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Ford Focus undergoes series of changes for 2006


Ford Focus
The Ford Focus, which underwent its last major refit a year ago for 2005, features a series of further changes for 2006 designed to better suit individual customers needs, including a new GFX Appearance Package, several new colours and content upgrades across the model range.

Focus is available as a three-door ZX3 hatchback, five-door ZX5 hatchback, ZX4 sedan and ZXW wagon in S (ZX3 and ZX4 only), SE and SES trims. Sedan models are also available in the performance ST version.

Focus has made Car and DriverÌs 10 Best list five years in a row, has been listed as a Consumer Guide Best Buy four years in a row and earned four-time All-Star status from Automobile magazine.

New for 2006 is an available GFX Appearance Package on ZX4, ZX3 and ZX5 models. The package was designed to give Focus a custom Ïtuner- look. It includes a unique body-colour fascia with fog lamps, side marker lamps, and lower air deflector, body-colour rear bumper trim with black diffuser insert, body-colour spoiler and bright exhaust tip.

All Focus models have a front-end treatment that echoes cues from FordÌs new flagship sedan, the Ford Five Hundred with a prominent grille with a chrome-ringed diamond pattern and clear-lens headlamps.

The Focus interior was designed to be clean and modern-looking. The instrument panel is symmetrical; the driver and front passenger areas are divided by two rectangular climate control registers, the hazard switch and a shallow centre stack for the audio and climate control systems.

Storage areas include a storage drawer for six compact discs, located by the driverÌs left knee, and an open storage space located just below the climate control dials.

A standard floor console houses the shifter, two-cup holders, parking brake lever and optional features, including the traction control system. An overhead console with sunglasses holder and space for a garage door opener is optional.

This year, a CD player with MP3 capability is standard across the Focus line-up.

Two engine choices begin with the 136-horsepower, 2.0-litre Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam, inline four-cylinder.

Powering the sporty Focus ZX4 ST is the 151-horsepower 2.3-litre Duratec 23 DOHC I-4. This engine is derived from the Duratec 20 family, with larger displacement and performance-tuned exhaust.

The Duratec 20 is available with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic (excluding S and ST arrays which come only in with a manual transmission).

Focus occupant-sensing technology will turn the front passenger seat air bag on or off after determining whether the seat is occupied by an adult or a child. Anti-lock brakes are standard on SES and ST models.

Side-impact air bags are optional on all series and not available on the S models.

In summary, Ford Focus S models start with a 5 -speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheel with 9-spokes and all-season tires, rear-window wiper and washer on ZX3, ZX5 and ZXW, AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player and speed-sensitive volume control.

A move up to SE trim adds power locks and keyless entry, variable-speed wipers, air conditioning, and front centre arm rest with storage and overhead storage console.

The Ford Focus SES tops up the accessory list with a Canadian Winter Package Plus including heated seats and power side mirrors, anti-lock brakes and traction control, 16-inch, five-spoke alloy (ZX4, ZX5) or 15-inch alloy (ZXW) wheels, fog lamps, body-colour rear decklid/liftgate handle, body-colour side mouldings, rear decklid spoiler on ZX4, rear stabilizer bar, automatic speed control, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel and tachometer.

And, finally, the performance-oriented Focus ZX4 ST comes complete with the more powerful 2.3-litre Duratec 23 engine, four-wheel disc brakes, unique 16-inch aluminum machined alloy wheels, ST performance-tuned suspension, chrome-tipped exhaust, body-colour door handles and mirrors, ground effects front and rear fascia, satin alloy grille, gauges with silver appliqu», sport bucket seats and door trim with black-and-red fabric inserts, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with contrasting stitching.

The 2006 Ford Focus MSRP ranges from the entry-level ZX3 S at $17,599 to the ZX4 ST which tops out at $24,149.

Stoney Creek News

Ford Focus undergoes series of changes for 2006
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