Ford’s continued product offensive has resulted in a dramatic resurgence in the marketplace. Ford has made efforts to connect and reach out to consumers in order to figure out what they want from brand’s new products.
Ford also says it is listening to us – enthusiasts. Whoa, a company actually paying attention to enthusiasts with a mainstream offering? This is good.
The Focus is all-new for the 2012 model year, and it goes on sale early next year. Just like the first-generation Focus, the third-generation model will once again be the same product here and abroad.
The new model is shaping up to be an very appealing offering in the segment, and from the looks of it, one that will be geared towards enthusiasts as well – and not just with the ST hot hatch.
Mark Rushbrook, Ford vehicle dynamics manager for the 2012 Focus, says: “Our enthusiast customers told us exactly what they want in an all-new Focus…..they asked us to give Focus more responsive handling, and they asked that we develop and offer a factory-engineered handling package with beefier suspension hardware. We’ve done just that, fine-tuning a pair of available packages for mid-level SE and up-range Titanium models.”
For the SE trim level, the Sport Package provides substantive changes to hardware and appearance. The package offers a five-speed manual, retuned sports suspension with stiffer springs and dampers, four-wheel disc brakes and 16-inch aluminum wheels (also available in 17-inch form).
Appearance changes inside and out include a new piano black grille, rear spoiler, sport seats, metallic interior trim pieces and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. In addition, the SE Sport Package makes available the premium Yellow Blaze Metallic paint color only offered on higher trim levels.
Ford is also debuting a new range-topping model dubbed Titanium. This trim level was also shown on the Flex Titanium edition released earlier in the year. Titanium appears to be becoming Ford’s new top-shelf offering across the lineup.
The Focus Titanium is already equipped with the sports-suspension, but there is an available Handling Package to take things up a notch further. Ford doesn’t say what the exact suspension changes are, just that they have been “optimized.” for a better experience. The rest of the package consists of exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, low profile summer performance tires and a trunk-mounted full-size spare.
Ford seems to be listening to what enthusiasts want by offering these packages on the new Focus. The next step is awaiting pricing information for these packages – hopefully they won’t dent the wallet too bad. We should be able to find out for sure when Ford launches the online configurator for the 2012 Focus near the end of the month…..it should be any time now.