The new Ford Focus is for the tech-savvy yet sporty

By Monico D. Mekaniko

Muscle car aficionados are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the iconic Mustang, reportedly set for launch this month. But if you want less muscle yet sporty enough – and may I add, geeky but not ultra-nerdy – Ford is listening.

Behold the all-new Ford Focus, which was finally unveiled locally late last week. The 2013 Ford Focus comes in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre engine variants and features Ford's automatic Powershift transmission.

The new Focus is more aerodynamic in design than the previous generation, which already had quite an appeal going for it given its rugged styling and rally racing pedigree. Particularly appealing is the hatch version – the 2013 Focus six-speed 2.0 litre Sport is priced at around P1.2 million.

Despite the sporty appeal, Ford is quick to point out the fuel economy benefits of the Powershift  automatic transmission - 15.4 kilometers per liter (km/L) for the 1.6-litre and 14.9 km/L for the 2.0-litre variant. Not bad at all, if these numbers translate to real-world driving, that is. (For pricing and technical specs, check out the Ford Philippines Focus microsite.)

The new Focus also features an Active Grill Shutter system that uses vents located in the front bumper to automatically control air flow to reduce drag and add the car's fuel efficiency. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have also been significantly reduced, according to Ford.

But what could probably elicit the “oohs and ahhs” for this car is what you can do while driving it.

Ford has been harping on the car's tech-savvy features that include Active Park Assist, which can do parallel parking without touching the steering wheel, and Active City Stop, which automatically applies brakes during low-speed to avoid collision. (These features, though, come standard only for the Sport+ hatch and Titanium+ sedan  variants.)

The new Focus also features Microsoft's SYNC technology that, combined with voice-recognition technology, connects with multimedia devices such as mp3 players and tablet PCs so these can be used hands-free.

Which can impress pretty much anyone since you, the driver, can actually command the car  to play any song, album or artist. So you keep your eyes on the road and need not fiddle with your gadgets.

They say your car is a reflection of your manhood, if not your personality. And isn't it they also say girls find geeks sexy?  So will you pick a P2.8 million Mustang with plenty of muscle (think 420-horsepower V8 engine) or a Focus that's half the price tag but comes with features you don't usually see in most cars today?

Choose wisely and stay true to yourself.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!

(Photo courtesy of Ford Group Philippines)

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