FOCUS QUALITY: FORD PRECISION DRIVE

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All-New Ford Focus Combines Dynamic Exterior Design With Driver-Focussed Interior

  • Latest dynamic evolution of Ford’s Kinetic Design form language
  • Driver-focused interior with cockpit-style layout and superior craftsmanship
  • Stylish cabin combines sporting driver appeal with typical Focus practicality

The all-new Focus brings a dynamic new style to the C-segment. Expressive exterior and interior design lies at the heart of the appeal of the all-new Focus, taking Ford’s acclaimed Kinetic Design language to the next level, and providing customers with a rewarding ownership experience.

While drivers will appreciate the cockpit-style driving environment and superior
craftsmanship, the cabin has lost none of the comfort and practicality which is a key
characteristic of the Focus brand.

The all-new Focus enjoys a sporty and dynamic character, developing the kinetic
design theme which has contributed to the growing popularity of the company’s latest small and medium cars.

With its striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the all-new Focus clearly conveys the rewarding driving experience that awaits customers when they take to the road.

The dynamic quality of the exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design of the cabin. The all-new Focus has an extremely modern, cockpit-style interior, with a stylish instrument panel and centre console that wrap around the driver providing outstanding access to the vehicle’s major controls and display panels.

A key element of the interior is the quality of craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and
contemporary graphics, the sculptured shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and the choice of superior trim materials all help to give occupants the feeling that they are travelling in a high quality car.

The dynamic nature of the interior is reflected in sophisticated, contemporary colour
schemes, which provide a harmonious environment that is both stylish and fashionable. Authentic chrome surfaces and high-gloss finishes provide passengers with visual and tactile highlights, while emphasising the premium quality of the cabin.

The all-new Focus interior combines a cockpit-style driving environment with the comfort and practicality that customers have come to expect from the Focus brand.

In addition to the ergonomically optimised cockpit layout, the Focus includes a host of features to make life behind the wheel as enjoyable as possible. These include a completely new front seat design – offering significantly better support with improved comfort – ample interior stowage with larger cupholders and door bins front and rear, and flexible 60/40 folding rear seats which can further extend the generous luggage compartments.

The interior design was refined using Ford’s advanced 3D Computer Aided Virtual
Engineering (CAVE) system. The CAVE creates a virtual, full-sized interior of a car, so that issues such as cockpit layout, seating position, visibility and even reflections on the instrument panel could be tested and optimised during the early design stages.

Advanced Chassis Systems Provide All-New Ford
Focus With Outstanding Dynamics And Refinement

  • Advanced chassis technologies and strengthened body structure provide the foundation for class-leading driving dynamics and refinement
  • Optimised new designs for Control Blade multilink rear suspension and semi isolated front subframe
  • Completely new Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) system delivers precision with natural feel

The all-new Focus combines new and updated chassis technologies with a stronger and stiffer structure to ensure that it delivers class-leading driving dynamics and refinement. Many of the body and chassis features were an integral part of Ford’s new global C-car platform, which has been developed with outstanding driving quality as a primary objective.

While the body structure of the all-new Focus is significantly stiffer than the outgoing model – torsional stiffness is increased by 15 percent on the 5-door – even greater attention was given to increasing local stiffnesses in the most important areas for vehicle dynamics and NVH, such as the chassis attachment points and the front-end structure.

At the front end of the vehicle, the suspension top mounts have been linked together by a sheet metal tower brace, which is integrated with the bulkhead. This bracing increases local stiffness by 50 percent, helping to reduce NVH and improve steering feel.

At the rear, local strengthening has increased top mount stiffness by 45 percent, contributing to reduced body flex, enhanced rear suspension performance and a reduction in noise in the rear seating area.

The chassis design of the new Focus is an evolution of the innovative concepts used in the outgoing model. The suspension systems have been completely updated, with optimised new designs for the Control Blade multilink rear suspension and semi-isolated front subframe.

The front suspension is based on the same MacPherson strut arrangement, but with lighter and re-optimised components, and a wider front track.

The updated specification includes:

  • Lighter, weight-optimised front lower control arms
  • Stiffer and lighter re-designed front sub-frame (saving 2 kg per vehicle)
  • New hollow anti-roll bar (saving 2 kg per vehicle)
  • Revised anti-roll bar mounting to improve roll control
  • Improved damper valve technology for improved ride comfort and road noise while maintaining body control
  • Re-optimised bushes to reduce transmission of road noise and vibration

The rear suspension also has a wider track, and features an updated version of the acclaimed independent Control Blade multilink suspension system.

The key elements of the new system include:

  • Re-optimised ‘Control Blade’ design
  • Increased diameter dampers for improved ride comfort and road noise while   maintaining body control
  • Larger hub bearings for increased camber stiffness and handling precision
  • Revised anti-roll bar mounting to improve roll control
  • Re-optimised bushes to reduce transmission of road noise and vibration

The all-new Focus uses a completely new Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) system, which plays a key role in delivering a more dynamic driving experience.

The EPAS system is the latest rack-mounted design, which is capable of delivering precise steering with a natural and confident feel. The system has been carefully tuned with sophisticated speed mapping to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking manoeuvres.

Because the EPAS steering system only provides power assistance when required, it also reduces fuel consumption by approximately three percent compared to a conventional hydraulic power steering system.

Latest Technology and Meticulous Tuning Deliver
Class-Leading Driving Dynamics In All-New Focus

  • Latest chassis technology optimised through meticulous tuning by experienced vehicle dynamics team delivers class-leading results
  • Unmatched blend of precise, agile handling with significantly improved comfort and refinement
  • Standard Torque Vectoring Control enhances cornering performance and provides increased driver confidence

When it was introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and responsiveness to the C-segment. The all-new Focus seeks to raise the benchmark once more, targeting class-leading driving quality that blends outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control.

To achieve this goal, the all-new Focus employs the latest chassis technology – including the standard Torque Vectoring Control – optimised through meticulous tuning by the experienced Ford of Europe Vehicle Dynamics team.

In developing the all-new Focus, Ford’s dynamics specialists wanted to give the vehicle an even more agile and sporty feel, while also achieving significantly improved levels of comfort and refinement.

To provide the required increase in agility, the primary focus was on optimising the all-new Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) system to deliver the kind of precise, natural feel which is an important characteristic in all Ford models.

Having selected a suitable EPAS system, Ford engineers conducted an exhaustive analysis using a unique test rig to help identify the optimum way to configure the steering control system to achieve the precision and feel they wanted.

This was followed by a massive tuning effort in prototype vehicles, adjusting the EPAS control system until the steering provided a natural, confident feel and delivered exactly the required vehicle responses.

To enhance driving quality, the Focus team carried out exhaustive analysis of the dynamic loads within the suspension systems and body structure. This led to optimised new designs for the Control Blade multilink rear suspension and semi-isolated front subframe, and a comprehensive programme to increase the local stiffness of the bodyshell in the areas most important for dynamics and NVH, such as at the suspension attachment points.

This detailed optimisation of the suspension and body structure made it possible to deliver not only enhanced handling and agility, but also a significant improvement in comfort and refinement.

Ford’s Vehicle Dynamics team also gave high priority to the meticulous tuning of springs, dampers and suspension bushes to ensure the best possible suspension performance. Changes included the use of larger rear shock absorbers and a new valving system for the front shock absorbers, to achieve the optimum balance between primary ride control and refinement.

The all-new Focus also features an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system as standard, to further improve cornering stability and agility.

More typically found on high-performance cars, the Torque Vectoring Control system uses the car’s brakes to imitate the effect of a torque vectoring differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the front wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering, and a reduced level of understeer.

The system operates using the car’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) module, and monitors the vehicle 100 times per second. As the car accelerates through a corner, the system detects when the front inside wheel is starting to slip, and applies an imperceptible amount of braking to the wheel. This prevents wheel spin, and has the effect of transferring engine torque to the outside wheel which has more grip, thus maintaining traction and steering control.

Unlike a traction control system which reduces engine power, the intervention from Torque Vectoring Control is extremely subtle, and may not even be noticed by the driver.

Sound Quality Development Gives All-New Focus
Superior Comfort, Refinement And Character

  • Balanced approach to minimising NVH delivers significant improvement in
    comfort and refinement
  • Enjoyable sound quality from reductions in unwanted powertrain, wind and
    road noise and efforts to emphasise engine character
  • Unwanted vibrations, squeaks and rattles eliminated to enhance quality feel

Achieving significantly reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) was a
primary goal for the all-new Focus, with a major effort to create a balanced and harmonious sound character by minimising powertrain, wind and road noise along with any unwanted vibrations, squeaks or rattles.

To emphasise the perception of quality, particular attention was also given to reducing all operational noises within the vehicle, such as the door closing sound. The result is a vehicle which approaches the standards of refinement and comfort more typically found in larger premium vehicles.

Efforts to reduce powertrain NVH focused on detailed optimisation of engines, transmissions and exhaust systems, eliminating unwanted noises at source and enhancing the natural behaviour of the powertrains to create a more refined, yet powerful, sound character.

Additional sound insulation and absorption materials within the vehicle – such as improved carpets, the optimised application of self-expanding foams in body cavities, a headliner with improved sound absorption properties and additional sealing efforts on trim parts – have also been used in an effort to optimise and reduce the noise transfer into the cabin.

Particularly significant improvements have been made with the Duratorq TDCi engine. New fuel injection systems – capable of multiple injections per cycle – and an optimised calibration strategy have significantly reduced impulsiveness, the combustion noise better known as diesel knock.

Engine radiated noise has been reduced by a new acoustic top cover, and by a re-engineered engine structure with a two-piece bottom end on the 2.0-litre unit which improves structural rigidity.

Other unwanted noises have also been minimised through a series of measures in the injection system, turbo assembly and base engine, including common rail inlet orifices, air induction inlet guide vanes (2.0-litre TDCi diesel only) and intake system dampers as well as with an optimised primary drive system.

With the addition of these new features, the diesel engine has been engineered to achieve class-leading noise levels and refinement throughout the engine operating range.

To help reduce wind noise, the Focus adopts a three-lip continuous glass run
design and an optimised exterior mirror shape and sealing.

The Focus diesel engine features a windscreen with a special acoustic layer, which significantly reduces noise transmission in a frequency range critical for wind noise and other high frequency noises. This is complemented by increased glass thicknesses in the side glass and tailgate area.

All these changes result in a significant noise reduction compared to the outgoing model, a more consistent sound level distribution within the cabin and overall wind noise performance that is comparable to larger premium cars.

The improved body structure on the new Focus, with increased torsional rigidity, stiffened front and rear subframes and selective application of dynamic absorbers, plays a major role in reducing road-induced noise and vibration.

The local body stiffness at the attachment points of the chassis components has also been significantly increased. For example, the rear subframe cross member attachment points are 75 percent stiffer using advanced methods of structural optimisation.

The effectiveness of these enhancements has been maximised through rigorous attention to detail in tuning the stiffness and compliance of suspension bushes, application of sound deadening material on certain body panels, and in optimising tyre performance with the suppliers.

The result of this comprehensive approach is a reduction in overall road noise levels over the outgoing model in the range of 1.5 db(A), representing much improved levels of refinement.

Superior Quality And Craftsmanship Built In
To Every Ford Focus

  • Painstaking approach to ensure outstanding quality and craftsmanship is
    engineered into every vehicle
  • Global DNA approach means all-new Focus gets the best of Ford’s worldwide
    resources

The all-new Focus has been painstakingly developed to provide customers with the highest levels of craftsmanship and quality, from the elegant chrome finish on a ventilation control to the reassuring ‘thunk’ of a door when it closes.

Achieving such premium levels of quality is an integral part of Ford’s powerful new Global Product Development System (GPDS), which defines the processes which underpin the development of all new Ford products.

Key initiatives for the all-new Focus have included the contribution of the
Craftsmanship group, the introduction of components or systems developed using the Global DNA approach, and the adoption of common global manufacturing processes for all plant locations across the globe.

Ford’s dedicated Craftsmanship team was heavily involved with the Focus development process. The team is entirely focused on delivering the highest levels of product quality, including the visual appeal, touch, feel and operation of all controls, features and surfaces.

Premium levels of interior quality were a primary goal for the all-new Focus range, and the Craftsmanship group applied an almost obsessive attention to detail in ensuring that the new vehicle achieved those standards.

Specific initiatives driven by the Craftsmanship team included:

  • Selecting authentic chrome plating on interior trim parts, such as the door release
    handles, rather than painted coatings
  • Engineering the interfaces and transitions between parts for optimum quality and
    appearance, and robustness in production
  • Achieving precise colour matching between plastic trim parts by adopting sophisticated optical measuring equipment to define the colour precisely
  • Creating carefully choreographed Welcome and Farewell sequences for the interior lights and displays, to apply when customers enter or leave the vehicle
  • Optimising the softness and feel of key customer contact points such as the steering wheel, door armrests and centre console

The development team also implemented a new Digital Pre-Assembly (DPA) process, which used sophisticated computer analysis tools to analyse the quality of parts and assemblies during the early design phase.

The ability to carry out detailed virtual assessments of fit and finish quality before physical parts were available, and to continue that analysis throughout the engineering process, resulted in a significant improvement in crafted quality.

The new Focus is the first Ford product to benefit from a new global brand DNA which will define a consistent character and performance for Ford vehicles worldwide.

The global DNA encompasses all the attributes that have a direct impact on a customer’s experience in the vehicle – from the way it drives to the comfort and quality of the interior and the layout and function of its controls.

To define the DNA requirements for each attribute, global teams of product specialists worked together to deliver the optimum solution, capable of fully satisfying the needs of customers in all regions worldwide.

Many key areas of the all-new Focus – from the design of the seats, to the thickness of the rim on the steering wheel, to the door closing sounds – were engineered to meet the new global standards, resulting in improved quality and performance for the customer.