The big news here is Ford’s very small EcoBoost engine. The Focus’s optional powertrain is the same 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that made its U.S. debut in the 2014 Fiesta. We’ve already driven the engine in a European-spec Focus and the U.S.-spec Fiesta to know that it’s exceptionally smooth and sufficiently lively around town. As in the Fiesta, the 1.0-liter will only be offered with a manual transmission, but the Focus receives an additional cog for a total of six forward gears. Our one complaint with the 1.0-liter Fiesta is that getting the car moving from a stop at a reasonable pace requires slipping the clutch to keep the engine from bogging below its 2500-rpm torque peak. Buyers might find that the three-cylinder engine, with just 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, is overmatched in the 300-pound-heavier Focus.
As it does with all EcoBoost engines, Ford will charge a premium for the smaller engine under the assumption that consumers are willing to pay for incremental improvements in fuel economy. While pricing and EPA ratings are still to be determined, a 1.0-liter Fiesta commands $995 for a 4-mpg boost to a 45-mpg EPA highway rating.
Nair also says his engineers have tweaked the suspension and electric power steering, despite the fact that the Focus is already among the best-driving cars in the segment. Changes include quieter shock valves, less-intrusive stability control, and unspecified modifications to the rear suspension in the interest of “a more connected feel to the road.”
Thanks to: Car and Driver