Ford has launched the Zetec-S, a new variant of the Focus developed specifically for UK buyers. The company has for some years attempted to simplify its global operations by offering the same models around the world under its “One Ford” programme, but occasionally it has to make the odd concession to local market tastes, and the new model is an example of this.
The Zetec-S is aimed at buyers looking for a sportier option and provides more equipment than the big-selling Zetec model, including a body styling kit, 17-inch alloy wheels and sports suspension which is up to 28% stiffer than the standard set-up. Among the optional equipment offered is the Zetec-S Interior Pack, which consists of part-leather seats, a powered driver's seat and other trim items.
The Zetec-S is offered with a wide range of diesel and petrol engines, but the most notable is a new 180 horsepower 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine, which is smooth and quick, although buyers looking for a genuinely sporty Focus will probably want to wait until the long-awaited ST model arrives next year. The Zetec-S with the 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine will cost £20,495; petrol Zetec-S models start at £18,745 (1.6-litre non-turbo with 125 horsepower) while diesels start at £19,845 for the 1.6 TDCI. These prices are £1,250 higher than those for the corresponding Zetec models but the Zetec-S's additional equipment is worth considerably more.
Ford has also introduced a new entry-level version of the Focus which may help it see off the increasingly strong competition from Skoda, Kia and Hyundai. The Studio, which is priced from £13,995 has a 1.6-litre petrol engine delivering 85 horsepower and also offers air conditioning as standard.