Having absolved itself of the sinfully bad 2005– 2011 Focus models with the exceptional 2012 Focus, Ford should construct on that success. At least, it needs to prove it can keep the Focus nameplate a winner here in the U.S. instead of let it languish into obsolescence as it did previously.
Since the current Focus appeared in 2012, it won areas on our 10Best Cars list two years in a row prior to being unseated by the also-excellent Mazda 3. The Focus is still a solid compact car, however its replacement will face a harder competitive set that includes the latest Chevrolet Cruze, the brand-new Honda Civic, and the Mazda 3’s upcoming replacement
We do not anticipate Ford will burn the existing Focus’s structure to the ground and go back to square one however, rather, that it will massage those bones to reduce weight, boost stiffness, and stay up to date with ever-tougher global crash standards. The existing model sports a commendably rigid body and outstanding suspension tuning, assets that we hope will carry over to 2019 Ford Focus.
Style sensible, it’s difficult to gather much from these spy images of a greatly camouflaged Focus hatchback prototype. We can spot more sculpted body-side styling that sweeps from simply behind the front wheel before rising to near the top of the rear fender, in addition to the latest take on Ford’s business two-slat grille. Overall, though, the Focus doesn’t appear like it will break new ground stylistically.
Inside, we’re confronted with another set of confusing prototype components, specifically the bizarre binnacle atop the dash that houses an extremely cheap-looking head system that doesn’t appear in any other modern U.S.-market Ford, in addition to the incomplete door panels. We sure hope those white plastic air vents are test pieces, due to the fact that not only are they garishly huge, they’re unsightly, too. Look past the incomplete or still-under-development bits, and there are noteworthy changes such as an electronic parking brake with an auto-hold function and exactly what might be a fully digital gauge cluster.
Today’s Focus provides just a 160-hp 2.0-liter four and a 123-hp turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost. (Of course, the Focus ST and Focus RS efficiency models use burlier turbo fours, which we anticipate will carry over to their replacements, however we’re concentrating on the regular Focus here).
Those engine choices might stay, although Ford might decide to adopt a turbocharged, small-displacement four-cylinder either as an additional engine or changing the turbo 3, helping the Focus to square up much better against Chevy’s all-turbo Cruze and Honda’s half-turbo Civic lineup. The Focus prototype pictured here has a six-speed handbook transmission, a choice our company believe will return on the 2019 Focus in addition to a revised iteration of the six-speed dual-clutch automated provided in the present car.
Search for the brand-new Focus to make its launching sometime in the year before getting here in the U.S. as a 2019-model-year offering. Ford should continue to offer its compact in both sedan and hatchback guises, with a beginning rate around $17,000 to $18,000.