The steering wheel should always convey to you what is going on under the wheels, “says Jürgen Pützschler. I agree, but I’m going to confess to you: this Ford engineer runs the new Focus that takes care of them (over my account, for my taste), takes the curves to the limit and still has time to chat with me. I’m sure that my baby is called Focus. I find nothing less than the Ford test room, located in the Belgian town of Lommel. This is where the undercarriage of the new Focus gets its final touches: it is a gigantic amusement park with high-speed tracks, curves and handling circuits of all kinds and colors.
The compact is much sturdier than before: it has a huge front grille, a very wide fender and an ascending waistline. Ford has also bet heavily on the cockpit: its dynamic driving position makes its rivals pale with envy. Its habitability is not bad, although everything has to be said, is not much greater than the current Focus.
The great virtue of his two predecessors was dynamic behavior. And it’s still like this … only now it’s even more agile and sporty. “It also offers greater comfort,” says Pützschler. It maintains the McPherson strut front suspension with rigid axle and multi-link rear suspension, but has been worked hard to achieve greater wheelbase and bearing and damper changes. The steering, which in previous models worked with an electro-hydraulic system, has been completely renovated. “The main thing was to obtain greater accuracy,” explains Pützschler.
It seems like this … at least from the passenger seat. The Focus takes the corners smoothly and, in adverse conditions, maintains calm and stability. Ford has prepared a wide mechanical diesel range (1.6 liters with 95 and 115 hp, 2.0 liters with 115, 140 and 163 hp). In gasoline comes the direct injection with turbo, which Ford calls EcoBoost. It will be a family with two propellers of 1.6 liters and powers of 150 and 182 hp. The powerful ST version and will reach 250 horses.
The new Focus has fascinated me: its design is attractive and seems as agile as ever … or more. In addition, it equips new technologies and has all the ballots to face the Golf, Leon and company.