Ford had a lot of news in Frankfurt this year. Here's what we took away from the show:
Ford 3-cylinder Focus
At this year's Frankfurt auto show, Ford showed off its smallest engine: a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder. The engine makes its debut next year in the European-market Focus, where it will be available with either 100 or 120 horsepower, depending on trim level.
That high output should clue you in that the new engine wears a turbo. Yup, this thing's got EcoBoost, which means it also uses direct injection. And twin variable valve timing, for the record.
Ford has publicly said that the 1.0-liter EcoBoost replaces 1.4-liter normally aspirated engines, but they also let it slip that it's also powerful enough to replace the company's 1.6 liter. That means we can expect the three-banger to appear in the U.S.-market Fiesta. We suspect it won't arrive for a few years though, perhaps simultaneously with a Fiesta facelift.
Rumor has it that we'll be driving a 1.0-liter Focus in the coming couple of days. So stay tuned!
Ford Fiesta ST Concept
The hopped up Fiesta ST is a concept, but it's following in its big brother Focus' footsteps, which means the production version should look darn near identical. And that also means we'll be getting the rorty little hatchback in the States, too.
With a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, the Fiesta can scoot to 62 mph in under 7 seconds, says Ford. The engine makes 160 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, which is a huge bump from the regular Fiesta's normally aspirated 1.6 (it produces 120 hp and 112 lb-ft).
We expect to see the production version of the Fiesta ST some time early next year. Here's our full article on the Ford Fiesta ST.
Ford Focus ST
The five-door Focus ST was no surprise - it's nearly identical to the concept car Ford showed last year at Paris. The big news is that the ST will also be available as a wagon-but not in the U.S.
The ST is Ford's first global performance model, and the first of other ST-branded products destined for our shores. (Ford also showed a concept version of the smaller Fiesta ST at Frankfurt.)
The turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is rated at 247 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, all channeled through the front wheels. To help mitigate the inevitable torque steer, Ford has developed an electric power steering system that actively cancels out unwanted influences in the steering.
The VW GTI has been performing this same trick for some time, though it has only 207 lb-ft of torque. For the higher-performance GTI, the Golf R, Volkswagen installed four-wheel drive.
We expect the ST in the U.S. next year, and given the Focus' already dear price, hope that it will come in under the $30,000 mark. Click here for our full article on the Focus ST.
Ford Evos Concept
The Evos is Ford's hint at the next generation of Kinetic design, which originally debuted on the 2006 Iosis concept car and found its way into the current Fiesta, Focus, and European-market Kuga. Ford's design guru J Mays was clearly calling out Korean competitor Hyundai when he said that "other companies" have imitated Ford's Kinetic design language and added even more complexity to it.
To combat that, then, Ford is taking a step back and reducing the Kinetic language's complexity. We're not sure we'd describe the Evos as bland, of course.
The Evos' design language was developed with six pillars:
1. Silhouette innovation: a sleek profile 2. Perceived efficiency: an aerodynamic shape 3. Refined surface language: the anti-Hyundai simplification of Kinetic design. Pared down, definitive, tailored.
4. Technical graphics: intricate designs in graphics elements like the "laser-cut" headlights, which take advantage of new lighting technology which makes today's enormous lights unnecessary. According to Mays, anyway.
5. New face of Ford: inverted trapezoidal grille, mounted even more prominently.
6. Visually premium: a design that doesn't provoke, but seduces.
Four gullwing doors will definitely seduce. But don't expect to see those on a Fusion any time soon.
You also won't see some of the Evos' cool tech features right away, either. The coolest, in our opinion, is the car's heart rate monitor. Paying attention to the driver's pulse rate along with the vehicle performance data allows the Evos to recognize when its driver is pushing hard. The Evos automatically enters a high-performance mode where all gauges disappear except the speedometer and rev counter, and a Bluetooth-connected cell phone is put into do-not-disturb mode. The car's cloud-connected computer system can also automatically switch the Evos' hybrid powertrain into EV mode when in a zero-emissions area, or automatically guide the driver to an EV charging station.
Of course, these features are imagined. But we do expect to see this new styling language on Ford vehicles soon. J Mays said very clearly that we won't be waiting four years, we'll be seeing this design on a real car in four months. Until then, read more about the Evos here.