Ford Focus 20 years

The history of the Ford Focus in pictures

2011 Ford Focus Mk3

Ford Focus 20 years

The future for the Focus was made clear by an official launch at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show instead of a European venue. More than ever, Ford intended the Focus to be a true ‘world car’ streamlining product lines on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bold styling was back, with the new Mk3 Focus returning to the dramatic angles and swooping curves of the original car. Active grille shutters hid behind the triangular front air intakes, significantly improving aerodynamics over the previous car.

Marking the shift towards downsized engines, aside from the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine offered at launch, all other options would be turbocharged. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine – launched in 2012 – promised performance and piety in one package.

Ride quality and refinement improved over the outgoing Mk2 car, although electrically-assisted power steering was claimed to have diminished feedback. Not that most drivers on the school run were likely to be worried though.

Ford Focus 20 years

More space, more technology, and a greater premium feel were the order of the day inside the new Focus. Keen to take the fight directly to the upmarket image of the Volkswagen Golf, soft-touch plastics and better quality trim covered the key surfaces.

However, Ford couldn’t match the minimalist style of the German rival, with the interior of the Focus strewn with buttons and switches. Ford’s SYNC multimedia system made an appearance, while Active Park Assist, a reversing camera, and adaptive cruise control made the options list.

2011 Ford Focus Mk3 Estate

Ford Focus 20 years

In contrast to previous generations, UK buyers were given the choice of just two bodystyles for the third-generation Focus. The three-door hatchback was dispensed with, in part to save costs, but also in keeping with a market move away from them.

Aside from the five-door hatch, only an estate model would be on offer for British Ford fans. Markets like the USA, Canada, and Australia did retain the option of a four-door saloon.

2012 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus 20 years

Following the BEV electric concept based on the Mk2 Focus, a full EV version of the third-generation car was planned from the outset. Initially using a 23kWh lithium-ion battery, later versions gained a bigger 33.5kWh version to give up to 139 miles of range.

Despite proving popular in the USA, European sales of the electric Focus proved glacially slow, with just 61 sold in 2016. Ford ended local production, meaning those who really wanted one would have to wait for an American-built car.

2014 Ford Focus Mk3 Facelift

Ford Focus 20 years

With the omnipotent threat of the Volkswagen Golf, a revised Mk3 Focus appeared in 2014 with a new Aston Martin-esque chrome grille, and greater use of shiny trim throughout the interior.

A new 1.5-litre petrol EcoBoost engine joined the range, alongside revised diesel engines. An updated SYNC 2 multimedia system was added, while the dashboard was reorganised to calm the previous explosion of buttons.