Ford has unveiled a new crossover car that it says retains the new Focus driving dynamics while also offering the versatility of an SUV. The Focus Active has a bespoke chassis configuration, and comes in five-door hatchback and estate body styles. New selectable drive mode options include bespoke Slippery and Trail modes. Roof rails come as standard.
Equipped as standard with Ford’s short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration, the Focus Active chassis features unique springs, dampers, stabilizer bars and front and rear knuckle geometries, alongside a ride height raised 30mm (1.18in) at the front and 34mm (1.34in) at the rear over the standard Focus.
The SLA system is designed to optimize comfort and response, and features an isolated subframe that delivers balance between front and rear compliance over larger bumps in the road, for a smoother ride.
Multicompound bushes feature different stiffness characteristics when stressed in different directions, for better isolation of smaller bumps and improved noise, vibration and harshness. A unique SLA geometry for the wagon model repositions the dampers helping the vehicle remain agile and responsive even with a fully loaded boot, and maximizing boot space with a wider load-floor area.
“Ford SUV sales grew more than 19% in October year over year, and SUVs now account for more than one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing, sales and service at Ford of Europe.
“Our Active family of crossover models offers a further compelling SUV-style option for customers. The all-new Focus Active does more than just look the part – its bespoke chassis and new selectable drive mode options deliver genuine rough-road capability for families who want to explore off the beaten track.”
For improved rough road ride and durability, 17in (43.18cm) alloy wheels are fitted with higher-profile 215/55 R17 tires; 18in (45.72cm) wheels with 215/50 R18 tires are also available. The new Slippery and Trail selectable drive modes join the Normal, Sport and Eco modes that come as standard on all Focus models.
Slippery mode adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip such as mud, snow and ice. It is designed to reduce straight-ahead wheel spin, including when pulling away from stationary, and deliver a more passive throttle response.
Trail mode is intended to help maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand. It adjusts anti-lock braking to allow greater wheel slip, configures traction control to allow higher wheel spin that cleans sand, snow or mud from the tires, and delivers a more passive throttle response.
The Focus Active includes driver assistance technologies introduced to the all-new Focus earlier in 2018. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centering; Evasive Steering Assist, which helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles; a head-up display; and Active Park Assist 2.
Powertrain options include 1.0-liter or 1.5-liter EcoBoost petrol engines delivering up to 182ps, and 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engines delivering up to 150ps. Powertrains are supported by standard Auto Start-Stop for reduced running costs; and 6-speed manual or new 8-speed automatic transmissions. The 8-speed automatic adapts to different driving styles to optimize gear changes.
Manufactured at Ford’s Saarlouis assembly facility in Germany, the new Ford Focus Active crossover is available to order for delivery from January 2019, in Active and Active X series, five-door and estate models.
The Focus Active is the third in Ford’s new family of Active crossover models, following the introduction of the Fiesta Active and KA+ Active models earlier in 2018.