2005 Focus - US/UK

Living in the UK, it is interesting to see how companies such as Ford deal with design on different sides of the atlantic.
I see ford over here as being quite a different entity than it is in the US, though I’m not sure how much division there is between them in terms of corporate structure .
Seeing as this years UK model is the first major design change to the car over here since its release I wanted to see what the US 2005 model looked like in comparison.

Judge for yourselves and feel free to pass comments.

I tried to get good images for comparison, but if anyone can find better then post them as well.

US Focus

Not sure quite whats going on with the back end of this thing… maybe someone could shed light on that?

UK Focus

This is starting to grow on me, a couple of weeks after first seeing it. As with the golf in the other thread, there seem to be some familiar elements going in there. There are quite nice little touches which I quite like though.

Ford has run its European branch quite seperately ever since they allowed Ford UK to build the Angulia in addition to selling Model T’s. Ford Europe has repeatedly swung from interesting fun cars to conservative cars, and with that their success or failure has followed.

New Focus: I guess since the US is typically 5 years behind Europe aesthetically, Ford decided that Americans would finally understand the old Focus design this year. They simply changed the front lights for the '05 model. Mechanically, they have added the Euro-suspension settings to the top model (50% stiffer springs and shocks than the US model).

Focus Europe: From what I have read, Ford took the conservative track with the new Euro-Focus. They have taken the basic look of the Focus and sharpened the corners and added a strong waistline. The basics that were kept were the high tailights and the cut oval grill.

In other words, they took the Focus and Volkswagened it. This is a good idea as VW is the top make in Europe with over 20% market share. Will it work though? Probably not. It seems that VW may have peaked. They are now simply trying to place models into all the typical categories, but are no longer innovating like they had done in the late 90’s. Also, it seems even with Pietschesreider (pardon my spelling) at the helm, they have no clue how to market Seat and Skoda.


fear leads to apprhension, apprehension leads to restricted thinking, restricted thinking leads to the darkside, er, um, unorigional design.

I like the Euro Focus, but it seems very unorigional, while the launch of the origional Focus, designed by the talented Niki Kwi I believe, marked a huge departure and step forward for Ford. This refresh attrmps to apparently maintain the status quo but in a fluid world there are no stationary positions, you either move ahead or fall behind.

Good styling, but no advancement in design in short. Unfortunately in the US we can’t even get the good styling!

I would agree with it being unoriginal… and I’m sure nobody is really a fan
of how much ‘borrowing’ of design which seems to go into most new cars.

I would still like to think there is still plenty of innovation in european car design (even if it sometimes comes from the likes of the french). Plus the new Aston Martin is stunning in my opinion (obviously theres a bit more freedom when you throw some practicality out the window).

I was a little disappointed with the new rear design.

Surprisingly, the sedan version of the focus is MUCH better looking than the old one. It seems that they actually designed it instead of just adding a trunk to the old ZX5. It has the proportion of a Jetta( Bora), but who cares? I think when I spend as little money as that on a car, I will care more about functionality and realiability.

Aston has it down. What borrowing there is comes from their own heritage and so is legit. Plus they just keep making their cars more and more beautiful. It’s not rocket science.

If they didn’t want to do something new, Ford has so much to draw from starting way back with the model A’s and duece coupes. It’s just a bummer.