New Ford Focus makes its global debut in Detroit

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Ford has unveiled the next generation of its best-selling family hatchback, the Focus, at the 2010 motor show in Detroit. The new version will enter production at the end of this year and goes on sale at the beginning of 2011.

The styling has moved on from the current generation, but retains the Ford so-called Kinetic design theme that is evident in the Mondeo, Fiesta and S-Max. Despite the switch of design language for the Focus this third-generation car is not a radical departure from the existing model, and bears a similarity to several of the Focus's rivals such as the new Astra, Kia C'eed and the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback.

The interior has also been reworked, the detail design of the dashboard providing a more sophisticated cabin ambience. Besides a new look, Ford engineers have introduced a new power steering system and a new generation of the technology used to control the hands-free telephone and satellite navigation.

The Focus will be based on the same updated running gear as the new C-Max and Grand C-Max that will make their way to customers in the second half of this year. A significant new engine offering will be the down-sized 1.6 litre Ecoboost petrol engine.

This latest Focus has been announced in Detroit because the car will also be sold there – this is the first time since the ill-fated 2001 Mondeo world car that Ford has attempted to sell essentially the same model across all global markets, from Europe to North America and China. If the new car succeeds, it could easily end up being the biggest-selling Ford for decades.