What is it? Ford's next-generation Focus will be available in sedan and hatchback variants. It will be based on a global platform that will be used for 10 models around the world. In the U.S. market, the Focus will be powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Features such as active grille vents and electric steering have been added to eke out more mpg, though EPA fuel economy estimates were not provided. Other available features will include push-button start, a rearview camera, and a semi-automatic parallel parking system that can steer the vehicle into a parking spot. Ford has also committed to building an electric model in 2011.
Ford has also announced a new sporty version, the ST, which builds on the spirit of the long-gone but fondly remembered Focus SVT. The new Focus ST five-door hatchback will be turbocharged, producing 243-hp from its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. Think of it as a Volkswagen GTI competitor.
What is new or notable? The 2012 Focus will offer the latest incarnation of Ford's Sync infotainment system, with the ability to download apps to the car and let users customize the interface and controls.
CR's take: This is the first complete redesign for the U.S. version of the Focus in over a decade. Early impressions indicate that it might regain its spot at the top tier of small sedans.
When will it be available? Early 2011, ST version a year later.
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