The Ford Focus is one of Ford’s most popular compact car offerings. At one point, it was the world’s bestselling car. Ford introduced the Focus compact car in 1998 to replace the Ford Escort compact car, but it also used the Focus to reach young car buyers. Over the last two decades, the popularity of the Focus has largely been inspired by its highly popular performance-themed ST and RS models and also by its impressive exploits in the World Rally Championship (WRC). However, the everyday Focus compact car upon which these performance cars are based also offers dynamic styling, nimble handling, impressive practicality, high fuel economy, proven reliability, and affordability. The Ford Focus is offered in sedan, hatchback, wagon, and cabriolet options depending on the market and model year. Most of its models are front-engine, front-wheel-drive cars; only a few models feature all-wheel-drive (AWD).
Ford of Europe introduced the 1st-generation Ford Focus (Mk 1) in 1997, but it came to North America in 1999 for the 2000 model year. This car gained popularity quickly on account of its youthful styling, its pleasing driving dynamics, its affordability, and its reliability, and from 1999 through to 2004, it became the top-selling car in the world. It even won the 1999 ‘European Car of the Year’ award and the 2000 ‘North American Car of the Year’ award. The Focus Mk 1 was initially offered in 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, and 5-door wagon, and 5-door hatchback options. It was offered in a variety of trim levels that included the S, SE, and SES, all of which had sub-trims. A 130-hp 2.0 L I4 engine or a 151-hp 2.3 L I4 engine drove them. In 2002, the SVT and RS performance models were added. The SVT had a re-tuned 2.0 L I4 engine rated at 170 hp, while the RS had a turbocharged version of the same engine that made 212 horsepower. The SVT model gave way to the ST model in 2004; it had a 151-hp a 2.3 L I4 engine.
In September 2004, Ford of Europe introduced the Focus Mk 2 for the 2005 model year. The Focus Mk 2 inherited much of the Mk 1’s styling but had an improved platform, a stiffer body shell, a slightly longer wheelbase, and a longer body. Thanks to the above, the Focus Mk 2 had a roomier cabin and a larger trunk. Under the hood, this generation offered a range of small 4-cylinder gas/diesel engine options. In 2005, Ford added the Mk 2 ST model to the fold; it had a Volvo-sourced 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that made 225 horsepower. The more powerful Mk 2 RS came along two years, sporting a modified version of the Mk 2 ST engine that developed 301 hp. Ford went a step further to develop the limited-production Focus RS 500, which, as its name suggests, was limited to 500 production models. The Focus RS 500 was powered by a turbocharged 2.5 L 5-cylinder petrol engine which produces 345 hp.
With the 3rd-generation Focus (Focus Mk 3), Ford united the American and international models, creating one global Focus. The Focus Mk 3 was unveiled at the 2010 North American International Auto Show for the 2012 model year. It was offered in sedan, hatchback, and estate body styles. The Focus Mk 3 saw the introduction of Ford’s fresh line of turbocharged engines dubbed the ‘Ecoboost’ engines. The 3rd-generation Focus ST came equipped with a 252-hp 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, and the high-performance RS model got a 350-hp 2.3 L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. From 2015, a 1.0 L EcoBoost three-cylinder engine was also made available in the SE trim level. The Focus Mk 3 also saw the introduction of the all-electric Focus Electric, which offered an EV driving range of 100 miles and a top speed of 84 mph.
The latest Focus generation is the Focus Mk 4. Unveiled in April 2018, the Focus Mk 4 is sleeker and sportier than the Focus Mk 3. It also offers Ford’s latest tech features, e.g. the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, the CoPilot360 driver assistance suite, and the FordPass Connect app. Like the Mk 3, the Focus Mk 4 is offered in sedan, hatchback, and estate body styles. It also offers Ford’s latest Ecoboost engines, which include a 1.0 L EcoBoost gas engine, a 1.5 L EcoBoost gas engine, and a 2.0 L Ecoboost diesel engine. The Mk 4 ST gets a 2.3 L Ecoboost engine that makes 276 hp.
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