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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford plans performance version of Focus

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Ford plans performance version of Focus

Rick Kranz

Automotive News Europe -- March 2, 2010 06:01 CET

GENEVA -- Ford Motor Co. said it will produce a global performance car based on the re-engineered, restyled Focus.

“You will be seeing an increasingly global approach to both performance and motorsports from Ford in the future,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of product development. Kuzak spoke during a Focus presentation this evening on the eve of the opening of the Geneva auto show.

Previously, Focus performance models were developed and sold regionally. The Focus SVT was developed in the United States and sold for several years, beginning in 2001. In Europe, Ford developed and sold the Focus ST and RS.

Details about the new performance Focus and the time frame for launch will be revealed in the coming months, said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing. Nonperformance models of the new Focus will go on sale in Europe and the United States next year.

Competitors for the performance model may include such vehicles as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza WRX and MazdaSpeed3, Farley said.

Speaking of North America, Farley said the performance Focus is intended to help change the perception of Ford's vehicles.

“Fun to drive -- that is what we stand for in Europe when it comes to passenger cars,” he said. “We are not known for that in the U.S.”

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100302/COPY/303029962/1164#ixzz0h27rISgC

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