Ford’s new Focus pulls in Co-Pilot360 driver assists
Ford is taking the wraps off of its new ‘global’ Focus, and besides the new styling, we’re interested because as usual, the car will help introduce a hefty suite of driver-assist technology. Last month Ford pledged to put assists in more cars with its Co-Pilot360 package, and there should be plenty to choose from in the Focus. Its Adaptive Cruise Control can manage stop and go traffic, recognize speed limit signs and keep the car centered in the lane. In what Ford says is an industry first, the adaptive front lighting system not only uses the cameras for auto high beams and curve prediction, it can also read road signs to help adjust patterns. Also, the Focus is the first car in its segment with evasive steering assist to help avoid collisions.
Most of the details unveiled apply to the European and Chinese versions of the vehicle due to go on sale this year before the car comes to North America in 2019, and which tech is available where may vary. Still, it should be easy to figure out which one might be a good fit, because Ford says it has cut the number of available configurations from 360 to as few as 26.
That’s even with the availability of a built-in FordPass Connect modem (just like the new Ranger) that enables vehicle location, door unlock and even remote start via its app. It’s also good for a WiFi hotspot supporting up to 10 devices.There’s also an option for a wireless charging pad inside, while the Sync 3 system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto runs on an 8-inch touchscreen.
The last bit of new technology is inside the gearbox, where the 8-speed automatic transmission uses “adaptive shift scheduling” that varies by driving style to time its shifts, and adaptive quality control which monitors vehicle and environmental info to make for smoother shifts. Based on its three body styles (sedan, hatchback and wagon), Ford says the Focus will come in a “luxurious Focus Vignale, sporty ST-Line, adventure oriented Active and upscale Titanium” in Europe and “ST-Line and Titanium” in China.