2012 Ford Focus gets the Door Edge Protector

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 27, 2011

Are you tired of worrying about getting dents and scratches on your car doors as you try to get through narrow streets and tight parking spaces? Ford has done something about it and has presented a new feature named Door Edge Protector, which will be launched on the Ford Focus in early 2012. This feature will be particularly appreciated by drivers in the UK, which has plenty of streets and parking spaces that are very difficult to maneuver in. Ford engineers in Cologne, Germany, designed the system, which works automatically when the door is opened.

A buffer is created as a protective flap hidden in the door moves into position in a fraction of a second as the door opens. This then prevents damage to paint and body work. Repairing a dented car door costs about £250 and around 85% of British drivers don’t think that those who caused the damage would own up.

Matthias Tensing, product development system engineer, said that the Door Edge Protector will set the minds of parents of young children at ease as well as drivers who have to park in a tight spot. In a survey, it came out that 57% of those drivers in the Midlands who caused damage will report the damage.

However, only 49% of drivers in the North of England will admit causing the car damage while only 54% in the South will do the same. But in Spain, about 83% of drivers report scuffs, dents and scrapes. Ford’s Door Edge Protector fully extends into a protective position at a door opening gap of less than 15cm., preventing more than 90% of differently positioned obstructions to the front doors and 85% at the rear doors.

The feature has minimal effect on weight and in addition, it doesn’t have an impact on existing mechanisms or side impact performance. It could retract after only 60 milliseconds to allow for doors to get closed quickly. It also comes with a clutch mechanism that prevents damage if the flap is blocked when returning. The device uses a special rubber compound that could stand thousands of usage cycles and makes very little noise. It’s very easy to replace the protective flap as the unit simply clips into place.

Ford Motor Company unveiled in Paris its next-generation Focus using its latest global C-segment platform. This is the same platform that is expected to support a minimum of ten vehicles globally and account for a production of two million units yearly by 2012. The company had vowed earlier that it will be adding a performance version of the Focus to the next generation line-up. This model that was unveiled in Paris is merely a preview of how the actual model will look once it is officially introduced by 2012.

While the Ford Focus ST model unveiled is sure to excite customers, the Ford EcoBoost powerplant, with output at 250 PS, will clearly deliver the driving enjoyment that will match its excellent appearance. This new model was developed in Europe and is sold in at least 120 markets around the world with 80% parts commonality. At the same show in Paris, the company also revealed that it will not be expanding the three-model Focus lineup with the addition of the three-door version or the Coupé-Cabriolet variants.

By unveiling the three core body styles of the Ford Focus, Kuzak shared, the company has once again reached an important milestone as it relates to its C-car strategy. Production of the Focus is expected to begin in a few months at its Michigan and Saarlouis assembly facilities simultaneously, he added. Kuzak continued that it will be when production starts that the company will finally be able to fulfill its goal of delivering at least ten new variants using this new platform.

Since it was decided to have a smooth and coupe-like version for this five-door hatchback, there was not enough room to include a three-door variant, Kuzak said further. The three-model Focus range is therefore able to offer that perfect mix of everyday practicality with a dynamic and athletic appearance, he added. Customers who want a vehicle with a dynamic look but offers additional space will surely appreciate the company’s C-car line-up especially with the new C-MAX. As such, customers are sure to find the perfect vehicle to meet their needs, he concluded.

Press Release

Ford’s New Door Edge Protector Thwarts Dents, Dings and Scratches Even in the UK’s Tightest Parking Spots

Ford’s new Door Edge Protector is the first active system to help prevent costly dents and scratches and to provide a buffer to protect neighbouring vehicles
Door Edge Protector, which debuts in January 2012 on the Ford Focus, activates as the door is opened. A concealed protective flap slips into position when the door opens, providing a buffer that helps prevent damage to paint and body work
Ford research shows 57 per cent of drivers in the Midlands have experienced door damage in car park incidents, with Northern drivers experiencing eight per cent fewer dents
85 per cent of British drivers do not believe other drivers would confess to damaging their car

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 22 September 2011 – Ford is introducing a new feature designed to prevent dents and scratches, which have become a costly fact of life in the UK, home to some of the world’s narrowest streets and tightest parking spaces.

The feature, called Door Edge Protector, will debut in early 2012 on the Ford Focus. The system – designed by Ford engineers in Cologne, Germany – works automatically when the door is opened. A protective flap concealed in the door moves into position in a fraction of a second as the door opens providing a buffer that prevents damage to paint and body work. The cost to repair a dented car door can easily reach £250 and 85 per cent of British drivers do not believe the perpetrators of the damage would confess to the incident.

“The Door Edge Protector will be one of those features that we think will make customers say ‘Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?’” said Matthias Tensing, product development system engineer. “It will help parents with children in the backseat or anyone who needs to park in a tight spot.”

According to research car owners in the Midlands are most likely to suffer a car park scratch or dent with 57 per cent of drivers reporting damage. By contrast 49 per cent of drivers in the North of England and 54 per cent in the South have reported such damage. British drivers get off lightly in comparison to Spain where 83 per cent of driver report scuffs, dents and scrapes.

Ford’s Door Edge Protector helps prevent damage for these car owners by fully extending into its protective position at a door opening gap of less than 15cm. The feature defends against more than 90 per cent of variously positioned obstructions to the front doors and 85 per cent at the rear doors.

Offering maximum protection with minimal impact on weight and without affecting existing mechanisms or side impact performance, the Door Edge Protector retracts in just 60 milliseconds to allow for doors being slammed shut and includes a clutch mechanism that prevents damage if the flap is obstructed when returning. A special rubber compound is used that can withstand thousands of usage cycles and creates a minimum of noise as it springs into position. The protective flap is quickly and easily replaced by heavy users, with the unit simply clipping into place.

“The small scuffs and scratches that result from car doors being opened into obstacles, or from having a car door opened into your own vehicle, can be frustrating for car owners – often too small to be covered by insurance but expensive to have repaired out of car owners’ own pockets,” said Matthew Avery, crash and safety research manager at Thatcham, the UK Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre.

“Ford’s new Door Edge Protector is an excellent innovation for preventing these annoying dents and scratches. Any system that can reduce the risk of damage to your own or someone else’s vehicle is worthy of recognition, but one that operates so effectively without affecting the looks or performance is particularly noteworthy.”

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