After years of reskinning the same old Focus, Ford finally presented an all-new car, one that is as fetching as the last one was frumpy. Like the smaller Fiesta, the Focus is edgy and sporty, and it is available as either a four-door sedan or a four-door hatchback. An all-new 2.0-liter four-cylinder uses dual variable cam phasing and direct injection to produce 20 more hp than last year's engine, for a total of 160 hp. A five-speed manual transmission is available, but most buyers will likely choose the six-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shift control. The Focus handles well, with little body roll and crisp turn-in, especially when equipped with the sport package (optional on the SE and standard on Titanium models). The seats are uncommonly comfortable, and the cabin features a well-designed center stack and lots of available amenities, such as a rearview camera and Wi-Fi capability. The SFE (Super Fuel Economy) version of the Focus gets 40 mpg in highway driving. Speaking of economy, an electric Focus is set to debut soon -- in limited markets by the end of 2011, according to Ford. Pricing has yet to be announced. At the other end of the spectrum, the 250-hp Focus ST -- with a tuned version of Ford's EcoBoost four-cylinder, along with a six-speed manual, eighteen-inch wheels, a three-mode stability control program, a body kit, and more -- will go on sale sometime in 2012. These new versions of the Focus can't come a moment too soon, as compact-car sales are predicted to surpass all other segments by the end of 2012.
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