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Old 11-12-2006, 06:55 PM   #1
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Exclusive Video and Spy Photos: 2008 Ford Focus*

2008 Ford Focus gets infusion of style
By Ed Hellwig Email | Blog

Date posted: 11-09-2006

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After years of being ignored in the compact segment, the 2008 Ford Focus is hoping to grab some attention with an all-new look. Our latest spy video and photos show various prototypes of the upcoming Ford Focus being tested on the streets of Michigan.

Unlike the European Ford Focus which now rides on an all-new platform, the 2008 Ford Focus in the U.S. will remain on its current chassis. Most of the changes for next year will be cosmetic, with a new three-bar grille up front similar to the larger Ford Fusion midsize sedan. A new character line down each side will give the profile a slightly different look while reshaped taillights spruce up the rear.

If there's any big news with this Focus refresh, it's the introduction of a new coupe body style similar to the old Ford Escort ZX2. Unlike the current Focus ZX3 hatchback, the new coupe has a traditional trunk, that cuts down on overall utility in favor of a sleeker profile. There's no word yet whether the coupe will be positioned as the high-performance model of the lineup, but the prototypes look as though they have higher-spec wheel and tire combinations than the sedans.

No changes under the hood are expected. Base models will most likely continue with the 130-horsepower 2.0-liter Duratec while upgraded models will get the 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 151 hp. These new models might also provide an opportunity for Ford to highlight the PZEV version of the 2.0-liter Duratec, which is one of the cleanest gas engines on the market.

Look for these new Focus models to make their official debut at the Detroit auto show in early January.

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