With the current European crisis, consumers are beginning to shift allegiance to vehicles that offer good fuel economy. As a testament to that, around a quarter of total sales of Ford Focus in Europe is comprised of the variant that is fitted with 1.0-liter gasoline engine that offers great fuel economy.
The three-cylinder gasoline engine could provide up to 125 hp of output, while consuming only five litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres travelled and emitting only 114 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre cruised. Another variant of the 1.0-gasoline engine could offer up to 100 hp of output, while consuming only 4.8 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres and emitting only 109 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre.
The figures represent a 25 percent improvement over the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engine it replaces. Although a diesel engine with the same power offers better fuel economy at 4.20L/100km, it is more expensive in the United Kingdom by £800 ($1,240). Ford is currently the only carmaker in Europe that offers a 1.0-liter gasoline engine in a compact car, the closest rival would be the 1.2-liter power plant installed in VW Golf.
Despite its small size, the 1.0-liter gasoline turbocharged engine is more powerful than how it’s perceived. According to Ford, the engine combines the characteristics of a diesel power plant – high torque at low revs -- with the qualities of a gasoline engine – smoothness and power at high revs.
According to Ford, the gasoline engine offers lower running costs than the diesel for drivers who cruise fewer than 13,000 kilometres a year. Around half of the new car buyers in Europe prefer to acquire a unit powered by a diesel engine. Ford said customers will soon move back to gasoline engine, but that it would be slow. According to Ford UK product manager Andrew Paton, it took customers 20 years to shift to diesel, so the shift back to petrol will also take some time.
Having 80% parts commonality, Ford Motor Company revealed that the latest generation of the Focus was created using its newest C-segment platform. After the Focus, the brand said that this same platform will be the basis for 10 vehicles worldwide and is expected to have annual production of around 2 million units by 2012. With three of the Focus bodystyles being unveiled in Paris, Kuzak said that this represents an important milestone particularly in the global C-car strategy of the brand.
A few months from now, he added, production of the Focus will begin not only at the assembly plant located in Michigan but also for the one based in Saarlouis. The production will also mean that Ford’s plan of releasing ten new versions coming from the same platform is starting to shape up as well, he continued.
While this may surely excite a number of enthusiasts, Ford confirmed through the new Focus line-up will not include the Coupé-Cabriolet version or even the three-door variant. Kuzak explained that when the brand decided to use the coupe-like and sleek design on a five-door hatchback, it meant there would be little space available for a three-door derivative.
By limiting the new Focus range to three models, he added, it is expected to offer a combination of practicality on a daily basis and that dynamic and sporty appearance. For those who want a vehicle with the same dynamism but one that offers more space, the C-car range, particularly the C-MAX is a good option, he continued. Kuzak said further that this is a car that will perfectly meet the needs of many customers.
Ford did say though that it will be including a performance model for the new Focus range and at Paris, the brand will be showing how that particular model will actually look when it will be officially released in 2012.
Dubbed as the Focus ST, it comes with the Ford EcoBoost powerplant that is capable of 250 PS. Indeed, the Focus ST has the looks and the driving pleasure to back it up. The Focus was originally developed in Europe and is expected to go on sale in at least 120 markets around the world.