The auto maker is rumored to be showing a cross/utility concept vehicle dubbed SAV, designed to slot in theof Europe lineup between the successful Focus C-Max multipurpose hauler and 7-seat Galaxy minivan.
The CUV could bow in production form at the Frankfurt auto show in September. A Ford spokesman neither confirms nor denies the rumor. (See related story: Geneva Packed With Product)
To be sure, Ford of Europe, riding high following a profitable 2004 thanks to a 17% revenue increase, will launch in Geneva the 4-door version of the reengineered Focus, along with a performance-tuned ST version.
Ford Focus sedan bows in Geneva.
Focus ST adds performance to Ford’s C-segment.
The vehicle was redesigned for ’05 and launched last fall in wagon, 3- and 5-door variants, and the sedan represents the capstone of the family.
None of the redesigned Focus variants are available in North American markets. (See related story: Oddly Enough Russian, Not American, Buyers Have Shot at New Focus)
The 4-door is intended to be a hot commodity in the Asia/Pacific region, where sedans are the most popular body style, according to Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO Lewis Booth.
“Cars developed by Ford of Europe are pivotal in the company’s strategy to compete successfully and expand its presence in the Asia/Pacific and African markets,” he says. “Our role promises to increase significantly in these regions, and the new Focus 4-door is paving the way.”
The next-generation sedan boasts 21% more cargo space vs. the outgoing model, with Ford engineers boosting rear stow capacity to 18.6 cu.-ft. (526 L) with the use of a 4-bar link hinge and redesigned 60/40 split seats. The tailgate opening is wider, and the trunk space is longer.
There is little differentiation between the sedan’s specification sheet with those of the hatchbacks. (See related story: Vignale May Signal Future Focus Flare)
Joining the sedan as a newcomer in the revamped Focus range is the ST (Sport Technologies) hatchback, which will be available near the end of 2005, at which time a full spec list will be available.
Featuring 18-in. wheels and a 2.5L turbocharged 5-cyl. gasoline engine teamed to a 6-speed manual transmission, the Focus ST promises to be a racer’s delight.
The ST badge was introduced on performance variants of the previous-generation Focus in Europe and matriculated to the U.S. for the ’05 model year, replacing the popular SVT (Special Vehicles Team) moniker.
In addition to new Focus variants, Ford plans to highlight subtle changes to the Ka minicar, including a new glove box, interior freshening and a crisper exterior, as well as a more powerful version of the Galaxy’s 1.9L diesel mill.
The auto maker says it will outfit its smallish Ka hatch with “large-car features,” including intermittent wipers and “theater-dimming” interior lighting. The spirited SportKa adds an optional stripe kit inspired by the GT supercar to its features list.