The next-generation Ford Focus has been snapped by our spy photographers again, this time in the light of day and moving on-road for the first time.
The upcoming rival for the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra will go on sale in 2018, but the latest spy photographs suggest that Ford still has plenty of work to do. The car is still heavily masked, but underneath the disguise there is some production bodywork to ogle.
The new car will usher in an evolutionary design rather than introducing a whole new design language, similar in vein to the new Fiesta. A similar grille is spotted at the front, while the horizontal temporary taillights at the back suggest a re-design in tune with the new Fiesta is on the cards here.
The current third generation of the Focus has faced ever-tougher competition during its lifetime – not just from the likes of its age-old rival, the Astra, which has shed weight to rediscover a handling sweetness it has lacked for years but also from the boom of ‘lifestyle’ vehicles, like baby SUVs and larger crossovers.
The Mk3 Focus moved away from the ultra-crisp handling of its predecessors because it was, at least in part, a global model designed and engineered as part of the ‘One Ford’ program, catering to all needs. The new model – previewed in our exclusive images – will be sold globally, too, but Ford appears to be prioritising European tastes in its development.
In a key move that shows the importance being placed on the new generation, Darren Palmer has been put in charge of the project. The Briton is rated highly within Ford for his work on the recently revealed Mk7 Fiesta and the cheaper, Indian-built Ka+ that sits just below it in the range.
Under the skin, the Focus is likely to retain the existing version’s Global C-car platform. However, Palmer’s team will have been given a brief to make sure the set-up retains suspension comfort, while rediscovering more of the handling agility that made the Mk1 and Mk2 cars so popular.
The fresh batch of spy photos has also given us our first look in the cabin of the new Focus. A simpler layout inspired by the new Fiestawill appear, with less clutter on the centre console and a prominent centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system sprouting from the dashboard.
The 2018 Ford Focus St offers outstanding style and technology both inside and out. See interior & exterior photos. 2018 Ford Focus St New features complemented by a lower starting price and streamlined packages. The mid-size 2018 Ford Focus St offers a complete lineup with a wide variety of finishes and features, two conventional engines.