I have blogged several times before on the future Focus (here, here, here and here) to the point of being accused of being a fanboy. I make no secret of my enthusiasm and hopes for the upcoming model. But the soon-to-be-revealed production vehicle will finally make its debut (reportedly) at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, only a few weeks away. I have many wishes for this new car, all of which I hope are true, but only some of which may end up being true. So…stay tuned for a follow-up post doing a post-mortem on my predictions after the official reveal. In the meantime, here are my wishes/predictions.
Premium Content and Equipment: With the lowly U.S. Spec Fiesta even offering power seats as an option, it’s clear the next Focus is going to be substantially more upscale than the current U.S. model. Sync is a given, considering it’s offered even on our cynically warmed-over 2010 model, possibly even standard. I believe an in-dash navigation system will be offered on the higher trim levels, much like the current European Focus. If power seats are optional on the new Fiesta, it’s almost a sure thing they will be offered on one or more trim levels on the Focus. It’s even possible driver-side memory seats will be offered. The 2010 Mazda 3 broke that threshold in the compact segment.
Advanced Engines & Powertrains: Considering the Fiesta is offered with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Focus will likely get the same transmission, and a similar one for a higher-performance model. EcoBoost-fortified engines in 1.6 liters and possibly 2.0 liters will be offered. Although I’m hopeful a high-performance ST-level model with a 200+ hp 2.0 will be offered from the start, it may follow for the 2012 model year (on-sale calendar 2011).
Dramatic Styling: I expect the new Focus to be every bit the peer to the VW Golf and Jetta, even rivaling the Audi A3 in top trim levels. Expect LED exterior lighting in some form, probably taillights, driving lights, or turn signals. I believe the Focus will be a big perception-changer for Ford, and win many new customers to the Blue Oval. Although increasingly irrelevant to many consumers, the fact that it will be made in America will be an added bonus in Ford’s favor with some buyers.
“Confident” Pricing: With fully-equipped Fiestas likely to be flirting with the $20,000 mark, I expect the price range on the new Focus to be between $17,000-26,000. The car may launch with modest incentives, but it may not need them. Fully-equipped, the new Focus will offer many amenities usually found on larger, more expensive cars, so a mid-20s pricetag is reasonable.
Come back in January to see the final score on my predictions.