2012 Ford Focus to debut in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 3, 2010

Ford’s all-new Focus will participate in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), marking its debut in competitive racing. Ford will not provide financial or full works support to the championship but it intends to give access to private teams to its technology. Ford has also expressed its willingness to give technical support.

It’s likely that this arrangement is similar to the set-up in this year’s championship where privateers Team Aon put two current-gen Ford Focuses in the race without getting financial support from Ford.

However, it had access to some resources and technology. Starting 2011, the BTCC will have a transitional phase where it will start the switch from the current S2000 regulations to new cost-saving Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) rules. There will be many components in common, such as the front and rear sub frames. To participate in the championship, the cars don’t have to be homologated.

This means that many new cars such as the Toyota Avensis and the Ford Focus are now able to compete. Ford said that the Focus will be its new global touring car and that it will be developed with private race teams in cooperation with Ford’s global motorsport group.

Jost Capito, Ford’s global performance vehicles and motorsport boss, said that there has been much interest in racing for the new Focus. He referred to it as being “the perfect fit for a global touring car.” He said that by teaming up with private race teams, it’s guaranteed that Focus gets support it requires to “compete and win.”

Press Release

Ford's newest offering, Focus, will race as a touring car globally

The stylish next-generation Ford Focus wagon makes its global debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show alongside the sporty Focus 5-door, appearing for the first time in Europe.

The next-generation Focus wagon is the fifth vehicle to be revealed from Ford Motor Company's new global C-segment platform that will underpin at least ten vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012.

Revealed so far are the new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models at Frankfurt 2009, the next-generation Focus 4-door and 5-door cars at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, and now the wagon at Geneva.

"Our next generation of C-cars shows how Ford is using its global resources to develop at least ten new models or derivatives from the same platform globally," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Product development. "The Focus wagon is the next model to be revealed, and is particularly significant for the European market as more than a third of our C-car customers here prefer a wagon bodystyle."

At Geneva, Ford is also confirming that a global performance vehicle will be developed as part of the next-generation Focus range, and that it will be powered by a version of the
4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine family.

"We want to reassure enthusiasts of Focus performance models that we have a plan for them as well," Kuzak added. "Our commitment is to deliver an exciting performance model of the new Focus on a global basis and using a version of our advanced new Ford EcoBoost petrol direct-injection turbo engine. We're not ready to reveal more details yet, but we recognise how important this model will be in the Focus line-up, particularly for customers in Europe."

Further details of the entire portfolio of new models based on Ford's global C-car platform will be revealed soon, with all of them coming into the company's line-up around the world by the end of 2012.

Focus Wagon Targets Major Customer Base

The attractive next-generation Ford Focus wagon is a crucial model for the European market in particular, as around one third of all Focus customers choose this bodystyle. In some markets, such as Italy and Germany, the wagon derivative represents more than half of all Ford Focus cars sold.

"A key strength of the Ford Focus range in Europe has always been its wagon, and its popularity is second only to the five-door," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO. "These customers want the extra space and flexibility a traditional wagon provides, yet they still expect all of the technology, great driving dynamics, and superb styling. We believe the new Focus wagon will more than satisfy their requirements in every way."

With its rakish appearance, the new Focus wagon also makes a design statement and provides the ideal balance of dynamic looks and functional practicality. Full-length integrated roof rails enhance the wagon's attractive kinetic design, while the tailgate has a self-closing function and neatly incorporates a compact roof spoiler.

Overall, the C-car segment in Europe remains relatively stable and accounts for around a third of total car sales with roughly five million C-cars sold annually. Although many premium manufacturers have also moved into the segment in recent years, it is among the volume makers that the competition is most fierce.

The market has seen significant fragmentation in the last decade thanks to the development of new bodystyle derivatives beyond the traditional four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and wagon models.

By 2012, six bodystyles will cover 85 per cent of customer requirements in the segment in Europe - the four-door sedan, the five-door hatch, the wagon, the five-passenger MAV, seven-passenger MAV and the small SUV.

"As the segment develops around the world, we see clear preferences among customers for the six main bodystyles, with variations by region and even within a region," Kuzak said. "For example, the preferred bodystyle in China and Russia is the four-door sedan, while in Britain and Spain the five-door is most popular and we believe there is also a customer trend towards five-door small cars in North America.

"This is driving our global C-segment strategy and we are concentrating our efforts around the world on meeting the expectations of buyers for these six key bodystyles," Kuzak noted.

While the Focus wagon will initially launch only in Europe, it has been designed to share the wide range of technologies, fuel efficient powertrains, great driving quality and high levels of craftsmanship that all of Ford's new global C-cars will deliver.

The Focus wagon debuts in the same vibrant Candy Red body colour which was first shown to great acclaim on the new Focus five-door model unveiled at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit in January.

The five-door Focus model for Geneva is finished in a warm and modern Hot Mustard – a contemporary, dark metallic yellow colour.

"As with all of the models in our new global C-platform portfolio, there is scope to offer this dynamic wagon additionally in other markets around the world, provided the business case and customer demand exist," said John Fleming. "We see this as an integral part of our global next-generation Focus line-up, and we're eager to hear the reaction to what we believe is a very stylish and distinctive car."

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