Woman at the Wheel - Ford Focus

Valencia Mohammed €" WI Contributing Writer | 1/3/2009, 5:49 p.m.

Ford Focus: Connects to the World with Sync Capability

The 2008 Focus is one of the first Ford Motor Company vehicles to feature Sync, a cutting-edge way to use cell phones and media players inside a vehicle. This industry-first technology offers unprecedented levels of connection, control, simplicity and personalization for electronic devices inside a car. In vehicles equipped with the available Sync option, the associated USB port is located on the center stack near the power points.
A microphone inside the cabin allows consumers to use their mobile phones hands free while operating a vehicle. Using Bluetooth technology as a foundation, Sync can wirelessly connect up to six different mobile phones to the vehicle through a process called pairing. Once the phone is paired, the user€s personal features, such as an address book and ring tones, are readily accessed by the system.

Sync is also the only automotive application that offers full hands-free, voice-activated command and control over portable media players and USB storage devices. Sync€s advanced capability allows consumers to access the songs, artists, genres, albums, playlists and more through voice commands. The selections also are shown on the vehicle€s audio display, since Sync allows complete command and control via dashboard or steering wheel controls. Ultimately, Sync acts as an extension of the media player, effectively melding the player€s functionality into the vehicle.

Sync hosts nearly all media players, including all Apple iPods, all MP3 players with €Plays for Sure€ technology, and Microsoft€s new music player, Zune. Sync also accepts music saved on USB storage drives. Not only does Ford offer young buyers and the young-at-heart the latest in audio and communications technology, the 2008 Focus also brings a bold new look, a refined and flexible interior and a higher level of driving enjoyment to an evolving small car market.

Inspired by the Fusion, a prominent chrome-bar grille design, flared wheel arches and sweeping, crisp lines were added giving it a sporty stance. It also has distinctive headlights and tail lamps to help enhance the 2008 Focus€ design story.

€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 customer€s 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. There€s also a super-clean, 130-horsepower Duratec 20E engine that qualifies Focus as a partial zero emissions vehicle. The engine is cleaner than some hybrid gas-electric vehicles.

The 2008 Focus comes standard with Ford€s signature thorax side air bags and side air curtains for increased coverage in the event of a side impact; side air curtains that deploy in certain side-impact collisions to help protect front and second-row outboard occupants.
The air curtains feature €roll-fold€ technology. If occupants are improperly seated and resting their heads against a window, the Safety Canopy is designed to slide between the glass and occupants as it inflates.

Built to last, the manufacturer€s suggested retail price starts at $14,395. It offers 24 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.