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New Details Of The Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric

Although the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were the big hit as far as electric cars in 2010, Ford is hoping that their new Focus Electric will steal all the thunder of EV cars in 2011. The Focus EV, a zero-emission car will make its official debut at the 2011 CES – Consumer Electronics Show and officials at Ford have said that the car will be available at North American dealerships at the end of this year and as far as Europe is concerned, customers will have to wait until 2013.

Looking at the car, you will notice that it looks a little bit different than the conventional Focus, employing an Aston Martin-inspired front fascia, the necessary charging port that has a LED ring and is located to the left of the driver’s door. In addition, the Focus EV will have a new set of 17-inch 15-spoke rims which will be covered by low-rolling resistance tires. The car will have improved aerodynamics in order to improve the drag. The conventional Focus has a LED eyebrow above the headlamp only for the European model, but Ford said that the North American Focus EV will also be available with this feature.

Moving on to the most important aspect of the car, the Focus EV will be powered by a 100-kilowatt electric motor that will have a 23-kWh battery which is capable of outputting 123 hp and a respectable torque of 181 pound-feet. Although the company didn’t say anything about the official capable range of the car, they did mention the fact that it will be able to reach a top speed of 84 mph.  Some sources say that the car will be able to do about 100 miles on a single charge, just like the Nissan Leaf. According to Ford, a full charge will take about three hours using a 240-volt outlet and about 20 hours on a 120-volt outlet.

Ford Focus Electric

The most interesting aspect about the car is how the manufacturer will be able to make electric vehicle ownership a piece of cake. The wall-mounted two-piece charging stations will be available for purchase from Best Buy and the people over there will be responsible for install them. In addition, Ford developed the all-new MyFord Mobile application which allows the Focus EV owner to monitor and interact with the car at all times. Ford has formed an alliance with Microsoft for offering value charging, a new system that “allows our customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process.”

The Ford Focus EV will be built together with the conventional Focus at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant, located in Wayne, Michigan.  Ford is at the moment thinking where will the European-spec Focus EV be built starting with 2013.

Getting back to the MyFord Mobile application, it will offer the owner of a Focus EV (and other future EV cars from Ford) the following data: info about the vehicle’s status information; capability of performing key functions remotely; monitor the vehicle’s state of charge as well as current range; get alerts when the vehicle should be charged or when the charging has finished and also the possibility to remotely program change settings and download the car’s data for analysis.

Ford Focus Electric

As far as the batteries are concerned, Ford teamed up with supplier LG Chem in order to develop the advanced lithium-ion battery system that uses heated and cooled liquid in order to help maximize the life and fuel-free driving range. This active liquid system is capable of heating or chilling a coolant before pumping it through the system in charge of the battery cooling. This loop will be capable of regulating the temperature throughout the entire system against external conditions. During the hot days of the year, the chilled liquid will absorb the heat coming from the batteries and will disperse it with the help of a radiator, prior to pumping it through the chiller again. During the cold days, the heated liquid will warm the batteries and will bring the system temperature to a level in a gradual manner which will allow it to accept charge energy in an efficient way and will provide the necessary discharge power for expected car performance.

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2012 Ford Focus Gets Brake-Based Torque Vectoring

2012 Ford Focus

The new generation of the Ford Focus will be available at dealerships early 2011, and besides the bundle of standard and optional features available, the 2012 Focus will get the “torque vectoring control” feature. For those of you that haven’t heard about this system, it is capable of splitting the power between the two driven wheels of the car in order maximize traction and increase overall performance. The higher-end systems are capable of manipulating the output to each of the four wheels through a set of gears controlled electronically. Other systems will apply a subtle amount of braking to the inside of the car’s wheel, which will cause more power to be transmitted to the outside of the wheel, meaning that it will help rotate the automobile through a turn. Ford will be using the latter on the upcoming generation of the popular Focus model and it will be a premier for the manufacturer to equip a North American model with this technology.

After years of thorough research and implementation, these very useful systems will equip more and more cars in the compact segment, cars more affordable and accessible to mainstream. What you need to know that this system is capable of doing some damage to the car, like overheating the rotors, pads as well as the fluid when flogged hard and long enough – like in the Volkswagen GTI. However, we hope that Ford has done a better job with this system and these problems will not occur on the upcoming Focus.

According to the press release published by Ford, the slight braking pressure which is applied to only one of the four wheels will be imperceptible do the driver of the Focus and the behind-the-wheel experience will offer more sense of control and stability throughout the curve. This system will be mostly appreciated by novice drivers as the car will benefit from increased stability, given them the needed confidence.

2012 Ford Focus

This torque vectoring control technology will be using the braking system of the Focus in order to imitate the effect of limited-slip differential by constantly balancing the power distribution of the engine between the driven front wheels of the car to suit various road surfaces and driving conditions. When the driver is accelerating the Focus through a tight corner, the system will apply an imperceptible degree of braking to the inside of the car’s front wheel, so that more of the engine’s torque will be transmitted to the outside of the wheel, adding extra traction, improved handling and better grip.

The torque vectoring control will be offered as standard on all of the Focus models that will be available in early 2011. As soon as more information regarding how the system will actually work on the 2012 Focus will become available, we will do a follow-up of this article explaining if the handling is actually improved like Ford promised. If you didn’t know, this system was first introduced on high-end sports cars a few years ago and now we are glad to see that it will be implemented on popular and affordable cars like the Focus.

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Ford Expands Start-Stop Technology

Ford is one of the few automakers that are capable of employing a wide variety of engines, from their proprietary EcoBoost units, to hybrids, electrics as well as fuel efficient gas units. In addition to all this, Ford is planning on expanding the use of the start/stop technology to more United States vehicles in 2012. If you did not know, the start/stop technology will shuts off the engine automatically at stop lights in order to avoid wasting precious fuel while idling. The technology is very simple and affordable to implement, especially when compared to complex technologies like hybrid powertrains.

Ford is following the trend set by BMW and Fiat as well as other automakers that implement this simple yet very efficient technology into cars, but along with sports automaker Porsche, Ford is taking a leadership role with the start/stop technology in the United States for non-hybrid cars.

According to the official press release, the Auto Start-Stop system developed by Ford is capable of improving fuel economy by a considerable 10%. The system was introduced by the company back in 2004 and since then, Ford delivered 170,000 hybrid cars in the United States, cars that feature this technology.

The technology not only improves fuel efficiency but also reduces tailpipe emissions to zero while the car is stationary or waiting at a stop light. The auto-stop technology developed by Ford is the latest example of the company’s move to bring affordable fuel-saving technologies to all of its customers. Other relevant examples are the electric power steering, the modern dual-clutch PowerShift 6-speed gearboxes and others as well.

The Auto Start-Stop technology implemented by the automaker is smooth, seamless and quiet, and it requires no sort of changes to the driver’s behavior. For city driving when the car is stopped, the power unit will restart once the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. While the engine of the car is off, the car’s accessories will work entirely just as if the engine was on. According to Barb Samardzich who is the vice president of Ford’s Powertrain engineering: “for the driver, Ford Auto Start-Stop provides extra fuel efficiency without inconvenience, as it works completely automatically.”

This system will be soon implemented in cars that are launched for the European market. The start-stop technology was designed to work both on gasoline and diesel power units and it is standard on the ECOnetic models of the Mondeo and Ka and will be soon available on the C-MAX, Grand C-MAX and the popular Focus.

When the system will equip non-hybrid models delivered to the North American market, it will be available on gasoline cars and utilities that have either a manual or automatic gearbox as well as on the cars that feature the proprietary dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission. According to Birgit Sorgenfrei who is the program manager for Auto Start-Stop, the system does not require any extra vehicle maintenance. The system works on an enhanced 12-volt automobile battery and an upgraded starter motor. The system includes a light on the car’s dashboard which will alert the driver when the engine is off as well as a tachometer that moves the needle to a green area when the power unit is not running.

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2012 Ford Focus UK Pricing Detailed

2012 Ford Focus

Ford has recently announced the price list for the 2012 Focus in United Kingdom and the fact that sales will begin in March 2011. The basic model will cost 15,995 pounds (including 2011 VAT increase). The entire range of the Focus will feature DAB digital radio, USB connectivity, voice control and Torque Vectoring Control system. The petrol and diesel power units will emit from 109g CO2/km and will do 67.3 mpg.

The proprietary Torque Vectoring Control technology was first launched on the C-MAX model and is capable of balancing the distribution of the power unit torque between the driven front wheels of the Focus in order to optimize the stability and the grip of the car. Other standard features of the Focus lineup include ABS, ESP, ISOFIX child seat attachments, front, side and curtain airbags, Ford Easy Fuel which prevents misfuelling and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm.

The basic model is the Focus Edge, with a price of 15,995 pounds and is equipped with a petrol 1.6-litre 105 PS power unit and for 1,000 pounds more, the car can be fitted with a 1.6-litre 95 PS TDCi engine. The officials at Ford said that the Zetec trim level will be the most popular among customers. With a starting price of 16,995 for the 1.6 petrol engines, the Focus gets 16-inch alloy wheels, sports-style seats, front fog lamps, leather steering wheel and Quickclear heated front windscreen and door mirrors.

Moving upwards the Focus lineup we find the luxurious Titanium series that starts from 18,745 pounds and is fitted with a 1.6-litre 125 PS petrol engine. In addition to the features listed above, the Titanium will get you Sony audio, cruise control with speed limiter, Ford’s tire deflation detection system, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing front wipers, Hill Start Assist – HAS, dual electronic automatic temperature control and keyless start.

2012 Ford Focus

The top of the range 2012 Ford Focus is the Titanium X that has a starting price of 21,245 pounds for the 1.6-litre 150 PS EcoBoost petrol engine. This trim level comes with power driver’s seat, headlamp jet wash, power-fold mirrors, LED day running lights, Bi-Xenon headlamps, Active Park Assist, 17-inich alloy wheels, heated front seats and partial leather trim.

As optional, the Focus can be equipped with a Low Speed Safety System, a Lane Keeping Aid or the proprietary Blind Spot Information System. For those customers that will choose the Sony DAB Navigation System, they will also benefit from a rear-view camera.

The selection of powertrains for the 2012 Ford Focus offers three petrol power units (including the new powerful 1.6-litre 150 PS EcoBoost) and four diesel engines. These will be the upgraded versions of the 1.6 TDCi and 2.0 TDCi powertrains linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox (as optional, the car can be fitted with a dual-clutch PowerShift automatic gearbox for the 2.0-litre engine). For the cars equipped with the 1.6-litre TDCi or the 1.6-litre EcoBoost, they will come as standard with the start/stop technology.

The 2012 Focus will be available with two additional colors: Candy Yellow and Candy Red.

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Ford Has Big Plans For The European Focus

Ford Focus

The Ford Motor Company targets full capacity at the German factory where they are making the European version of the popular Focus model, in their attempt to increase their market share on the continent. According to Bernhard Mattes, who at the moment is running the German Ford companies, affirmed that by the end of January 2011, the production plant in Saarlouis of the Focus will reach a minimum level of approximately 1,850 units.

This manufacturing plant located in Saarlouis will be the only source for cars delivered in Western Europe and here all the variations of the Focus will be produced: 4-door, 5-door and the station wagon. The 2011 Ford Focus will be officially on sale starting next March in Germany and in the second quarter of the year, it will be available in the rest of the continent, according to Mattes.

The 2011 Focus will reach its third generation and will feature important drive aids like parking & lane assistance software. Between January-October 2010, Ford managed to sell 220,400 units of the Ford in 19 European countries, which is 14% less in comparison to the similar period of last year. The Focus is Ford’s second best-selling model in Europe, after the smaller Fiesta. The new generation of the Focus shares approximately 80% of its components globally and it will be offered worldwide in 120 countries starting with next year.

Ford Focus

Bernhard Mattes declared that “We decided to offer a worldwide version because the segment for small, compact cars is bound to grow significantly in the coming years around the globe. This is a very important product for the Saarlouis plant because it strengthens the development center and creates jobs.”

The price for the American version of the 2011 Ford Focus was set at $16,955 in the United States and for Europe; nothing has been set yet, according to Mattes. The Ford Motor Company has invested $399 million (300 million euros) at the manufacturing factory in Saarlouis, Germany and offered 500 permanent jobs to temporary workers to manufacture the Focus. As far as the production of the North American version of the Focus is concerned, it has already started at a factory unit located in Wayne, Michigan.

For the Russian market, Ford will be opening a plant in Saint Petersburg in mid-2011. For the Asian market, Ford will be opening factories in Rayon, Thailand and in Chongqing, China until 2012. Since it was first introduced in 1998, Ford managed to sell more than 10 million units of the Focus and the factory in Germany sold almost 3.7 million units of the 6 million cars that were delivered on the European continent.

The vice-president for Ford of Europe, Ken Macfarlane, declared that “this is an important day for Ford, the Saarland and for Germany. Saarlouis is proud to have been the lead plant for Ford Focus production in Europe since the first model was launched in 1998.”

The German plant at Saarlouis has 6,500 workers that are manufacturing cars on three shifts. Besides the Focus, the factory also makes the Kuga medium SUV.

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2011 Electric Ford Focus Announced

2011 EV Ford Focus

The electric Ford Focus compact will be launched at the end of 2011 and will be available in 19 major metro markets in the United States. The first areas that will get the EV Focus will be: Atlanta; Houston &  Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; New York; Orlando; Phoenix & Tucson, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Vancouver; Seattle; and Washington.

According to Ford’s president in America, Mark Fields, “this is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric. As the country continues to build up its electric-vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country.”

2011 EV Ford Focus

The decision to choose these 19 metro markets was based upon the current trends regarding hybrid sales, the local government commitment to electrification, but also the company collaboration.

As we have mentioned before, the Focus Electric will be available for sale starting with the fourth quarter of 2011 and will be manufactured at the Michigan plant and it will be done on the same assembly line as the normal gasoline-powered Focus.

The United States Department of Energy gave to Ford a $5.9 billion loan so that the automaker could be able to retool two truck plants in order to make more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as update other Ford facilities next year.

The 2011 EV Focus will use a 23 kW lithium ion battery instead of the conventional gasoline power unit. In order to enhance the driving range and the lifespan of the battery, the car will feature a system that will use cooling systems and liquid heating. The officials at Ford said that the electric Focus will be able to have 100 miles autonomy and no CO2 emissions.

The Focus is not the only electric vehicle Ford will launch in the near feature. The company is planning on introducing the Transit Connect Electric, a plug-in hybrid and two next-generation lithium ion battery cars.

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Ford Next Year – 40 MPG EPA Certified Cars

2012 Ford Focus Sedan

The Ford Motor Company affirmed that the new 2012 Focus compact will do 40 mpg which rounds it up to four automobiles that produce 40 mpg or more next year. The other three cars manufactured by Ford are the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedan, the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Fiesta subcompact SE with the SFE package – all of them having 2011 EPA ratings of 40 mpg highway / 41 mpg city.

Speaking of the new 2012 Focus compact, Ford will bring it early next year with a 2.0-liter gasoline direct injection power unit fitted with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. According to the 2011 EPA Fuel Economy Guide, Ford is the only full-line automobile manufacturer that can offer four models with ratings of 40 mpg or more.

According to a statement made by Barb Samardzich, Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering: “A few years ago, Ford committed to making fuel economy a top priority companywide. Our hybrid vehicles led the way, and this new wave of powerful, refined gasoline engines is reasserting the company’s leadership position.”

2012 Ford Focus Sedan

The Ford Motor Company did a lot of work in updating their current line of power units, like the one used for the Mustang or the F-150 and Super Duty pickups. The 2011 F-150 models are equipped with a powerful 3.7-liter V6 engine that is capable of producing 302 horsepower and offers a fuel consumption of only 17 mpg city / 23 mpg highway. The 2011 Super Duty features a powerful 6.7-liter engine that offers a 20% decrease of fuel consumption in comparison with the old-generation 6.4-liter. This new generation has 400 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft of torque.

Other important innovations developed by Ford are the “EcoBoost” direct-injected, turbocharged engines that also enhance Ford’s average fuel economy. Derrick Kuzak who is the company’s group vice president of global product development recently affirmed in a statement that “EcoBoost remains a cornerstone of our commitment to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment in which we compete. EcoBoost can make a difference because it’s affordable, scalable–it can be applied to everything from small cars to large trucks–and the technology is available right now.”

This new generation of EcoBoost power units not only it reduces the fuel consumption by up to 20 percent, but it also diminishes the carbon oxide emissions up to 15% in comparison with previous generation engines. Ford is currently planning to introduce the EcoBoost engines in the 2011 F-150, Edge and Explorer models.

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Ford Focus Race Car Concept At The L.A. Auto Show

Ford Focus Race Car Concept

The Ford Focus Race Car Concept will be the company’s team car for the next year’s British Touring Car Championship. The Race Car Concept is based upon the 2012 street legal version of the Focus and comes with a 2.0-liter Ecoboost turbocharged motor. Unfortunately not all the tuning specifications were fully revealed, but what we know is that the engines will be producing at least 300 hp (224 kW) in the 2011 BTCC.

The car was developed in close partnership with a few racing tames. Jost Capito, Ford performance vehicle executive said that the car “has resulted in a global racing platform using a common Focus body and a safety cage built to FIA regulations – a competitive platform that can be tailored for regional competition, based on different rules”.

Ford Focus Race Car Concept

The Focus Race Car Concept is equipped with a FIA Super 2000 approved roll cage, fire suppression systems, Recaro seats with six-point harnesses attached as well as data and camera systems from AIM. The car sits on 18-inch anthracite wheels that wear Hoosier tires, and 320-milimiter two-piece rotors in front, with racing brake pads for optimal braking. Other performance features are the AST coil-over dampers, adjustable end links and sway bars.

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Past vs Future: Ford Focus RS

Car Magazine did a very interesting comparison between the first generation Ford Focus RS and the 2009 Ford Focus RS, together with the man which was in charge of developing both cars, Ford Team RS chief, Jost Capito. After driving around in the old Mk1, Jost and Chris Chilton headed to Ford’s studio where they compared the cars. Though still under development, Jost is very confident in the new RS, saying that it will probably beat the Mk1 around Nurburgring by about half a minute.

The new Ford Focus RS was introduced at the recent London Motor Show and, as we said, the car is still under development, so all we know so far is that it will develop around 300 hp. More details about it when Ford will make it available. Meanwhile, check out the video, it’s really worth it. Enjoy!


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Official: 2009 Ford Focus RS

The new Ford Focus RS was announced and will be available to the public in 2009. The public unveiling will be at the London Motor Show later this year. The Focus already looks great but all the visual modifications make it really hot. Widened body, new front and rear bumpers and a bunch of other mods complete the look but what’s under the hood is what’s important.

And what’s under the hood, at least on paper, is pretty impressive. A turbocharged 2.5 liter 5 cylinder putting out 295 hp and 410 Nm. That’s a lot of power, a lot more than most hot-hatches, but it’s only going to the front wheels. Weight was apparently a big influence in not going for a 4 wheel drive but I’m guessing price was an even more important one. Ford assures us that they handled the handling with the help of a “special” suspension system and the limited-slip differential but that remains to be seen when the first road tests pop up.

The Focus RS looks good on paper and if Ford can keep the price down it may have a winner in the, pretty crowded, hot hatch market. It certainly has the looks. Now if only Ford US was doing so well as it’s European division. But we know the Focus is making it’s way stateside and most likely the RS too.

More photos after the jump.
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2009 Ford Focus RS teaser photo

After some time ago we presented you some spy shots of a Ford Focus RS prototype, here’s the first teaser photo of the upcoming super hatch from Ford. The car will be powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine, developed by Volvo, which produces 280 hp and 400 lb.-ft of torque. Nothing official yet, but the RS will probably feature some performance upgrades, like a lowered suspension, upgraded brakes and, of course, a more aggressive and sportier exterior and interior.

More powerful than the current Ford top-of-the-line, the Focus ST, the RS is scheduled to debut in 2008 with sales probably starting in early 2009 and will face some serious competition from the recently introduced Mitsubishi Evo X and Subaru Impreza STi.

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The new Ford Focus ST facelift

We already know that Ford is preparing a facelift for the Focus and here are some rendering, presented by Auto Express, of how the new Ford Focus ST will probably look like. The major changes in the new Focus ST are the front part, strongly influenced by the Mondeo design, plus new rear bumper and revised tailgate and tail-lamps. Interior changes include new instruments design, new stereo and ventilation controls, plus new material for the instrument panel and upper trims of the doors.

Under the hood, the new Ford Focus ST will be powered by the same 2.5 liter turbocharged 5 cylinder engine, developing 220 hp and which makes the car sprint from 0 to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 6,5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h). The new ST is expected to go on sale in Europe during the first quarter of 2008.

More photos after the jump.
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Ford to bring 9 modified Focus at the SEMA

At this month’s SEMA show, Ford will come with 9 different modified versions of the American Ford Focus. Because the aftermarket industry is expected to hit $40 billion by the end of 2007, Ford tries to make the best of it by making their cars ‘tuner-friendly’.

Al Giombetti, executive director of Ford’s Customer Service stated: “The small car market is now the largest vehicle segment in the country with more than 2.7 million sales annually. That’s why we’re offering a full spectrum of personalization options”. Click on the ‘Read More’ link to see all the models ‘ photos and descriptions.
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Spy Shots: 2009 Ford Focus RS

Scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next year, the upcoming Ford Focus RS was caught while being tested out on the track. If now the Ford top-of-the-line is the 220 hp Focus ST, the new RS will be powered by a 300 hp 3.0 liter 6 cylinder engine and most likely will have four-wheel drive. We can also see how the RS will look, which will be an even more aggresive ST, with larger air intakes in the front, the big alloy wheels and a rear wing.

The European Ford Focus RS is expected to hit showrooms in 2008 and will aim at the new Mitsubishi Evo X and Subaru Impreza STi. See more spy shots of the new Ford Focus RS after the jump.
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2008 US Ford Focus Gets Some Extra Adjustments

Am I the only one who has the feeling that the US 2008 Ford Focus is just a patched up car? I mean, besides the fact that is a car with no personality, Ford decided to make some extra adjustments, even though the car hasn’t even been launched. Because consumers complaint that the car looks unfinished, Ford already gave the car a facelift featuring an added mesh to lower grill, round fog lights, satiny silver instrument panel finish, chrome paddles, chrome interior door handles and a chrome strip to the gearshift knob and the interior is now stitched with white thread on black leather.

Also, Ford removed the original photos from the press website and added the new ones. The new Focus will hit showrooms in November and you can see the pricing here. So, what do you think about this?
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