Ford Focus

From Ford press: The 2008 Ford Focus brings a bold new look, a refined and flexible interior and a higher level of driving enjoyment to an evolving small car market. With features including Ford Sync™, standard side-curtain air bags and fuel economy in the mid-30s, the redesigned Focus will play an important role in Ford Motor Company’s resurging car portfolio, continuing the momentum built by the successful Ford Fusion mid-size sedan.

“The 2008 Focus is further proof that Ford is back in the car business,” said Cisco Codina, Ford group vice president, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. “The new Focus delivers the superior quality, refinement and exciting driving dynamics that today’s small car customers demand – and introduces some cutting-edge innovations that will make it stand out from the pack.”

The 2008 Focus comes with a choice of two engines. The standard engine is a 140-horsepower (up four horsepower from the previous model) 2.0-liter, Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC), inline 4-cylinder. The added power comes from an all-new air intake system and a new cooling system, both of which are designed to improve efficiency and reduce back-pressure in the exhaust.

There’s also a super-clean, 130-horsepower Duratec 20E engine that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV). The 20E is cleaner than some hybrid gas-electric vehicles. The PZEV engine is required from dealers in California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. For orders from dealers in cross border states – Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – PZEV Focus models are available as a limited option.

The Duratec 20 and 20E are available with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. For 2008, the transmissions have revised final drive ratios, which let the engine turn at a lower rpm rate during highway driving and get better fuel economy. In addition to powertrain refinements, fuel economy gains were also achieved by weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements. Compared to a comparably equipped 2007 model, the new 2008 Focus is about 100 pounds lighter.

Gallery: Ford Focus