Road tested by Hugh Maguire.
Ford have just launched a new and innovative petrol engine for the Ford Focus range.
There are two power outputs, a 100PS and a 125PS power output
I must say when I first got wind of this new engine I could not help but think that a 1.0 litre 3 cylinder petrol engine in a car the size of a Ford Focus would simply prove too underpowered. So I drove both models at the Irish Press launch in Citywest Dublin to see whether my fears were justified or not.
The original of the species was launched here in Ireland as far back as 1998. Since then the Ford Focus has been on Irelands top selling car list no less than ten times!
The big story here is of course the new engine. The car itself is the same as the recently launched new Focus, so it looks great.
The cabin of the Focus is excellent and actually quite contemporary with sweeping lines and a definitely sporty overtone.
The driving position is great and the level of standard equipment as we have come to expect from Ford is very good. I am not going to list everything here but in addition to all the now expected safety features such as ABS, ISOFIX, multiple airbags and so on, the new Focus boasts some very interesting new technologies which merit mention.
The new Focus range can be ordered with Active City Stop, a feature which when it senses an impending impact at city traffic speeds will automatically apply the brakes to either reduce the impending impact speed or maybe avoid it altogether.
Another nice optional feature is the Active Park Assist. Put simply this system will steer the car automatically (you can completely remove your hands from the steering wheel) into a parallel parking space. The driver simply controls the speed as usual via the accelerator and brake. It takes a bit of getting used to, as you must trust the car but it works very well. A great feature for those who hate trying to parallel park in tight spaces.
Auto Start Stop is becoming ever more popular in a bid to reduce emissions and so to it is with the new Focus. The engine simply stops and starts automatically in traffic saving fuel and reducing emissions.
The new 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine is the real story of this car. The new 1.0 litre petrol is a 3 cylinder engine with a power output of either 100 PS or 125PS. The 100 PS unit is mated to a 5-speed gearbox while the slightly more powerful 125 PS unit gets a 6-speed gearbox.
The cylinder block is so small it would fit on an A4 page! Both engines are direct injection and turbocharged. The new 1.0 is the most fuel efficient engine in its class and of course boasts very low emissions of just 109g/km. Both engines fall into the lowest tax band A at €160.00
So what is the performance like?
The answer is surprisingly good actually! I really had all my concerns erased by a drive in both cars. The 100PS has plenty of power, in fact it feels more lively than many 1.4 litre petrol units in rivals cars. Comparing both cars the slightly more expensive 125PS unit does offer fractionally more get up and go but really its only marginal and so I would plumb for the 100PS power plant.
Ford claim average consumption of just 5 litres per 100km (56.5 MPG).
A longer road test in the near future will confirm this.
The EcoBoost range stars from €21,485 for the Focus 5-door entry model 100PS while the 125 PS unit debuts on the Focus Zetec from €24,235.
The new Focus EcoBoost will be attractive to those who don’t want or need a diesel and its associated higher servicing costs. They are cheaper to buy too by about €300.00.