By: IOL Motoring Staff
The Ford Focus has been treated to a comprehensive mid-life refresh that sees the world's best selling car gain a new face, improved interior, new EcoBoost engine options and some advanced new safety and convenience gadgets.
As we would have predicted, the Focus gains a version of Ford's Aston Martin-like trapezoidal grille, along with slimmer headlights and thinner taillights.
Of course, the bonnet is also new and beneath it South Africans will be able to see a whole new range of 'downsized' EcoBoost turbopetrol engines when the new Focus goes on sale here in the fourth quarter of this year.
New to South Africa will be the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder EcoBoost. Replacing the current normally aspirated 125kW 2-litre, the 1.5T will offer output levels of 110kW and 132kW, although torque figures have yet to be released.
At the bottom end of the new Focus range, Ford SA will offer the 91kW/159Nm 1-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol found in the latest Fiesta and EcoSport line-ups.
No word on a local diesel engine as yet, but don't be surprised if Ford brings in the new 1.5-litre turbodiesel next year, which will be 19 percent more efficient than the equivalent petrol engine.
Ford's tinkering also extended to the suspension to improve road holding and the electric power steering system has been retuned to make the driver feel "even more connected to the road."
A quieter driving experience is also on the cards thanks to improved engine bay insulation, thicker side window glass and plusher carpets.
Of course, the cabin gains a lot more than just new carpets.
New black satin trim and chrome detailing aim to give the cabin a more modern look and the centre stack and steering wheel now have fewer switches and controls.
Although the local features list has yet to be announced, it's worth noting that overseas models go quite big on gadgetry.
For starters, it's the first Ford to offer Perpendicular Parking and as the name implies, this device helps drivers reverse into spaces alongside other cars hands-free.
Other technological menu items include the radar-based Cross Traffic Alert for parking lots, the Active City Stop accident avoidance system, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Aid.
You still need to do the driving though.