A history of the Ford Focus hatchback
A look at the development of the Ford Focus model as one of the world’s leading compact cars.
Since the late 1990s, one of the leading models of compact vehicle has been the Ford Focus hatchback. With its initial release in 1998 by the Ford Motor Company garnering huge global interest, this small family car has gone on to dominate markets across Europe, Australasia and the Americas.
Initially intended to be a replacement for the Ford Escort estate car, the first generation of the Ford Focus model sought to earn a name for the company as a compact vehicle manufacturer. The only hiccup came in 1998 when German publishers Burda protested against the use of the name as it was already in use as their Focus magazine. However, this complaint was overturned and the Ford Focus was marketed as such across the globe. A couple of changes were made in 2000 with several alterations added to the European Focus edition. New versions were made available as a 3-door hatchback, a 4-door sedan and as a larger 5-door wagon.
After its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2004, the second generation European Ford Focus ushered in several changes to the handling and the body style. However, the Ford Mk2 was seen to be clumsier in its handling than the Mk1 version but the space of the vehicle cabin was improved. Leaps were made in various conveniences with a KeyFree system, adaptive front lighting and a solar-reflect windshield added. Voice-controlled Sync technology was showcased in the North American Mk2 Focus.
With a new 2.0L direct injection I4 engine to unveil, the third generation Ford Focus was released with a bang in 2010. A five-door estate was added to the Ford Focus range and the all-electric Ford Focus EV was introduced in 2011 to share Ford’s eco-friendly vision with the motoring community.