Ford continues to enhance its compact Focus mannequin, all of the whereas refusing to return the small automotive to our shores. The newest replace sees a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with a “mild-hybrid” starter-generator discover its method beneath the mannequin’s hood. It is out there with two ranges of output: One unit that pumps out 123 horses and one other that makes 153-hp.
Able to producing 37 pound-feet of torque, the starter-generator is ready to help the gasoline engine and enhance its effectivity, in addition to add to outright efficiency. Energy for the electrical motor comes courtesy of a lithium-ion battery pack, which Ford hides beneath the driving force’s seat of the Focus. A 48-volt electrical system permits the air-cooled battery pack to retailer and parse out electrical power as wanted.
Whereas the low-end torque of the starter-generator actually piques our curiosity, the setup is greater than only a supply of extra underhood grunt. Because of its capability to restart the engine in 350 milliseconds, the starter-generator improves the stop-start operate of the Focus, as effectively. As such, the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid can shut down its inside combustion engine whereas the automotive is in gear and rolling to a cease at speeds of as much as 16 mph—offered the clutch pedal to the six-speed handbook transmission is depressed.
For higher or worse, the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid is a stick-shift-only affair. That may inhibit its attraction to customers in the USA even when Ford bought the newest Focus right here, anyway. That mentioned, we think about the powertrain’s extra highly effective 153-hp setup might sway a couple of American customers to take an opportunity on the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid. The lesser 123-horse unit, nevertheless, would probably battle to discover a footing within the U.S.
We’re merely daydreaming, although, as there isn’t any proof Ford plans to reintroduce any variant of the Focus to the states within the near-term. As a substitute, we proceed to lust from afar for the mannequin, which along with its new mild-hybrid powertrain, welcomes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and Linked trim line to the combo.
As its identify implies, the Focus Linked is, effectively, extra linked. Credit score normal package corresponding to a wi-fi charging pad, an in-dash navigation system, adaptive cruise management, and entrance and rear parking sensors.
Ford might consider American prospects have misplaced their focus for small vehicles such because the Focus, but it surely at the least continues to promote fairly inexpensive compact crossovers to us Yanks. In actual fact, the Blue Oval’s stateside lineup contains the fairly priced EcoSport, Escape, and upcoming Bronco Sport crossover SUVs.
Given the Escape—and certain the Bronco Sport—share its fundamental underpinnings with the Focus, it’s attainable the Ford crossover might obtain the mild-hybrid powertrain of the model’s compact sedan, hatchback, and wagon. Stranger issues have occurred, even when we’d not wager on such an Escape variant making its method to the U.S.