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Ford Focus

Carpedia  ·  October 15, 2019

Ford Focus

Ford Focus is a compact car that has been in production since 1998 to date. It was meant to succeed the Ford Escort. You could get it as a 3- or 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan/saloon, or a 5-door estate.

First Generation (1998-2004) LR

The first-generation model was first introduced in Europe in 1998. It came in different trim levels: CL, LX, Zetec, Ghia, and ST170. The CL was the entry-level trim and came with standard features, including airbags, central locking system, and a radio. The LX came with additional features, including power windows, while the Zetec came with sports seats and suspension and 15-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels. 

The Ghia was the luxury trim, while the ST170 was the first Focus sporty trim developed for the international market. The latter came with the following features: side airbags, alloy wheels, leather seats, an optional stereo system, aluminium door release, and colour-coded bumper and door handles.

Ford would go ahead and produce the high-performance version of the Focus in 2002 and branded it the Focus RS. The RS was indeed a beast on the road. It came equipped with a high-performance 2.0L Duratec RS I4 turbocharged engine that produced 158 kW at 5,500 rpm and 310 N.m torque at 3,500 rpm with a top speed of 240 km/h. The car was an all-wheel drive and was available in only one colour - metallic blue. The first-generation model underwent a facelift in 2001 (MK 1). In addition to the interior changes, the TDCi Engine was introduced to the range.

You’d get the Ford Focus with either of the following petrol engine types:

Some models were fitted with diesel engines — specifically the 1.8L Endura-DI TDDI I4 engine or the 1.8L Duratorq TDCI I4 engine, with either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. Sporty versions came fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Second Generation (2004-2011) LS LT LV

MK 2

Ford launched the Focus MK 2 at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The MK 2 has the best safety rating given to a car in its class by Euro NCAP. In Australia, you could get it either as a 3- or 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon, 5-door estate, or 2-door coupé cabriolet. The trim levels did not change, although there were some interior and mechanical changes made to the model. They now came equipped with either a Durashift 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

About the powertrain, the Focus MK 2 carried over the engines used by its predecessor, but these were upgraded versions. The 1.6L and 1.4L Zetec-SE inline-four engines were upgraded and renamed Duratec. Duratec HE engines went on to replace the 1.8L and 2.0L Zetec petrol engines, and the Duratorq diesel engines used in the first generation cars were carried over.

Facelift (2008)

There was a minor facelift done to the MK 2 in 2008, and in the same year, the car went on sale in Australia. Some of the changes done included a modified front bumper, indicators on side mirrors, dual airbags, and a new style alloy for two trim levels - Ghia and Zetec. Mechanical changes included improvement of traction control mechanisms and emergency brake assist.

Additional Variants

XR5 Turbo LV LW

The XR5 Turbo, also known as Ford Focus ST, is a high-speed vehicle. A 2.5L 5-cylinder turbocharged Duratec ST engine that produces 168kW powered it. In 2008, Ford announced a power upgrade kit for the XR5. Some of the additions included an increased power output (190kW), a larger intercooler, and a K&N panel filter.

Focus ECOnetic

Ford jumped on the wagon of environmentally-friendly cars in 2007 when they came up with the Focus ECOnetic. It used a 78kW 1.6L Duratorq engine fitted with a diesel particulate filter.

Focus X Road LV Focus

In 2009, Ford unveiled the X Road, a wagon with a crossover look, in Amsterdam with only 300 units going into production.

Focus RS  LV Focus

The unveiling of the MK2 Focus RS concept followed in the same year. It would then be launched in April the next year. There were only 500 units of this car produced, with 101 of them selling in the British market. The car is a front-wheel drive with some impressive features, including silicon-aluminium pistons and multi-link suspension setup. It came with a 2.5L inline-5 turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 257kW at 6,000 rpm and torque of 460 N.m at 4,500 rpm with a top speed of 266km/h. The car is pretty fast and can do a 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds.

Third Generation (2011-2018) LW LZ

The third-generation Focus, also known as the MK III, was available in several body styles: 3- or 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon, 5-door estate, and a 2-door coupé cabriolet. It debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show as a 5-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan, with a 5-door estate launching a month later in Geneva.

In Australia, the Mk III came powered by a 1.6L petrol engine (92 kW, 159 N.m) or a 2.0L petrol engine (118 kW, 198 N.m). You can also find one with a 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine which produces 120 kW and torque of 340 N.m. You need to note that the trim levels are engine-specified. The Sport, Trend and Titanium trims use the 2.0L petrol engine, with the 2.0L diesel available as an option. All the trim levels send power through a five-speed manual transmission, except the Titanium which uses a 6-speed dual-clutch powershift transmission as standard (offered as an option for the others).

Fourth Generation (2018-present) LZ

The introduction of the new generation Ford Focus to the Australian market came in November 2018. You can get it as either a 5-door hatchback/wagon or a 4-door sedan. There are four available trim levels, namely the Trend, ST, Active, and Titanium models.

It scored a 5-star safety rating with impressive adult and child occupant safety features and comes equipped with autonomous emergency braking and cyclist and pedestrian detection. The cars use the 1.5L 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine that has a power output of 134 kW and torque of 240 N.m.

Focus ST

The Focus ST is a front-wheel-drive car that comes with either of two engines: the 2.3L turbocharged EcoBoost engine that produces 206 kW or the 2.0L EcoBlue diesel engine which produces 140 kW. The ST trim is identifiable by the "ST" embossed on the gear knob or pedals. Some cool features of the car include the anti-lag system and an electronic limited slip differential.


The Focus RS WRC was developed to compete in world rally championships. This highly-modified car uses Ford's 2.0L turbocharged Duratec engine for more enhanced speed and performance.

The MKI Focus WRC won the Safari Rally in 1999. It went on to win several races before the MK II eventually replaced it. However, Ford announced it would replace the Focus with the Fiesta after the 2010 World Rally Championship.

Eric Anyega

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