Ford Focus Sport a stunner. PHOTO BY RUBEN D. MANAHAN 4TH

    Ford Focus Sport a stunner. PHOTO BY RUBEN D. MANAHAN 4TH

    FUTURISTIC vehicles will not arrive in the “near future”—they are here.

    We now have flying cars and autonomous driverless cars, among others, and Ford brings the future closer through some of the amenities it puts in its models.

    The first noticeable thing in the Ford Focus Sport (priced at P1.228 million) is its aesthetics. Based on styling alone, a friend of mine has decided to buy one.

    This five-door hatchback furthers the sporty character of its four-door sedan brother. With its sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, plus the colors available, the Focus Sport is an easy sell for all genders.

    But what gives this car a futuristic feel is not its exterior, trimmings or cockpit design but its special features. The Focus Sport’s Active Park Assist is one of its main selling points—especially among drivers who have trouble with parallel-parking. Active Park Assist is not just the typical sonar or rear-view camera found on many vehicles.

    Activating the parking assist feature really helps in getting the car slot in tight parking spaces. To make it work, push a button on the Focus Sport’s dash and let the system scan the right side of the car to find a parking spot (if parking on the left side, like in some one-way streets, simply switch the turn signal to the left after pressing the park assist button). The system will not work if it cannot find a spot large enough for the car, or if you are too far away from the slot.

    Once park assist engages, all you have to do is shift to reverse and let the system steer the car into the slot. Simply brake when its beeping sound tells you to do so, shift to drive to move forward, then brake again to complete the parking maneuver. No need to touch the steering wheel at all. In fact, you can raise your hands through the Focus Sport’s open moonroof, and use your right one only to shift.

    The Focus Sport also has Emergency Brake Assist and Hill Launch Assist. Also a welcome feature is its dual-zone electronic climate control system.

    When it comes to power and speed, the car seems slow to take off (most likely because I and my passengers had too much to eat at the time) but in higher gears it could go really fast—quick enough to overtake a few cars and some popular SUVs on the road. Floor the gas pedal and you really do get to experience what the Focus Sport is really capable of.

    It has a Duratec 2.0-liter Ti-VCT GDi engine, which means it has twin independent variable camshafts to manage the timing of the intake and exhaust valves separately, and a high-pressure gasoline direct injection system. It delivers 168hp and 202Nm of torque, which did not fail me on long stretches and in overtaking passes over winding roads. Complementing the Focus Sport’s power is its size and maneuverability. Getting from point A to point B is a breeze in this car.

    While driving, I switched on the Ford Sync, a hands-free, voice-activated in-car connectivity system, and told it to play music that’s stored in a USB device I had plugged in. This technology fitted to the Focus Sport allows drivers and passengers to tell the car what music to play, who to call on a mobile phone or even read out some text messages.

    This car really never fails to deliver the future.


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