Ford Puts a “Focus” on Driver-Assist Technologies and New EcoBoost Engine

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If you’re in the market for something that can zoom in and out of traffic in downtown Pittsburgh, but still offers excellent fuel economy for longer summer road trips, the Ford Focus is a vehicle that should be on your short list for a test drive. And it’s only getting better for the 2015 model year.

Sporting a new exterior design and completely revised interior, the 2015 Ford Focus is offering driver-assist technology that includes a standard rearview camera, along with available lane-keeping system and blind spot information system with cross traffic alert.

One of the core products in the Ford lineup, the Focus is one of the most popular vehicles at Ford dealerships across Western Pennsylvania. It’s very well appointed and available in a wide variety of trim packages as well.

Any time a manufacturer makes changes to a core product like the Focus, dealers are cautiously optimistic. However, the changes coming to the 2015 Focus should only improve this compact’s appeal. The 2015 Focus is expected to be available in Pittsburgh area dealerships in the second half of this year.

When it arrives, the new 2015 Focus will have a more stylish, bold look. It has a restyled hood and grille, signature lighting for the headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. Four-door and five-door versions will be available. The Focus will also come in S, SE and Titanium trims as well as the performance oriented, and more expensive Focus ST. Pricing for 2015 has not yet been announced.

In addition to a host of styling and technology advances, the new Focus will also offer the efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed manual transmission as an option. EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to improve both performance and fuel economy.

“The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest addition will bring consumers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and at the pump.”

The smallest engine in the company’s growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. In Europe, where it is already on five nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost accounts for 32 percent of sales of the current-generation Focus and 26 percent of Fiesta sales this year.

The optional engine will be offered alongside the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which currently helps the Focus deliver an EPA-estimated rating of 40 miles per gallon on the highway. However, Ford is still mum on the fuel economy savings offered by the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, although they should be significant without any loss in performance.

In addition to a quieter ride, Focus customers also receive a host of new safety technologies with the 2015 edition, including a standard rearview camera and available blind spot monitoring and lane keeping systems. The rearview camera appears on either a 4.2-inch screen or the eight-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch-equipped cars.

The blind spot system uses two multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels, one on each side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and lights up an indicator on the corresponding sideview mirror.

Cross traffic alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 131 feet, the system will issue three distinct warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching.

Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal on, the available lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip.

New this year is an available SE sport package. If you couldn’t justify shelling out for the Focus ST in the past, this new package offers a firmer suspension, optional dual clutch transmission with paddle shifters and 17-inch wheels—an excellent value for performance-oriented drivers.

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