The new Ford Focus, set to go on sale from the second half of 2014, marks the arrival of a subtle new look, a new interior, the next version of Ford’s Sync in-car technology, and a new EcoBoost engine.

The exterior design has been tweaked with a new sculpted bonnet, slimmer headlights and a new grille that echoes that of the Fiesta and Mondeo.

The rear of the Focus, meanwhile, has a revised tailgate plus thinner tail lights.

The interior has seen the most revisions, with a reduced button count on both steering wheel and centre console, plus new trim to create a more modern look.

The Focus also marks the debut of Ford’s new Sync 2 in-car connectivity system, which now boasts a larger 8-inch colour touch-screen to provide access to audio, navigation and climate functions.

The Focus is often regarded as a driver’s car, and Ford say they’ve worked hard to ensure this remains the case.

Ford’s engineers have increased the structural stiffness of the Focus, particularly at the front, and revised the suspension geometry and retuned the dampers to take advantage of the stiffer platform.

Changes to the electric power steering are said to provide more feel, while the Electronic Stability Programme has been updated.

Other electronic systems include a new Perpendicular Parking system that provides a hands-free method of parking between other cars.  It uses ultrasonic sensors to detect available spaces and can reverse into them automatically, leaving the driver to operate the accelerator and brake only.

These same sensors also allow Ford to introduce a Cross Traffic Alert system to warn of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking space, and a new Park-Out Assist that makes driving out of a parallel parking space easier.

Ford’s other driver aids, such as Active City Stop – which can now apply the brakes to avoid a collision from speeds of up to 50 km/h – and Pre-Collision Assist will also be available, together with an updated version of the company’s Adaptive Cruise Control.

An improved version of the Adaptive Front Lighting System will also feature: it adjusts the output of the bi-xenon headlights to one of seven settings depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and the distance to objects in front.  On motorways, for instance, the beam pattern projects further and straighter, whereas at town speeds the beam spreads out.

The new Focus will be the first Ford in Europe to be offered with a new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in both 150PS and 180PS forms.

Also new is a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel with 95PS and 120PS.  The existing 1.0-litre EcoBoost with 100PS and 125PS will continue to be available, plus a new version with sub-99 g/km CO2 emissions.

Following next year will be PowerShift automatic models with a 120PS 1.5-litre diesel and 1.0-litre EcoBoost.

Much of the engine range has been revised for greater economy and reduced emissions, with some models recording up to a 19% improvement.

The full engine line-up is available below:

1.0L EcoBoost petrol100 PSfive-speed manual
1.0L EcoBoost petrol125 PSsix-speed manual
1.0L EcoBoost petrol125 PSsix-speed automatic (2015)
1.5L EcoBoost petrol150 PSsix-speed manual
1.5L EcoBoost petrol150 PSsix-speed automatic (2015)
1.5L EcoBoost petrol180 PSsix-speed manual
1.5L EcoBoost petrol180 PSsix-speed automatic (2015)
1.6L TI-VCT petrol85 PSfive-speed manual
1.6L TI-VCT petrol105 PSfive-speed manual
1.6L TI-VCT petrol125 PSsix-speed PowerShift automatic
1.5L ECOnetic diesel105 PSsix-speed manual
1.5L TDCi diesel120 PSsix-speed PowerShift automatic  (2015)
1.6L TDCi diesel95 PSsix-speed manual
1.6L TDCi diesel115 PSsix-speed manual
2.0L TDCi diesel150 PSsix-speed manual
2.0L TDCi diesel150 PSsix-speed PowerShift automatic
Electric145 PSsingle-speed automatic