New Ford Focus ‘tortured’ by engineers

Modern cars need to be extensively tested to avoid damaging recalls and the Ford Focus has now been tested in both cold and hot temperatures.

From minus 40 degrees Celsius to a sweltering 55 degree Celsius, the Ford Focus has been tested in the UK research and engineering centre in Dunton, which can recreate a range of weather conditions.

“We torture test vehicles here, so customers can enjoy worry-free motoring in Ford vehicles from launch," said Bruce Thirkettle, Environmental Test Lab supervisor after subjecting the Focus to extreme temperatures.

Tests include leaving the car in minus 30 degrees Celsius for 16 hours before testing it on a rolling road and leaving it in 50 degree Celsius temperatures before seeing how long the air conditioning takes to cool it down to respectable levels.

“The new Focus was tested in real-world conditions but this is always limited by the prevailing weather,” Thirkettle added. "The main advantage of testing here is that we can precisely recreate conditions at any time of the year."

The next generation Ford Focus is based on an all new platform and features a new suspension set up. However, Ford has promised the same involving handling which made the current generation so popular.

Seen as a leader in the family car segment, the Ford Focus is a perennial favourite, outselling all other cars in its segment in 2010 to finish second overall in the most popular cars of the year.

In 2011, the new Ford Focus will be released in the UK alongside a performance version, the Ford Focus ST.

The Ford Focus will be available in five-door hatchback and five-door estate versions when it goes on sale in the UK.

A large choice of petrol and diesel engines will be available at launch, with an ‘ultra-low’ CO2 Focus ECOnetic set to join the range later in the year.