Monday, August 31, 2015
Six Awesome New Features of the 2016 Ford Focus
UPDATE 1: Read our First Drive here (9/4).
Ford just let us drive the new 2016 Focus over 260 kilometers here in Adelaide, Southern Australia. We’ll have our full impressions soon, but for now, let us offer a sneak peek of what to expect. The current Focus has always been a technology leader for Ford and it has debuted a lot of cutting-edge tech for the compact car class. This one brings that to the next level.
Apart from the revised styling, improved fit and finish, and other cosmetic changes, let’s tackle the mechanical aspects for now.
First, let’s start with the engine. For 2016, Ford is retiring the normally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine on the top-line variants (Sport and Titanium+) and replacing it with a new 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. A part of Ford’s EcoBoost family, this engine has the same key technology such as direct fuel injection and dual variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) to go with the turbocharger. It outs 180 horsepower, a figure higher than the old motor. The bigger news is the torque: up to 240 Nm from 202 Nm. Furthermore, the 6-speed PowerShift dual clutch has been retired in favor of a conventional SelectShift automatic.
Curiously, the 1.6-liter lives on relatively unchanged with 125 horsepower and 159 Nm of torque. It still remains mated to a 6-speed PowerShift dual clutch or 6-speed manual.
Second, a revised tuning to the Electric Power Assisted Steering or EPAS means reduced steering effort. Together with the reduction of unwanted damping contributes to a much better feel for the driver. Furthermore, the steering has been calibrated to also offer enhanced control at high speed or at larger turns for accuracy during cornering. In conjunction with the revamped EPAS system, there’s also less horizontal movement in the suspension for a more controlled feel. This is brought about by new front control arm bushings. The rear suspension bushings have also been stiffened.
Third, Ford is introducing a segment-first ETS or Enhanced Transitional Stability system that works with the Electronic Stability Control. Ford says that ETS is more of a proactive rather than reactive system that prevents the driver from losing control. It does this by monitoring the car’s speed, position of the steering wheel, and the speed by which the steering wheel is turned. It allows the Focus to correct itself much faster than simply relying on ESC.
Fourth, it’s also much quieter thanks to the use of additional sound insulation around the car including thicker front glass. New front door arch liners and door trims, and more acoustic absorbing seals around the mirror hinges, air extraction system, and tailgate offer improved levels of NVH across the speed range.
Fifth, the new Focus now incorporates SYNC 2 that uses more natural voice commands that keeps the driver much more focused on the task of driving. It keeps eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times. Also found on the new Ranger and all-new Everest, SYNC 2 uses four color-coded quadrants on the screen to access different vehicle functions such as climate control and infotainment.
Finally, the safety system of the new Focus has been improved. For instance, the Active City Stop now works at higher speeds (50 km/h compared to 30 km/h). Additionally, the highly convenient Active Park Assist now works not only in parallel parking, but in perpendicular parking situations as well. It can also help you slot out of a parking spot. The second-generation Active Park Assist also actively scans for a parking space at speeds below 30 km/h automatically. The button located on the shifter simply starts the parking process.
The 2016 Ford Focus is expected to arrive in Manila in November or December 2015. No pricing has been announced. Our first drive impressions will come out real soon.