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Ford Focus
[[File:Ford Focus (first generation)|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1999–present
Predecessor Ford Escort
Ford Laser
Class Compact
/Small family car
Layout FF layout

The Ford Focus is a compact car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company since 1998. Ford began sales of the Focus to Europe in July 1998 and in North America during 1999 for the 2000 model year.

In Europe, South America, North America and South Africa, the Focus replaced the various Ford Escorts sold in those markets. In Asia and Australasia, it replaced the Ford Laser.

First generation

Ford Focus (first generation)

Main article: Ford Focus (first generation)

Ford of Europe introduced the Focus in 1998 to the European market as a replacement for the Ford Escort. The decision to name the new car the "Ford Focus" was made in early 1998, as Ford's overheads had been planning to keep the "Escort" nameplate for its new generation of small family cars. A last minute problem arose in July 1998 when a Cologne court, responding to a case brought by the publishers Burda, ordered Ford to avoid the name "Focus" for the German market cars since the name was already taken by the publisher's Focus magazine.[1] This eleventh hour dispute was overcome, however, and the car was launched without a different German market name.

Ford of North America began marketing the Focus in October 1999 for model year 2000 with some changes from the European version. The car launched as a 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon; a 5-door hatchback debuted in 2001.[2]

Second generation


Ford Focus (second generation, Europe)

Main article: Ford Focus (second generation, Europe)

The second generation Focus was launched at the Paris Motor Show on September 23, 2004 as a three and five-door hatchback and an estate, although the new car was previewed, in 4-door sedan form, as the 'Focus Concept' developed by Ford Europe at the Beijing Motor Show in mid-2004.

The basic suspension design, which contributed much to the Mk 1's success, has been carried over largely unchanged from its predecessor which, along with a 10% stiffer bodyshell, offers a better ride according to Ford but lacked on the precise and poised handling of the Mk1. The same body styles as the Mk 1 Focus were offered, though the saloon did not appear until mid-2005.

The Focus Mk 2 is much larger and considerably heavier than its predecessor with a 25 mm (1 in) increase in wheelbase, 168 mm (6.6 in) longer, 8 mm (0.3 in) taller and 22 mm (0.8 in) wider. As a result the interior and boot space have increased. New technologies include a KeyFree system, a solar-reflect windshield, adaptive front lighting, Bluetooth hands-free phones and voice control for audio, telephone and climate control systems.

Stylistically, the Mk 2's styling features the same design language found in the Mondeo and Fiesta. Although still recognisable as a Focus the new car uses styling features from the abandoned B-Proposal for the original Focus which never reached production.

In 2005 came the ford focus st with a top speed of 152mph and 225bhp it was the fastest hot hatch of the time until 2009 with the release of the second rs model with 162mph and 300bhp it was one never to beat

North America

Ford Focus (second generation, North America)

Main article: Ford Focus (second generation, North America)

The second generation Focus for the North American market followed a separate development. Since debuting at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, the restyled second generation was available as either a two-door coupe and 4-door sedan — the hatchbacks and wagon were discontinued. The interior was redesigned, including new seats, a new dashboard design with message center atop of the dashboard, ambient lighting, dashboard panels that simulate brushed aluminum, and Ford's voice-controlled Sync audio/Bluetooth system. Also included in the redesign was a support beam behind the dashboard for extra structural rigidity.

Third generation

Ford Focus (third generation)

Main article: Ford Focus (third generation)

In 2010 Ford decided to reunite both international and North American models by releasing the international Mk3 worldwide. The current North American version was thus discontinued, and the new model was launched simultaneously in North America and Europe in early 2011, both having started production late in 2010.[3][4]

Ford unveiled the 2011 global Ford Focus at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. The car shown was a 5-door hatchback model, also debuting a new 2.0L direct injection I4 engine. A 5-door estate will also be available at launch.[5] The new generation launched simultaneously in North America and Europe in early 2011, with production having started in late 2010.[6] Production in Asia, Africa, and South America will follow later. Ford debuted the all-electric Ford Focus EV at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011 to compete with the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. This new generation of Focus incorporates a redesigned cabin with improved materials, and new infotainment technologies that help to differentiate it from recently decontented competitors such as the Mk VI Volkswagen Jetta. Following the industry trend towards decontenting, the Focus sedan replaced its space-saving gas strut trunk hinges with cheaper, intrusive gooseneck hinges.


Jari-Matti Latvala with his Ford Focus RS WRC 09 (awd model) at the 2010 Rally Finland.

The first Focus World Rally Car made its debut in rallying and the World Rally Championship on the 1999 Monte Carlo Rally with Colin McRae and Simon Jean-Joseph at the wheels of the two cars, replacing, for the first time in a generation, the venerable Escort. It was immediately on the pace, setting many fastest stage times, but a vehicle weight issue meant that the two cars were excluded from that event. McRae went on to give the Focus WRC its maiden victory on the Safari Rally in February of the same year and took victory again in the following rally, the Rally Portugal.

The MkI Focus WRC went on scoop further victories over the years for McRae, Carlos Sainz and Markko Märtin from then until it was phased out in favour of the MkII offering in late 2005.[7] This car, a winner in both Marcus Grönholm's and Mikko Hirvonen's hands in the two-car factory BP-Ford World Rally Team that contested the 2006 World Rally Championship season, duly racked up the manufacturers' title,[8] spelling the end of a formidable twenty-seven year wait for such an honour in this series for the Blue Oval. The team successfully defended the manufacturers' title in the 2007 season.[9]

All the rally cars are built, prepared and run for Ford by M-Sport, the motorsport team based in Cockermouth, Cumbria in Northern England. The team is managed by Malcolm Wilson, a well known former British rally driver.[10]

Besides rallies, the Focus has also been used in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series, the TC 2000, resulting champion in 2003 and 2005.

The Ford Focus ST made its debut in the 2009 British Touring Car Championship, with Arena Motorsport. During its second season, the car ran on LPG, taking the first BTCC win for a car powered by this fuel at Brands Hatch.


Calendar year United States
1999[11] 55,846
2000 286,166
2001[12] 264,414
2002[13] 243,199
2003 229,353
2004[14] 208,339
2005 184,825
2006[15] 177,006
2007 173,213
2008[16] 195,823
2009[17] 160,433
2010[18] 172,421


  1. "Focus nur fuer Auslands-Modelle: Gerichtsurteil gegen Ford", Auto, Motor und Sport 1998 Heft 15: Seite 9. date 15 July1998. 
  2. "Ford Focus ZX5 five-door to debut this fall"., 02/14/01.
  3. "Detroit auto show: 2012 Ford Focus, most significant by AW Editors' Choice Awards". (2010-01-18). Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  4. Ford Motor Company (2009-01-11). "DYNAMIC NEXT-GENERATION FORD FOCUS DEBUTS", Retrieved on . 
  5. Exciting New Next-Generation Ford Focus Gears Up For Launch | Ford Motor Company Newsroom
  6. Ford Motor Company (2009-01-11). "DYNAMIC NEXT-GENERATION FORD FOCUS DEBUTS", Retrieved on . 
  7. "Ford drivers excited by new Focus debut.", (2005-11-04). Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  8. "Wilson Sr: I will treasure this moment forever.", (2006-11-20). Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  9. "Ford secures manufacturers' title - again.", (2007-11-18). Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  10. "BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team". Retrieved on 2008-02-27.
  11. "Ford Motor Company Sets New Full Year U.S. Sales Record". Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
  13. "Ford's F-Series Truck Caps 22nd Year in a Row as America's Best-Selling Vehicle With a December Sales Record". (2004-11-17). Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
  14. "Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999". (2004-11-17). Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
  15. "Ford Motor Company 2007 sales" (January 3, 2008).
  16. "F-Series drives ford to higher market share for third consecutive month" (PDF). Ford Motor Company (January 5, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-05-14.
  17. "FORD CAPS 2009 WITH 33 PERCENT SALES INCREASE, FIRST FULL-YEAR MARKET SHARE GAIN SINCE 1995 | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". (2010-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  18. "FORD’S 2010 SALES UP 19 PERCENT – LARGEST INCREASE OF ANY FULL-LINE AUTOMAKER; FOUNDATION SET FOR GROWTH IN 2011 | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". (2011-01-04). Retrieved on 2011-06-01.

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