The Ford Focus is a model developed with an eye to the changing habits of consumers in North America and abroad. A compact, efficient vehicle, the Focus has appealed to a wide demographic of buyers ranging from eco-conscious young professionals to families and travelling business professionals. Although the line is going to be discontinued after 2011, the Focus was a trailblazer for Ford as the company attempted to counterpunch European and Japanese manufacturers putting out cost-effective, compact cars. The sedan and coupe models were accompanied by hatchback and wagon configurations following a redesign for the 2005 model year. Ford used a 2.0-liter Duratec 20 engine on models built after the 2007 redesign, helping to bolster fuel performance while maintaining drivability.
The Focus was designed under the leadership of Richard Parry-Jones with design language oversight from Jack Telnack and Claude Lobo. The mixture of curves and lines that became a trademark of the model was considered polarizing, drawing very high or low reviews, but few opinions in between. Debuting at the Paris Motor Show in 1998, the Focus was subsequently manufactured at Wayne Stamping and Assembly in Wayne, Michigan, and Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly in Hermosillo, Mexico. Production was ultimately consolidated at the Wayne Assembly plant in 2006. Focuses were able to sustain their appeal to a wide audience in large part due to their seating capacity for 4 or 5 passengers while claiming about 30 miles to the gallon.
The Focus has grown from first generation sedan, hatchback, and wagon models - using the same C170 platform as the international Focus - into second and third generations offering coupe configurations and additional trim options. Ford Focus models are reputed to be among the top 50 models of automobile sold worldwide. Recent losses by Ford prompted discontinuation of the model after the 2011 model year, although the international Mk3 model will take over. Production of the first generation began in 1999 for the model year 2000, and lasted until the second generation debuted at the 2007 North American Auto Show.
Second generation Ford Focus models incorporated dashboard designs with ambient lighting, Ford's Sync computer system, and a variety of trim options. Offered in 2-door coupes or 4-door sedans since 2008, the Focus is available in S, SE, SES, and SEL trims. The 2012 Focus Mk3, based on the international model, is going to come in a performance-focused ST trim. Focus STs will boast a 2-liter turbocharged Ecoboost I4 engine with a sport suspension package and Recaro seats.
The Focus has received many awards over each of its three generations. Perhaps its best commendations were Automobile magazine's rating as Automobile of the Year" in 2000, and placement among the "Ten Best" for Car and Driver magazine from 2000 to 2004.
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