By on February 24, 2014

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Ahead of its world debut at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain prior to making the rounds at the Geneva and New York auto shows next month, Ford has unveiled its redesigned 2015 Focus.

The Detroit Free Press reports the updated Focus, set to enter showrooms in Europe and the United States this fall with assembly in South America and Asia following soon after, takes its looks from its Fusion stablemate with a new grill, while a higher hood line, lower stance, new lighting elements and a restyled trunk lid for the sedan complete the package.

Underneath the hood, the 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder from the Fiesta will find a home in the Focus. Like the Fiesta, the engine will only be paired with a six-speed manual for the U.S. market; other markets will receive an automatic option, as well as the station wagon above. Though Ford hasn’t released mileage figures, the pairing is expected to deliver above the 40 mpg highway rating held by the current model.

Inside, the driver will have greater access to their car’s electronic communications with the Blue Oval’s SYNC AppLink system, allowing iOS and Android users to download and use more than 60 related apps to access everything from real-time vehicle data to hands-free notifications when a phone is connected. In addition, lane-keeping and blind-spot warning systems will be standard.

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90 Comments on “Ford Unveils 2015 Focus, 1-Liter 3-Pot Manual-Only For U.S....”


  • avatar

    If I weighed less than 100 pounds, this might be fun.
    Otherwise: there’s no replacement for displacement.

    …except an electric motor.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      I guess Ford realizes America is broke. They may be thinking Obamacare will help lose that pot belly carrying all the extra weight.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      You got CAFE to thank for this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Great, another qualified comment from Mr. ‘anything below 5l is no car’.

      That little turbocharged mill has 125hp, 125 lbft of torque, and in the European Focus runs up to 120mph. It weighs only 213lb, while the similar-performing 1.8 LUW in the Chevy Cruze weighs 262lb. I bet fuel efficiency is also significantly better.

      Also, 3-cylinder engines sound awesome.

      That’s real progress, efficient high technology. It’s far more fascinating than the old ‘guess how much displacement we can cram into our sedans. Maybe then no one will notice how old our platforms are.’

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I disagree, 3 cyclinder just sounds gimmicky.
        I’m sure a .8-1.4l four cyclinder could do everything the i3 can do and more.
        Diminishing returns is my fear here. Obviously if it’s too small it will get worse mpg than a 4.

        Which is probably why it is manual only, if it were automatic the average person would have it floored very often.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          Yes, a 3 cylinder with 120 degree crank offset is superior to a flat plane aka 180 degree offset 4 cylinder. However a 90 degree cross plane crank 4 cylinder is superior to both….problem is only Yamaha has the engineering chops to actually produce a cross plane crank 4 cilynder thereby eliminating the inertial dead spots at top and bottom of the stroke.

        • 0 avatar

          How does an engine sound “gimmicky”? I mean, it sounds the way it does because stuff explodes (or doesn’t) at certain times. It’s not like the engineers play something catchy out of a speaker.

          “However a 90 degree cross plane crank 4 cylinder is superior to both….problem is only Yamaha has the engineering chops to actually produce a cross plane crank 4 cilynder thereby eliminating the inertial dead spots at top and bottom of the stroke.”

          Plus, crossplane four-cylinders sound like V8s.

          • 0 avatar
            izzy

            Are there real benefits of cross plane versus flat crank 4′s in automobile application?

          • 0 avatar
            korvetkeith

            An FPC 4cyl or V8 will make more power due to improved exhaust scavenging from the evenly spaced firing events. This can be mitigated on a cross plane V8 with 180 degree headers, I suppose there is no reason you couldn’t try the same on a cross plane 4 cyl. I’d guess the a FPC is cheaper too.

        • 0 avatar

          I think it’s time for that hoary old chestnut of “DA MANUAL ALWAYS GETS DA BETTA MILAGE DAN DUH OTTOMAGIC!” to die.

          If you look at MOST new cars sold today, the manufacturers have geared and programmed most automatic trannies to meet the mileage of the manuals. Plus, you have intrusive managing of the manuals to force the cars to meet the EPA numbers. You can buy a new Corvette, and if you are light on the throttle from a light, it FORCES you to go from FIRST gear to FOURTH gear, grab for second and you’re fucked. You can either drive it like you mean it at every launch, or get in an accident trying to make a left turn. Your choice.

          Or unplug or replace the solenoid that forces you to go 1-4 and locks you out of all other gears IN A MANUAL.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I wasn’t talking fuel efficiency I was talking about power. A manual feels much better than an automatic on small engines. I’m fully aware automatics are just as, if not more efficient than manuals.

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            Auto trannies are better these days but you cannot avoid the extra weight and the torque converter. Only CVT’s can beat a manual in certain conditions but they to still have to go through a torque converter and they are slow to adjust to changes in power requirements so can waste a lot of fuel while the hydraulics figure out where they need to be.
            The simplest, cheapest and most economical way to save fuel is and always will be a manual. Until an auto is designed that is simpler, lighter than a manual and can react as fast as the driver the auto cannot win.

        • 0 avatar
          Vega

          For very small engines, a 3 cylinder is smaller, lighter and has less internal friction than a 4 cylinder. Also, from a thermodynamic standpoint there is a minimum cylinder size that you can’t get under without sacrifices in torque and efficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I will challenge anyone who goes out and buys one of these to a drag race. To make sure our engines are of similar size, I will be riding the highest spec Craftsman that Sears carries.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          For the Fiesta version (one valuable thing about the buff books is that they still perform independent instrumented testing – come on guys, with your huge bonuses from all the click-bait UAW coverage go buy a VBOX):

          PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
          Zero to 60 mph: 9.8 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 17.3 sec
          Top speed: 115 mph

          http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-ford-fiesta-10l-ecoboost-driven-review

          No too shabby (other than top speed), but the Focus is a bigger car.

          Update, they have tested the Focus:

          C/D TEST RESULTS:
          Zero to 60 mph: 10.1 sec
          Standing ¼-mile: 17.4 sec @ 79 mph
          Top speed (drag limited): 122 mph

          http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-ford-focus-10l-ecoboost-instrumented-test-review

          • 0 avatar

            “come on guys, with your huge bonuses from all the click-bait UAW coverage go buy a VBOX”

            Nobody on this site gets paid based on clicks.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Since you found the test, you should know this engine is a non-starter. Observed fuel consumption was 2 mpg worse for the test-cycle whore Ecoboost than it was for the light-years quicker, naturally aspirated 2.0 liter four cylinder. Anyone that buys this thing gets what they voted for.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “Nobody on this site gets paid based on clicks.”

            “But the clicks came in at a rate that allowed Derek to buy an Omega ‘Dark Of The Moon’ Speedmaster with his weekly bonus, so I decided to source an opposing editorial.”

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/what-i-learned-when-i-published-two-opinion-pieces-regarding-the-uaw/

            Where do people get these crazy ideas? I allow Jack a lot of artistic license, but in this situation he is the EIC meta-reporting on TTAC’s UAW coverage.

          • 0 avatar

            If there’s a blogging gig that actually pays a weekly bonus of $12,000 based on clicks, let me know. As of now, everyone on staff is paid a monthly salary, while freelancers get paid per contribution. No bonsuses, no targets, no money for clicks.

            You’ve been commenting since 2011. I would expect you to be sufficiently acclimated to Jack’s sense of humor by now.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I assumed because we were talking a $10K watch that Jack was kidding

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            Actually I think a bit earlier than that, but the Manchurian Candidate banned a prior username.

            Jack’s sense of humor is that it he has it coming out his eyes, but some of it is actually true, so it is tricky to parse.

            It’s pretty clear that he was being facetious about the scale of compensation, but, until you clarified (thanks), not necessarily the method.

          • 0 avatar

            As long as I’m at TTAC, we will never compensate people based on that method. It was tabled once previously, and I was vocal in my opposition. There is nothing more toxic to the integrity of the site than paying people based on clicks.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Just for the record, since admittedly I was unclear:

            No TTAC writer is compensated, directly or indirectly, based on volume of traffic.

            There isn’t enough money in any single article, or any single day, to buy a stainless-steel Speedy, much less a Dark Side.

            We could afford a VBOX, but since we are geographically dispersed we can’t arrange for equal testing facilities. The magazines typically go to Chrysler or GM’s proving grounds, where there are big mathematically flat lots and high-speed banked ovals, for testing. We permit Alex to put his VBOX numbers up for amusement’s sake, but we don’t consider them authoritative.

            Jack Baruth wore* and endorsed** the Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow.

            * in a number of races I won, plus a 100mph honker of a crash, before sending it back to Switzerland to be completely refreshed and rehabbed, wrapped in plastic, put in a wooden presentation box, and stored away for my son’s twenty-first birthday.

            ** I paid for it myself.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            “Anyone that buys this thing gets what they paid for.” Corrected now!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    So, the US gets the 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder with the manual and no wagon… because, you know Americans hate automatics and love wagons

  • avatar
    Zackman

    At our auto show in Cincinnati on Saturday, the Ford exhibit had one of these engines on display – all torn down with all major pieces separated. I must say I was impressed.

    The twin-cam cylinder head was one piece and the engine block was extremely small, as were the pistons and crank.

    The motor didn’t seem much bigger than my 14 hp. B&S Craftsman lawn tractor!

    I don’t know how the car would be to drive, but the engine in such a small package was cool in itself.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So what are the other engine options?

    I know that they aren’t going to try selling a manual transmission only Focus here in the US.

  • avatar
    sproc

    Surprised that they’d write off the rental market like that. Seems like a perfect size for the hourly fleets.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Rental doesn’t care about gas mileage. They will get some non-turbo automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      daver277

      Tourists from around the world wouldn’t have any trouble with MTs, it’s just the locals wouldn’t be able to use them.

      • 0 avatar
        sproc

        True, but it would be unwieldy to even offer it or have to ask.

        Also, I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if most of the rental agency employees themselves couldn’t drive it. Ever been forced to valet park somewhere, only to watch as some poor guy bucks and grinds your car down the driveway? Not worth it.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Supposedly this is because too many people complained about powershift in the US verses Europe. So basically we’re not sophisticated enough for an automatic here. Personally I think a 3 cylinder with a manual will remind people of a Geo metro.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      TTAC (Derek) broke this news months ago. Supposedly, the manual only was due to the Product Development director taking a ride in the 3 pot and a automatic and thought it was horrid (NVH issues).

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “Personally I think a 3 cylinder with a manual will remind people of a Geo metro.”

      Or all new MINI models going forward and BMWs that will be coming to market soon.

      http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/bmw/1-series/first-drives/first-drive-review-bmw-1-series-three-cylinder-prototype

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        I put down 9,400 km last fall in a Europe in Citroen’s version of the Mini with the higher power PSA HDI/6speed and got 4.4 l/100 km for the whole trip. This motor is also available in the BMW Mini.
        Why do they insist on reinventing the fuel economy wheel when they have these sweet motors already?

  • avatar
    MichaelD_Utah

    I own a 2012 Focus SEL Sedan. I’m not a fan of the new steering wheel, but I like the changes to the lower center stack and center console. The new front end is attractive, too. I can’t figure out why they’re not offering the three-cylinder with an automatic, though. I wish they offered the wagon here.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’m with you about the steering wheel, but its going to a design that is similar if not exactly the same as the Fusion among other vehicles. Ford seems to be going to thicker steering wheels that are the three-spoke design.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy

        Really? I saw it and immediately thought “Finally, a proper 3 spoke wheel in this car”. Should be flat bottomed though (I much prefer the wheel in a GTI vs what’s in my ST).

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I like the tiller in the Focus. I do think the ST should have an even sportier wheel though, three spoke and flat bottomed would be fine. I just like the fuctionality of the current wheel. My C-Max has a similar version and I like it.

          BTW, the Focus RS rumors are back again. 330 HP out of the 2.3T. I want it, but it may be a worse daily driver than the new Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Agree completely, except I’m wondering why they will sell the 3 cylinder in the Focus at all.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Okay, so they say they’ll sell it here. I’m willing to bet that with the manual and pint-sized engine, it will be their bargain basement priced product, that’s only purpose is to get you into the Ford dealership. And when you ask to see one, they’ll say, “Oh, that was unit number 5267924 and we sold it. But if you’ll step over here, I can show you this Focus. It’ costs a bit more, but offers so much more value.”

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    This would be a great starter car for a college student.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    The current Focus weighs 3,200 pounds, right? The Fiesta ST with that motor weighs 500 pounds less.

    Seems to me like that’s a recipe for a car that’s going to require a lot of throttle to get moving or keep up with traffic. That’s going to kill real-world fuel efficiency.

    The interior on it looks nice, though.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    If this trend continues my somewhat facetious suggestion may become reality:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/qotd-choose-your-own-parts-bin-sporting-coo-pay/#comment-2837697

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    From a marketing strategy, I think it is great.

    As someone else has posted, this car will be relatively inexpensive, allowing recently graduated professionals to be able to purchase a new vehicle.

    If they do things right, it may even be a serious competitor to the Mini or Fiat 500.

    Last but not least, the -expected- superlative MPG will be bonus point on their CAFE scorecard.

    • 0 avatar
      daver277

      It will be great to have new drivers learn how to use the 3rd pedal and not be forced to use the dumbed-down 2 pedal versions for the rest of their life. Being clutch challenged seems to be many family’s dirty little secret.
      It would also be great for new drivers to fully expect that feeding a car should cost less than 10 cents/mile.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      Mini and Fiat 500? This thing will swallow a 500 for breakfast. Completely different size classes.

      The real competitor is the 2.0 Mazda3, ironic as ten years ago the Focus and 3 were first cousins.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    If the pricing is right this is a contender for my next new car. The wagon would seal the deal, too bad I can’t have it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The only American test of this car with this powertrain has not supported the “improved mileage” claims.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-ford-focus-10l-ecoboost-instrumented-test-review

    It’ll be interesting to see what this car delivers in the real, non-EPA world.

    But my real question is this: why not put this motor in the Fiesta?

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      It’s in the Fiesta right now.

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-ford-fiesta-10l-ecoboost-driven-review

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Even though I appear to have gotten my specific engines confused, that’s exactly the phenomenon I’m talking about. The little 3 cylinder in a 3,200-ish pound car seems to me like it would spend most of its life straining, killing mileage.

        …which is the whole point of a 3 cylinder motor, right? If it’s going to require a boot full to motivate it to merge on the interstate or change lanes in traffic then it’s not really going to deliver astounding mileage ratings in people’s actual hands.

  • avatar
    th009

    Looks better than the current one — but it’s not a redesign, just a mid-cycle facelift.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Could this 1L be mated to a hybrid drive?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Sure it could if that is what they wanted to do. Of course for Hybrid duty the turbo would likely go away and the cam would be changed for it to operate on the modified Atkinson cycle.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I’m surprised no one else is concerned by the notion of standard lane-keeping assist. The last thing I want is to be beeped at by my car, or have the wheel tugged in my hand, because the county can’t be bothered to remove old lane lines before painting on curvy new lines.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Some versions of the Honda Civic have it as standard equipment, too.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      Yesterday there was a new Merc S class that wanted to cut me off but couldn’t because of the beeping noise warning grandpa that my BRZ somehow cannot be seen on the adjacent lane with his bi-focals. I think we need to invest more on public transit for the driving challenged instead.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        As long as they restrict it to cars costing 6 figures, that’s fine. Luxury cars need their tech gimmicks and branding, or they’d never sell. I’m just worried about it polluting the bottom end of the market. Raised expectations, and all that.

  • avatar
    svan

    Thank god the Jetsons centre console is gone.

    Also, SYNC is gone too:

    http://business.financialpost.com/2014/02/24/blackberry-ltd-shares-rise-after-ford-said-to-drop-microsoft-for-qnx-in-sync-systems/

    My two biggest reasons for not buying one: fixed.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      If they keep the current Ford-developed UI, just on top of QNX instead of Sync, it won’t do much for your second reason.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I’ll wait and see on MFT/Sync improvements, but the new interior looks much better, at least in what I assume is the titanium trim shown in available pictures. I’m with you where the current interior made the Focus an unpleasant compromise, while the 2015 interior gives me no excuses not to seriously consider it.

      Since Mazda still hasn’t paired a manual with the 2.5L engine in the 3, I think the Focus’s new interior puts it back at the front of the C-segment.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    This 3 cyl sucks. No other way to describe it. Sounds like garbage, vibrates like crazy, and awful turbo lag.

    I can say it does get excellent mileage, and has a bit of oomph if you can keep the turbos spinning.

    I would NEVER buy this motor. Not worth whatever fuel savings it might offer.

    Not looking forward to 3 cylinder engines in our future.

  • avatar

    The 3 cyl “liter class” car is actually a big seller for much of the planet. I recently rented a Suzuki car in this class, the Celerio, while on an island.

    My first impression was that there was a loose spark plug wire. Once I opened the hood I realized a cylinder was missing, and why odd numbers of cylinders are rare.

    The car drove OK, in a world where 65 mph was a top speed, and there was nowhere to go faster. The car did very well on poor pavement, but was small enough that my children, 6 foot and taller than I, complained that their heads hit the roof when the car went over a speed bump.

    There was a driver’s airbag but nothing else, and I am sure I’d rather take my chances on a motorcycle. In most of the places this car sells, that is the other choice, and I found a bit about how ownership of a liter class car for much of the planet IS a sign of middle class. We are very privileged here.

    I don’t see a 3 cyl as working in the US. We have taken to fours, small ones, with and without turbos, sixes and have mostly given up the birthright V8. The Focus will pass crash tests, of course, but I don’t see wanting a 3 cyl….and I already do bizarre engines with my diesel. The Celerio got 60 mpg, so there was that.


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