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Local News / Automotive

Sunday, 22 May, 2011 1:01 AM

Ford debuts the 2012 Focus at SAE Detroit Section meeting

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The 2012 Ford Focus was parked in the lobby of the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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DEARBORN, Mich. -- The 2012 Ford Focus comes with a number of exciting changes from the previous model. It is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers up to 40 mpg on the highway. In addition, it comes with six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission, electronic power assist steering, torque vectoring control and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with anti-lock brakes. The chassis is made of ultra high strength boron steel. The interior is quieter than ever before with dual zone climate controls.

The redesigned Focus is very big on technology. First, it features MyFord Touch, a touch-screen interface that allows the driver to control navigation, phone and entertainment. Secondly, it includes voice-activated SYNC, which allows for operation of MP3 players, bluetooth-enabled phones and flash drives. Third, it comes with self-parking technology, which allows the vehicle to automatically parallel park itself. MyKey is a new feature being offered by Ford to allow parents to set limits on their teenagers driving for their safety.

"Johnson Controls supplied excellent seats for the Focus," said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of research and advanced engineering for Ford Motor Company. "You cannot build a truly global vehicle without cooperation. We built a global car that would exceed best in-car quality. The 2012 Focus is a major milestone for us, a true global design. Customer expectations vary from one part of the world to the other. Focus is 85 percent recyclable. It offers a number of features, in-car WiFi and a whole lot more."

Other features for the 2012 Ford Focus include push-button start, rain sensing wipers, HD radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 12-volt power points in the front and rear of the vehicle. The top-of-the-line model features illuminated entry, seven colors of ambient lighting, a capless fuel filler and remote keyless entry.

"Some improvements were big, some not so big," said Jim Hughes, the Ford Focus chief nameplate engineer. "When it rains, the grille opens or closes automatically. Wipers are concealed in the off position. We reduced Focus' drag co-efficient to 0.297. We added an acoustic laminated windshield. The new design is a home run. Focus looks like its moving even when standing still. There is no torque converter or hydraulic pump. Handling is pure, precise and predictable. One of the first things you'll notice is it's quiet."

Optional features are a power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear armrest with storage, a cargo management package, a remote start system, cargo area protector, navigation system with SIRIUS traffic and travel link. Other optional features include heated front seats, a rear view camera, graphic packages, polished aluminum wheels and a full-size spare tire.

"Drivers can download a vehicle health report," said John Schneider, chief engineer for HMI, driver controls and infotainment for Ford Motor Company. "It includes an 8-inch touch screen and a small LCD in the instrument cluster. Drivers can access the world with WiFi, iTunes tagging and SIRIUS Travel Link. It shows traffic conditions and fuel prices. Drivers can plug in an SD card with high detailed map data. We really feel the 2012 Focus will lure new buyers."

The 2012 Ford Focus starts with a base price of $16,500 for the S sedan model (26 mpg city/36 mpg hwy) without taxes and fees. The high-end model is the Titanium 5-door sedan (27 mpg city/37 mpg hwy), which costs $22,700. The other available models are SE sedan, SE 5-door, SEL sedan, SEL 5-door and Titanium sedan. It comes a choice of ten different colors.

"We spent half a billion dollars to prepare the plant," said Rob Webber, site manager of Ford Motor Company's Michigan Assembly Plant. "It now produces four vehicles with four different powertrains. We stripped the entire facility to the floor. We installed brighter, more efficient lighting and a solar array creating enough energy to power 100 homes for a year. We converted our power system from coal to methane. We converted our shuttle van to propane operation. We use a three-way paint process. Paint is applied wet on wet. It ensures that all three coats bond together."

The next SAE Detroit section meeting is actually a technical meeting "The Future of the IC Engine" on May 25 at Tre Monti Ristorante in Troy, Mich. There will be no section meetings over the summer. The next "official" section meeting will feature the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. It scheduled for Sept. 15 at the San Marino Club in Troy, Mich.

For more information about the SAE Detroit section or to purchase tickets for an upcoming meeting, visit www.sae-detroit.org.

Related Story: 93 MPGe Chevrolet Volt highlighted at SAE Detroit Section meeting

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look behind the driver's seat of the all-new Focus.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Paul Mascarenas is the chief technical officer and vice president of research and advanced engineering for Ford Motor Company.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Jim Hughes is the Ford Focus chief nameplate engineer.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

John Schneider is the chief engineer for HMI, driver controls and infotainment for Ford Motor Company.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Rob Webber is the site manager of Ford Motor Company's Michigan Assembly Plant.

 

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