Ford Australia has announced local details of the all-new fourth-generation Focus ahead of its planned local launch in November. Built on a new C2 platform and featuring a design, inside and out, that’s a definite step forward from the Mk3, the car is already gaining some strong critical praise.
Upon its arrival, the Mk4 Focus will be offered as a five-door hatch or five-door wagon, imported from Ford’s plant in Germany instead of Thailand like its predecessor, while fans of the four-door sedan and crossover-esque Focus Active will have to wait until mid-2019. All backed by Ford Australia’s new 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Pricing, as usual, will be confirmed closer to launch and is expected to hover around the same figures previously with a chance of a slight hike. There will be a choice 3 grades initially, kicking off as it did before with the entry-level Trend while a new athletically-styled ST-Line seems to fill the slot left by the Focus Sport.
At the top of the heap will be the Focus Titanium, unsurprisingly, equipped with most the bells and whistles the Blue Oval deigns to make available in Australia. It will distinguish itself by 18-inch wheels, among other exterior ornamentals, and its full LED corner-adapting headlights. The ST-Line, while fitted with side skirts, a more aggressive front and rear bumper, a boot spoiler, and twin tailpipes, makes due with 17-inch alloys. A set of 16-inchers are given to the Trend.
Across the range, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Keep Assist has been made standard, though you’ll need to shell out for the Titanium to enjoy a more comprehensive active safety suite with Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Furthermore, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system will also be fitted regardless of trim level, running the now-familiar SYNC3 software with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but the Titanium has the standard speaker array swapped for a 675-watt Bang & Olufsen Play Premium stereo.
Interestingly, Ford has only announced one engine to be shared across the 2019 Focus range; a 1.5-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder turbo-petrol that sneezes out a peppy 134kW and 240Nm. It’s the same motor, essentially, as the Fiesta ST hot hatch, but tuned down to a level quite similar to the outgoing 1.5-litre four-pot turbo.
It’s also worth noting that all models will arrive exclusively as an automatic, mated to an 8-speed torque converter to succeed the outgoing 6-speed unit. It also lacks a gear lever and instead uses rotary dial to interface between Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive. Kindly, Ford will even provide the base Trend with steering mounted paddle shifters. Hoorah!
Performance, therefore, shouldn’t be too far off its predecessor or its closest competitors such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai i30, and Volkswagen Golf. However, thanks to lighter and more rigid platform, the new Focus promises to be a marked improvement around corners. We wonder if that holds true. Also on our minds is how easy it would be to crank its engine back up to the Fiesta ST’s 147kW and 290Nm output.
“The all-new Focus is a clean sheet design, offering customers the latest EcoBoost technology and adds a significant amount of new convenience and driver assistance features to the range,” said Ford Australia President and CEO, Kay Hart.
“From Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian detection across the range to the new B&O Play audio system on Titanium, we are confident the expanded Focus line-up will have broad customer appeal.”