Serviceability Report: Ford Focus RevisitedPosted 3/15/2012
By Craig Van Batenburg, AAM
In the July 2006 issue of AutoInc., I compared the 2006 Focus to the 2000 model. Well, let’s look at the next generation and see if Ford took heed of our suggestions.
Ford had a hit when they introduced the 2000 Ford Focus in 1999; it sold more than 286,000 units the first year. Sales settled down to around 175,000 for the other years but the 2012 model may change that for the better.
A look back at the 2006 model
Is the 2012 model any better? It was completely redesigned. Let’s find out.
Ford Motor Co.
I had a chance to meet Mulally briefly twice at the New York City Auto Show – once in 2007 when he first took the CEO job and again last year. I also have attended some press meetings with him as the speaker. William Clay “Bill” Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (Bill’s mother is Firestone’s daughter), was the CEO before Mulally and knew he needed help to keep Ford from going bankrupt. The two still work closely together, making Ford a much better American company – but do they make it easy to service cars?
The 2012 Focus
The engine you can get is a nice 2-liter that puts out 160 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 146 pound-feet of torque at 4,450 rpm. Those figures put the Focus near the top with the Hyundai Elantra (148 hp and 131 lb-ft), Chevrolet Cruze (138 hp and 148 lb-ft), Honda Civic (140 hp, 128 lb-ft), Toyota Corolla (132 hp and 128 lb-ft) and the Mazda3 (167 hp and 168 lb-ft). The Mazda is the king of power, with Ford in second place.
EPA fuel economy comes in at 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway when equipped with the six-speed automatic and the SelectShift option, which allows the driver to manually change gears using a little rocker switch mounted on the console shifter instead of paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission is a dual-clutch unit that shifts quickly and saves fuel in the process. There is plenty of power, so the transmission doesn’t hunt for what gear to use and downshifts are correct on steep grades.
GDI Ti VCT is the Ford designation for its Focus engine. It uses VC-3-B Coolant made with organic acid technology (OAT), has an active grille (shutters that control air flow) and two fuel pumps because it uses direct injection. All of this series has electric power-assisted steering (EPAS.) No more belt as a chain spins the twin cams. This is one very nicely done small car. The PCV valve is no longer used because Ford has fitted what they call a crankcase vent oil separator (CVOS). It is bolted to the front of the block and is considered a lifetime system. I suggest that you make sure your customers use a quality 5/20 oil and change it often so that the CVOS really will last a lifetime.
Here is what Ford had available for specifications when this article was written: A 107 kW electric motor with a 23 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery system is going to move you.
Top speed will be more than 80 mph and of course it will have a regenerative braking system and be a front-wheel-drive 5-passenger car.
Ford recently announced that Best Buy will sell the charging stations for the Focus Electric and install them as well. Do you have a public charging station at your shop? Maybe you should, because the average electric vehicle buyer has a lot of extra cash and may be looking for the right shop for his or her other cars and trucks.
So in conclusion, this new Focus is a big deal. Ford has a winner for ease of service and a car for the times. It is clearly the best Focus ever made and it is built in Wayne, Mich. Better cars and more jobs. Way to go!
Copyright 1996-2012. Automotive Service Association. All rights reserved.
Anti-spam form protection provided by SnapHost.com