So, Ford Asia Pacific decided to give us media folks a taste of the 2016 Focus, and boy, did they do it in style. The entire Asia Pacific contingent were flown business over to Adelaide to sample the incoming model. Grouped together with Indonesia and Hong Kong, we were designated Wave 3. I heard that Vietnam did the drive the day before, and Japan is slated to drive the day after us. Tall order, then, for the Ford and event team in Australia.
Before we go into the nitty gritty of the drive and car, I felt that it would be prudent to give a brief summary of the Focus, which happens to be one of the most popular cars in the world.
The incoming Focus has a lot to live up to, with an estimated 12 million Focus vehicles sold to date in 140 markets around the globe (≈2.3m in APAC alone). Such is its demand, that there are 8 factories churning out the Ford model in as many countries. The late Colin McRae drove the Focus WRC 99 (replacing the Escort WRC) to two wins in its inaugural season (Safari Rally Kenya & Rally Portugal). The Focus also claimed the manufacturers’ title for Ford for two consecutive years (2006 & 2007), driven by Marcus Grönholm (car no. 3) and Mikko Hirvonen (car no. 4). Thus, it goes without saying that Ford has succeeded in designing the Focus to be a particularly popular, speedy and nimble car.
Despite the awesome feats by its previous iterations, Ford needed to continuously develop the Focus in the face of increasingly-close competition, especially in its C-segment classification. Throughout the years, the Focus has been completely redone 3 times (Mk I, Mk II, & the current Mk III), with each newer version packed with more technological goodness than the preceding one.
The 2016 Ford Focus has undergone a moderate change versus the Mk III (unofficially designated the Mk 3.5), with some new features, both practical and progressive.