Well the long awaited Ford Focus is here and is going to make an impression. There is definitely a lot to take in with this global (80% common parts) Focus. I think everyone will find areas they like and some they don’t. This design was collaborated on between Europe, United States and Asia and I find myself trying to find who had influence on what part. Overall the one thing I feel is missing on the exterior is “refinement.” There is so much going on and there doesn’t need to be.
Read on for more……
This is my favorite view, rear three quarter of the sedan. This is the most fluid area of the car and has a nice strength to it. The shoulders are shown well and I can see the Euro influence in the rear.
The front end is hard to digest. The thin verticals in the grill and large triangular openings do not “sync” with anything. Please take some notes from the Fiesta front end which came out much more resolved.
The surfacing on the side of the car is crisp and strong except for the little undercut extending forward from the door handles. The front clip begins to soften and becomes weak looking making it foreign from the rest of the car.
I would have liked the rear window to not dip down so low. The higher window would have helped bring the car forward aiding in the kinetic design language. Note the somewhat integrated fuel door. Why can’t we hide these like they did in the sixties? Oh yeah, because people would be doing laps around the gas pump trying to figure out what side their fuel door is on…..aka a dog chasing its tail.
Here is where I become impressed. This interior looks top notch. The Fiesta and Focus are now killing any other Ford interior to date. Let’s hope the materials feel as good as they look. Following the Fiesta there is sculptural surfacing providing a nice amount of depth to the interior.
Sadly the new Focus is not a homerun, but I am sure it will grow on you. Just like the new Mazda 3, consumers will have some issues with the front clip. But who knows I said the same thing about the current Ford Fusion front end and once you saw it on the road it looked great. Any opinions on car design before they hit the road are just that, opinions. The road tells all whether a design is successful or not. The road will tell us in one year what the outcome will be.