It has been ten years since the Ford Focus first appeared on our roads, and to mark the occasion Ford Ireland is launching two very different models of the best selling family car.
At one end is the fire-breathing Focus RS, a 300 brake horse power high performance car. As we have already written in www.fleetcar.ie, the RS sets new standards for front wheel drive performance motoring, and is, in our opinion, the best RS Ford has produced in the thirty-year illustrious history of the brand.
Buyers who have already placed orders for the new Focus RS will start receiving their cars from June. Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland says that while there is a high demand for the RS and the initial allocation for the Irish market has already been sold out, the company is hopeful of securing additional models this year. The Focus RS retails in Ireland at €43,565.
Some way removed from the RS, but probably of more relevance to the majority of buyers is a new special edition model that brings the Focus into the lowest tax band category for the first time.
The new 5-door Focus Style Special Edition is powered by a 1.6 diesel Duratorq engine which delivers 90 PS but only 118 g/km of CO2, putting it into Band A for motor tax and VRT. Fuel economy is quoted at an impressive 4.5 l/100km (62.7 mpg).
The Focus Style Special Edition features air-conditioning, 16” alloy wheels and front fog lights as standard. It will retail for €20,715.
Ten years on from its launch, the Focus has been lauded as the car which transformed the fortunes of the Blue Oval, spearheading the change from a company where, for much of the eighties and nineties, the underlying strategy seemed to be to build down to a price, to one where engineering excellence predominates. Compared to the outgoing Escort, the 1999 Focus was a revelation, a better car in every aspect from design to build quality to road holding and handling. Over the years it has also proved a remarkably reliable car with few major faults coming to light. The Mark 2 version of 2005 has built on that success, while innovations such as being the first car in its class to come with ESP as standard, as well as the first production biofuel car in the country, have kept the Focus firmly at the head of the family car sector.
With sales of just under 90,000 units in Ireland to date and variants ranging from hatchbacks to saloons and estates as well as high performance models and convertibles, it isn’t really surprising that the Focus has been the nation’s favourite car for eight years out of the ten since its launch.