead wheel spin, including when pulling away from stationary; and delivers a more passive throttle response.
• Trail mode - helps maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand; adjusts anti-lock braking to allow greater wheel slip; configures traction control to allow higher wheel spin that cleans sand, snow or mud from the tyres; and delivers a more passive throttle response.
Rugged, spacious and versatile
Unique styling details deliver a distinctive, versatile and rugged character for the Focus Active inside and out. A dark grille with unique mesh pattern features a dark surround, echoed by the body style mouldings that flow from the front bumper lip, through the wheel arches and side profile to the rear.
Image: Net Car Show
Front and rear bumper designs are also unique to the Focus Active variant, as are silver-finish front and rear skid plates, and alloy wheel designs. Vibrant paint colours include new Metropolis White and Orange Glow, and customers can also opt for a contrast colour roof depending on body colour.
Inside the cabin, a leather steering wheel and gearknob with a leather grip, bright elements on the dashboard and door panels, and Active scuff plates deliver a high-quality feel. The high-bolstered seats are trimmed with distinctive Active cloth featuring blue stitching, and mats with blue stitching are also available.
The all-new Focus delivers more interior space supported by a more than 50mm longer wheelbase (compared to outgoing model) and flat floor.
Front seat occupants enjoy generous shoulder room of 1421mm, and instrument panel positioning is optimised for greater space. A narrower centre console, electric parking brake and rotary gear shift dial for the eight-speed automatic transmission also free up more space for the driver and front passenger.
Rear passenger knee clearance is improved by more than 50mm compared with the outgoing Focus, for a best-in-class 81mm. Rear shoulder-room is increased by almost 60mm compared with the outgoing Focus. The impression of spaciousness is enhanced with a rear door design featuring windows that stretch into the rear pillar for a more open sensation.
Comfort and convenience features help make the Focus Active even more versatile for adventurous families. Accessing the load area with arms full of camping gear is made easier using Ford’s Hands-free tailgate technology that allows access to the estate boot space with a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper.
The family’s best friend can join the adventures, too – the estate’s boot space has been designed to accommodate a large dog crate with 1653-litre maximum capacity.
Ford engineers have even created a solution to the challenge of where to place the estate’s tonneau cover once removed, too: it now fits neatly beneath the new flexible load floor, and is easier to remove with a simple pull-strap release.
Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment technology allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands and is supported by an 8" colour touchscreen that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures.
Image: Net Car Show
The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is available alongside a premium B&O audio system that ensures everyone in the car can enjoy the soundtrack to their adventure with a concert-hall experience.
New FordPass Connect onboard modem technology for the Focus even turns the Active into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices, and an available Wireless charging pad beneath the instrument panel enables occupants to easily charge compatible smartphones and stay connected on the move.
Effortless cruising with advanced engines and technologies
The all-new Focus Active delivers the comprehensive range of sophisticated driver assistance technologies introduced to the all-new Focus earlier this year.
Advanced technologies seamlessly integrated to enable an intuitive, stress-reducing and refined driving experience include:
• Adaptive Cruise Control, which now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring for effortlessly negotiating stop-start traffic.
• Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with new camera-based Predictive curve light and Sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – for the first time in the industry – road signs.
• Active Park Assist 2, which now also operates gear selection, acceleration and braking to enable fully-automated manoeuvres at the push of a button.
• Ford’s first Head-up display to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead.
• Evasive Steering Assist, a segment-first technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions.
Focus Active customers can choose from a range of advanced Ford EcoBoost petrol and Ford EcoBlue diesel engines delivering optimised power and refinement.
Powertrains are supported by standard Auto Start-Stop for reduced running costs; and slick-shifting six-speed manual or new eight-speed automatic transmissions for effortless cruising.