The Ford Focus has been here since 200, so why is the new version big news? Because Ford is attempting to dramatically elevate the car's sophistication, equipment, and - not incidentally - its price. Our Focus will not be the ugly stepsister to the European model, as the cars will have 80 percent parts commonality, in keeping with CEO Alan Mulally's One Ford theme. Under the hood is a direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 155 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged (EcoBoost) engine is promised at a later date, as is an EV in 2011, along with a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid in 2012. Greater sophistication comes in the form of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and a customizable display screen (MyFord Touch). Ford will attempt to raise transaction prices - and profitability - by tempting buyers with high-tech extras such as keyless ignition, navigation, a backup camera, and automated parking assist. The cheapie coupe disappears, replaced by an oh-so-Euro four-door hatchback to sell alongside the four-door sedan.
On sale: Early 2011
What's the big deal? Ford looks to make its small car aspirational, with European refinement and loads of available equipment.
Stats: 2.0L I-4, 155 hp, 145 lb-ft