The Austrian hills are alive again, specifically the 12,340-foot Grossglockner pass, with the sound of Ford's engineers hard at work testing the 2012 Ford Focus.
With sharp inclines and winding passes, the Grossglockner pass is a perfect place to test new cars to ensure drivability and reliability. Here, Ford engineers are testing both gasoline and European diesel-powered Focuses to ensure the engines are up to the task under challenging circumstances. The tests in the winding mountain roads also test the clutch durability and takeoff of the PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, as well as clutch durability of the European-spec manual transmission models.
The base powertrain setup in the U.S. will be a 2.0-liter, gasoline-powered I-4 producing 155 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, coupled to Ford's six-speed PowerShift transmission. We're also likely to get Ford's new 1.6-liter, turbocharged, EcoBoost I-4 that produces 180 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is also slated to hit U.S. shores.
Eighty percent of the global Focus' components will be shared in all markets, but Europeans are slated to get a lineup of gasoline and diesel engines, all of which are currently undergoing testing. European Focus models are also being tested for their ability to tow, whereas in North America, Ford's larger SUV offerings are more popular for towing.
We're excited for the 2012 Focus to go on sale, which alas, isn't for some time yet. Until then, we'll have to make do with the second-generation American model -- or wait our turn for a 2011 Fiesta.