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Published on July 15th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Ford Brings Luxury Specifications To Middle Class Malaysia From Just RM125,000.

Its July 2012 and you or a good friend or relative (if they have not read this, please share it with them) are planning to buy a European car (sedan or hatchback) with a budget set at around RM160,000. Your choices today in Malaysia are plentiful and you’re a little confused.  Let me offer a new possibility that will shock you with its reasonable selling price against features that will send all your other options out of your mind after just a test drive. Priced from just RM125,000.00 (you could save as much as RM35,000 from your budget) in Malaysia, this is an all new ‘Focus’ from Ford and it comes loaded to the hilt with in-cabin technology, safety features, drive dynamics and engineering that has before been reserved only for cars in higher price brackets.

Let’s start with the in-cabin technology. Previously found only in larger and more expensive vehicles this new Focus comes with Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, and the hands-free connectivity system Ford SYNC® powered by Microsoft. All this allows the Focus to set a new standard for affordable technologies in the mid-size car segment. These features also provide Focus customers with the ability to cope more easily with the pressures of modern motoring, giving them convenient new ways to deal with everyday challenges like parallel parking, driving safely on busy highways and tackling heavy city traffic driving.

Active Park Assist, an advanced new system that automatically steers the vehicle into parallel parking spaces. While the steering is all done automatically, the driver remains responsible for safe parking and can interrupt the system by grasping the steering wheel. Active Park Assist will be fitted as standard equipment on the new high-series Titanium+ and Sport+ models.

Active City Stop helps reduce the risk of low-speed collisions by monitoring the road in front for stationary traffic and then braking automatically if a collision is imminent. At speeds up to 30 km/h, a lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor positioned at the top of the windscreen scans the area up to around 7.6 metres ahead of the Focus for possible obstacles. If the Focus approaches a braking, slower-moving or stationary vehicle in front and it determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver remains inactive (no steering or braking input), the car applies the brakes automatically and reduces engine torque. Active City Stop is available on the Titanium+ and Sport+ models.

Ford’s Blind Spot Information System improves driver awareness by alerting them to situations when a passing vehicle is hidden in their blind spot zones on both left and right sides of the vehicle.This feature uses two multiple-beam radar modules located on the outer corners of the rear bumper. The system senses when a vehicle has entered the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an LED indicator light on the corresponding side view mirror, providing the driver with a warning that a vehicle is passing by. The system operates from speeds above 10 km/h – a much broader operational range than other comparable systems currently available on the market – making it particularly effective in congested urban conditions and slow-moving traffic on busy motorways where many collisions occur.

BLIS is fitted as standard equipment on the Titanium+ models.

Ford SYNC® powered by Microsoft is an award-winning hands-free technology that allows customers to control their mobile phone and digital media player via voice commands so that they can make calls or play their favourite music while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Using Bluetooth® technology, SYNC can wirelessly connect up to eight different mobile phones to the all-new Focus. Unlike embedded connectivity systems, SYNC does not allow access to the users’ stored contact information unless their phone is connected, hence ensuring a high level of privacy.

Other than making and taking phone calls, SYNC can even retrieve text messages and read them aloud, including popular abbreviations and emoticons such as LOL (laugh out loud) and   😀 (smiley big smile) when connected to a compatible phone. Using voice activation, the driver can also send a reply from a predetermined list of 15 responses while on the move.

Once connected via USB, SYNC gives the driver full hands-free control over portable media players and USB storage devices. Users can browse their music collection by genre, album, artist, playlist or song title using voice commands. SYNC can even put together a playlist of the music the driver is in the mood for with the “Play similar” command. Other convenience features available on the new Ford Focus includes:

Smart Keyless Entry: This feature enables the new Focus customer to lock or unlock the driver’s door without taking the key out of a bag or a pocket. Sensors around the car detect the presence of the key fob and lock or unlock the door when the driver grabs the door handle.

Ford Power Start: The engine can be turned on simply by pushing the Ford Power Start button while holding the brake pedal down. There is no need to insert a key into the ignition. The all-new Focus will start as long as the key fob is in the cabin.

Automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers: Standard on high series models, these features use an optical sensor to detect when the headlamps are required, or when it is raining
Depending on the model, the all-new Focus also comes with useful features such as dual-zone electronic air-conditioning, powered sunroof, cruise control and an innovative auto-dimming rear view mirror that automatically detects headlight glare and switches to a dimmed setting. The all-new Focus features a comprehensive suite of advanced active safety technologies to help the driver maintain safe control of the vehicle and avoid collision situations. Standard a cross models fitted with the automatic transmission, the state-of-the-art Electronic Stability Program system uses intelligent logic to monitor the vehicle’s progress and apply effective – and often imperceptible – intervention when required.

The system incorporates:

Anti-Lock Brake System including Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Corner Brake Control
Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Prefill and Emergency Brake Warning
Traction Control System comprising Engine Traction Control System and Brake Lock Differential
Torque Vectoring Control
Engine Drag torque Control
Hydraulic Rear-Axle Boost
Hill Launch Assist

“Adopting new and optimised chassis systems allowed us to set ambitious goals for driving dynamics on the new Focus,” said Kumar Galhotra, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “Technologies like the new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system and Torque Vectoring Control have made it possible to raise driving quality performance to a new level.”

This all-new Focus features a new Duratec 2.0-litre Ti-VCT GDi engine that combines high-pressure gasoline direct injection (GDi) and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. Delivering 170 PS of power and 202 Nm of torque, the engine is mated with the latest six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission. The advanced transmission is also offered with SelectShift Automatic™ functionality, allowing drivers to manually control gear selection. Offered on the Sport, Sport+, Titanium and Titanium+ models, the 2.0-litre GDi engine delivers an impressive combined cycle fuel consumption result of 14.9 km/L1.

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