Ford Focus TDCi is only a "big toe"

Ford Thailand has announced the introduction of a diesel Focus to the market, representing the first "affordable" C segment diesel car in Thailand. But, fans of diesel engines needn't get too excited, this is really just Ford testing the water.

The Focus TFCi, featuring Ford's renowned 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo-diesel common-rail injection engine, will only be available in one colour - black - and it will only be available in one configuration with one transmission - a 6-speed manual. So far this is not particularly bad news, is it? A nice 6-speed manual box is part of what allows the car to achieve an impressive fuel usage of just 5.6litres/100km, and at least they choose black for the colour, and not ... pink or lime green.

Focus Diesel

But the biggest drawback to this whole exercise is not the number of gears, or the number of litres per km, but the number of cars that Ford are bringing to Thailand: 35! Thirty-five!! That's it! They are confident that they will sell them all.... erm... I would be too. They'll sell them all quickly!

“The Ford Focus TDCi is a powerhouse of a vehicle, and one that we're proud to feature in our new Ford Focus model line-up,” said Saroj Kiatfuengfoo, senior vice president, Ford Thailand. “It represents our promise to continually introduce Ford vehicles to the Thai market that are exciting, safe and affordable.”

That's great, but you're only giving Thailand 35 of them Mr. Kiafuengfoo!

Pricing will be THB 1,055,000, fractionally more than the top petrol model, and very reasonable when you consider that the engine and gearbox is shipped from Europe for inclusion the assembly in the Philippines. Ford blames this fact for the limited production run, claiming that the demand for the engine is so strong in Europe that they can only spare 35 units for the Thai market. I'm not convinced that this is logical reasoning. Surely if that is all they could muster, they could just forget the idea?

But, wouldn't it be more interesting if Ford were to bung a version of this engine into the Escape?

Text below is from the Ford press release:

TDCi: unmatched performance and best-in-class fuel efficiency and economy
Ford’s advanced Duratorq TDCi technology delivers exceptional performance with peak torque of 320Nm reached at a low 2,000rpm. Maximum power of 100kW is produced at 4,000rpm – showing that the turbo-diesel engine has a wide power band. This helps deliver best-in-class acceleration, responsiveness and a full spectrum of driving dynamics that don't compromise its fuel efficiency.

The Ford Focus TDCi features Variable Nozzle Turbo (VNT) technology, controlled by an engine management and drive-by-wire system that provides quicker engine response and better overall efficiency, plus higher power and torque, without increasing fuel consumption.

The TDCi engine management module operates in conjunction with a host of engine, transmission and steering sensors that provide latest-generation, map-controlled combustion timing that's calibrated for driving refinement.

Superior Driving Dynamics
The Ford Focus is well known for delivering superior driving dynamics. The new Ford Focus model range continues in that tradition, with the TDCi delivering unrivalled stability and control in all conditions. The Control Blade Independent rear suspension absorbs road imperfections while maintaining excellent steering control and increased cornering stability.

The chassis is engineered to isolate running vibration for improved comfort. More so, the chassis offers stability and confidence-enhancing body control to make the Focus reassuring to drive even on coarse roads. Ford's TDCi diesel technology takes the vehicle’s refinement to a new high and is key to eliminating the harshness often associated with diesel engines, while also providing a cleaner, smoother and quieter ride.

“The refinement is the first thing you will notice with the Ford Focus. With our new six-speed manual transmission, Thai drivers will experience the outstanding engine responsiveness delivered by the TDCi engine,” explained Saroj.

In addition, Ford has integrated a range of safety features into the Focus to ensure comfort and safety for all passengers. These include an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic braking distribution (EBD), which enable the driver to maximize braking ability without loss of control in any condition.

European Design with Enhanced Modern Style
Exterior door mirrors incorporating a turn indicator are standard on all models, and a new front bumper has been incorporated across the range. The new fog lamp design adds to the stunning new look of the Ford Focus, and a prominent alloy wheel design further differentiates the freshened range with a sporty look that reflects its impressive performance.

A refined interior with high-quality materials provides a touch of class with the new Ford Focus, and power adjustable seats offer greater comfort. A stylish control panel is carefully designed to allow drivers to see all important information clearly. As in its previous generation, the new Focus offers dual zone auto air conditioning system.

The New Ford Focus Model Line-up
The special edition 5-door Focus TDCi joins the impressive petrol-engine line-up heading to Thailand. The petrol range includes 1.8L and 2.0L engines. The 1.8L Finesse is available in both 4-door and 5-door versions, and 2.0L is available in the 4-door Ghia and 5-door Sport versions.

The Focus 1.8L delivers 125PS at 6,000rpm, and peak torque of 165Nm at 4,000rpm. The 2.0L produces 145PS at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 185Nm at 4,500 rpm. Important for the Thai consumer, all Ford Focus petrol models are E20 capable.