2008 Ford Focus (Euro Model)

Sam Smith

Usually, we wouldn't get too excited about a face-lifted European Ford. As with the Verve concept, the 2008 Focus now features styling that better fits in with Ford's S-Max and Mondeo. But the refreshed Focus adds one little feature to an already impressive package: early next year, the 2.0-liter diesel model gets a dual-clutch gearbox similar to VW's DSG.

This setup yields a ten percent improvement in both fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to a conventional automatic and, as with VW's system, it is much more fun to drive than most conventional slushboxes. Overall, it is nice to see American companies are getting on board the dual-clutch bandwagon. Dodge is also offering this type of gearbox in Europe on the diesel version of their new Journey crossover, so we can only hope that American buyers will enjoy this technology in either a Ford or Chrysler product in the near future.

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