Ford Focus MK 1 first generation
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Production||1998–2004 (Europe) 1999–2007 (North America)|
|Assembly||Chungli, Taiwan General Pacheco, Argentina Hermosillo, Mexico Saarlouis, Germany Santa Rosa, Philippines Valencia, Spain Valencia, Venezuela Vsevolozhsk, Russia Wayne, United States|
|Predecessor||Ford Escort (Europe/Latin America/South Africa) Ford Escort (North America) Ford Laser (Asia and Australasia) Ford Contour (North America)|
|Class||Compact /Small family car|
|Body style||2-door cabriolet 3- and 5-door hatchback 4-door saloon 5-door estate|
|Designer(s)||John Doughty & Claude Lobo|
The Ford Focus is a compact car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company since 1998. Ford began sales of the Focus to Europe in July 1998 and in North America during 1999 for the 2000 model year.
In Europe, South America, North America and South Africa, the Focus replaced the various Ford Escort models sold in those markets. In Asia and Australasia, it replaced the Ford Laser.
Design and engineering
Codenamed CW170 during its development, and briefly known to some Ford contractors as the Ford Fusion the original Focus took its eventual name from a Ghia concept car which was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1991. Certain elements of the design had been seen even earlier in prototypes used by Ford to demonstrate forthcoming safety features, such as the eye-level rear lighting clusters. As a continuation of Ford's New Edge styling philosophy, first seen in the Ford Ka in 1996, and Ford Cougar in 1998, the Focus' styling had been often described as polarising.The styling had been overseen by Jack Telnack and executed by Claude Lobo and Australian designer, John Doughty.
|Fuel Capacity||55 litres|
The decision to name the new car the Ford Focus was made in early 1998, as Ford's overheads had been planning to keep the "Escort" nameplate for its new generation of small family cars. A last minute problem arose in July 1998 when a Cologne court, responding to a case brought by the publishers Burda, ordered Ford to avoid the name "Focus" for the German market cars since the name was already taken by the publisher's Focus (German magazine) magazine. This eleventh hour dispute was overcome, however, and the car was launched without a different "German market" name.
2001 facelift (Mk1.5)
The 2001 Mk 1 Focus facelift included:
- Revised headlamps with integrated indicators and separate main and dipped bulbs
- Revised bumpers without indicators, but with the addition of removable bump strips
- Revised upper and lower grille and fog lights
- Optional Xenon headlights
- Optional 6-disc CD changer
- Optional Navigation System
- Optional Digital Climate Control
- Features of certain trim levels changed
- Modified centre console with rubber cup holders
- Different centre dash colours
- New seat trims
- Different instrument cluster finishes
- Damped and lit glovebox
- New colours
- Rear power point
- TDCi Engine introduced to the range
- Versatility Pack Option added
Bluetooth camera facility
A new flexfuel engine was introduced, based on the European Zetec 1.6 L version. This could use both gasoline and bioethanol, but only on the Swedish market. This version is still available in some countries despite the advent of an all-new Mk 2 Focus.
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|0-60 mph||7.9 secs|
|Torque||196 Nm, 145 ft-lb|
|CO2 Emissions||212 g/km|
|Euro Emissions Standard||4|
|Miles Per Tank||375 miles|
The ST170, which was launched in 2002, was the first Focus sport model to be developed for international markets only. Adapted from the Facelift Mk 1 Focus, the ST170 had the following cosmetic revisions: 17 inches (430 mm) Multi-Spoke Alloy Wheels; Alarm; Side Airbags; Optional Recaro leather seats; Optional 9006 Stereo system with Subwoofer; brushed aluminium door releases; honeycomb front grills, round projector style fog lights, colour-coded bumper and side beadings & door handles; and Locally developed bodykit (Australia only). The engine was developed by Cosworth and tuning bumped the power from 130 to 170 horsepower (97 to 130 kW). Upgrades included: High-flow aluminium cylinder head; Variable valve timing; Dual state intake manifold; Stainless steel exhaust system and exhaust manifold by Cosworth; Sports catalytic converter; Larger brake discs (300 mm front, 280 mm rear); Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox; Revised power steering pump and close ratio steering rack.
|Top Speed||144 mph|
|0-60 mph||6.2 secs|
|Torque||310 Nm, 228 ft-lb|
|CO2 Emissions||237 g/km|
|Euro Emissions Standard||3|
|Miles Per Tank||338 miles|
The Focus RS Mk I was produced from 2 October 2002 to 11 November 2003 and was Ford's return to the RS (Rallye Sport) badge after the demise of the tweaked Escorts, particularly the fabled Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Production was limited to about 4500 from the outset, and the car was built on its own assembly line in Ford's Saarlouis plant. The RS was offered all over Europe, but 2147 were sold in the United Kingdom, by far its largest market.The Mark 1 Focus RS was a limited production run available in 21 European countries.
The Focus RS was developed by the British Ford TeamRS in Dunton, England.
Using a turbocharged version of the 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, the Focus RS produced a minimum of 212 horsepower (158 kW) with some examples producing as much as 230 horsepower (170 kW). A total of 4501 were produced at Ford's Saarlouis plant.
Ford famously over engineered the RS to such an extent that they lost around £4000 on every vehicle sold. This was due to 70% of the original car's parts being replaced - the engine for example is not far off WRC spec in materials and parts.
It would generate a steady 0.98G in lateral acceleration due to racing parts such as Sachs dampers, lightweight O.Z Alloy Wheels and a Quaife ATB Differential. It would also allow 1.0G of braking force due to the standard Brembo braking system 326 mm (Front) 280 mm (Rear).
The development of the Focus RS was undertaken by Ford TeamRS and Tickford Engineering in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Originally it was to be released as the Racing Focus however after the poor selling Racing Puma Ford decided to revive the RS badge.
More bespoke than the prior Ford Focus SVT (rebadged the Focus ST170 in Europe), the Focus RS upgraded or replaced 70% of the standard Focus mechanicals. The turbocharged straight-4 engine produced a minimum of 215 PS (158 kW; 212 hp) and 310 N·m (229 lb·ft) of torque, which was then mated to the 5-speed MTX-75 and not the Getrag transmission used in the ST 170. Mechanically, most notably, the car incorporated a Quaife automatic torque biasing differential to improve traction from the front-wheel drive setup. The steering used a similar quick-ratio rack as the ST170 while the brakes used fixed-caliper, four-piston Brembo units with 324 mm (12.8 in) discs at the front and single-piston floating calipers and 280 mm (11.0 in) discs at the back. Wheels were 18" alloys specially developed by OZ Racing. The engine was heavily modified with forged aluminium pistons, hardened valve seats, sodium-filled exhaust valves, stainless steel exhaust system. The forced induction system comprised a Garrett turbocharger with a water-cooled charge air cooler and an electric water pump. To transmit the higher torque an upgraded AP clutch was used.
The Focus RS was available in one metallic colour, Imperial Blue. The body looked similar to the standard Focus or to the ST170, although the RS featured unique front and rear bumper assemblies required for the wider wheel arches which accommodated the 65 mm (2.6 in) wider front track. Internally, the theme is blue and black with sections of blue leather trim on the door trim panels, the steering wheel and the Sparco seats which were trimmed in blue/black leather and Alcantara. A green starter button starts the engine. The instruments have a blue background and in place of the coolant temperature gauge, the RS was equipped with a boost pressure indicator (up to 1.5 bar). The gear lever knob, handbrake lever, and pedals were all custom made by Sparco.
All-around performance was roughly equal or better to its other competitors, including hatchbacks such as the Honda Civic Type-R and some four-wheel drive cars in the same price field.Power was a diminished priority and the handling on a track, courtesy of the front differential, was considered by most observers to be its strongest characteristic. In a Top Gear review, Jeremy Clarkson noted that "it lacks the straight-forward oomph of a Subaru Impreza. [...] The reason it was quick round our track is simple: this car handles like it's in a cartoon." Clarkson and other motor journalists also commented on the car's torque steer on bumpy British roads.
Focus RS WRC
The Focus RS WRC was built in 1999 to replace the Ford Escort WRC. It debuted in the Monte Carlo Rally with Colin McRae and Simon Jean-Joseph behind the wheels of the two cars. It was immediately on the pace, setting many fastest stage times, but the use of an illegal water pump meant that the two cars were excluded from the event. McRae gave the Focus its first win two events later on the Safari Rally Kenya finishing over 15 minutes ahead of the second placed Toyota of Didier Auriol.
In 2003, Ford released a newly designed Focus WRC, named Focus RS WRC 03, for competition during the second part of the season. The car, with most parts redesigned from the ground up, featured a lighter body shell and a new aerodynamically enhanced front bumper and wing. Markko Märtin drove the car to two world rally victories. The 2004 and 2005 Focus WRCs were evolutions based on the RS WRC 03. The Focus RS WRC 04 won three events with Märtin at the wheel. By 2005, the car was no longer very competitive and Ford had a winless season