The Ford Focus gets a very different look for 2008; the redesign borrows cues from Ford's larger Fusion sedan, with flared wheel arches, a mix of smoothed transitions and sharp creases, and the attention-getting chrome-bar grille.
Inside, the Focus has new seats with more lateral and lumbar support than before, along with a larger center console, bins, and cup holders. At the top center of the instrument panel is a new display, and the center console that allows a more open footwell area in front. Ice Blue lighting is now used for instrument and interior illumination, but a newly available ambient lighting system lets the driver choose from several colors with an in-dash switch.
Mechanically, some of the previous Focus's components are carried over. Two different engines power the Focus. A 140-horsepower, 2.0L four-cylinder engine is standard. A cleaner-burning Duratec 20E version, which meets California PZEV requirements, is offered in California-emission states and optional in neighboring states. The engines can be paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
With improved aerodynamics and reduced weight versus last year's model, the Focus expects to maintain its impressive fuel economy. Initial estimates had the manual tallying 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the automatic is estimated to achieve a rating of 24/33.
The 2008 Focus is also expected to have a retuned suspension for a softer ride, and also a new braking system with aluminum components--discs in front and drums in back. Anti-lock brakes remain optional.
Both thorax side air bags and Safety Canopy side curtain air bags are now standard on all Focus models. The curtain bags remain inflated for several seconds.
The Focus is the first model to offer Sync, a feature co-developed by Ford and Microsoft that allows mobile phones and media players to interface with the car's audio display, allowing users to use the vehicle's sound system controls and displays to access music and phone functions. Sync is an option on S and SE trims and is standard on the SES trim.
All hatchback and wagon models of the Ford Focus have been dropped for 2008, but a two-door coupe joins the lineup; the remaining sedan has been fully redesigned cosmetically for 2008, with a distinctive new look inside and out. Side air bags are standard on the new Focus.