Ford Focus Earns IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’

2009 Ford FocusThe 2009 Ford Focus coupe delivers up to 35 mpg and features six standard air bags, standard ABS and available stability control – features that helped it earn a “Top Safety Pick” award from IIHS. Focus will be among the first vehicles to offer MyKey, which allows parents to limit the top speed and radio volume, and set other limits, when their teen is driving.

The 2009 Focus uses high strength steel throughout its structure, is loaded with six standard airbags – including side curtains and seat-mounted air bags – and comes with new front seats designed to perform well in dynamic rear impact collisions.

The Focus’ front seats are designed to help reduce the risk of soft tissue neck injuries, commonly referred to as “whiplash,” by keeping the occupant in the proper position in the event of a rear collision. The head restraint and seatback work together to maintain the occupant’s alignment by supporting the head, neck and torso. This helps manage the crash forces and minimizes the chances of whiplash-type injuries.

Focus features Ford’s fully integrated, computer-driven Personal Safety System(TM), which employs nearly a dozen technologically advanced components. It analyzes different frontal crash conditions and deploys the appropriate occupant protection systems for the specific crash conditions.

A new option for 2009 is electronic stability control (ESC), which uses sophisticated sensors and the anti-lock braking system to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle under a variety of driving conditions.

MyKey Promotes Teen Safety

Later this summer, Ford will begin rolling out its innovative MyKey technology, which is designed to help parents encourage their teen-agers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety-belt usage.

The feature will debut as standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. It allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage by muting the audio system until front occupants buckle up.

SYNC Helps Drivers Remain Focused

Also setting the Focus coupe apart from other small cars is Ford’s industry-exclusive SYNC technology, which is standard equipment on the SES and SEL series and optional on the SE. Ford SYNC, introduced first on the 2008 Focus, is a fully integrated, voice-activated communications and entertainment system allowing customers to operate their Bluetooth(R)-enabled cell phones and digital media players with voice commands.

Recent Ford telematics research shows that Ford SYNC hands-free system significantly reduces the level of distraction when drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 player compared with the same operations with hand-held cell phones and music players. For example, reading a text message on a handheld phone typically took the driver’s eyes off the road for 11 seconds compared to about 2 seconds when listening to the text message with SYNC’s text-to-speech output.

Ford’s research is consistent with a prior Virginia Tech and the U.S. Department of Transportation study, which concluded that manually dialing a handheld device – a task that requires glancing away from the road – while driving was almost 2.8 times riskier than normal driving. However, the on-the-road study showed that talking/listening on a hands-free phone while driving was no riskier than normal driving.

Bumper to Bumper Compatibility

Ford continues to build safety into small cars while leading industry efforts to make the bumper structures of larger vehicles such as crossovers, SUVs and pickups more crash compatible with the bumpers of smaller vehicles, including the 2009 Focus.

Ford was the first to market with crash structures to make passenger cars, such as the Focus, more compatible with SUVs. Product design revisions make both types of vehicles more resistant to damage and less likely to cause damage in low-speed crashes.

Fuel Efficient Focus

The 2009 Focus Coupe is equipped with a 2.0-liter, Duratec 20 dual-overhead-cam (DOHC), I-4 engine that delivers 143 horsepower when combined with a five-speed manual transmission and 140 horsepower when paired with a four-speed automatic transmission.

Also available is a super-clean, 130-horsepower Duratec 20E engine that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in California emissions states. The 20E’s tailpipe emissions are cleaner than some hybrid gas-electric vehicles’. The Duratec 20 and 20E in Focus Coupe are mated to a five-speed manual transmission and achieve EPA-estimated fuel economy of 35 mpg highway.

“The Focus is another example of how Ford is leading the way in enhancing safety and saving fuel; a commitment backed up the most top crash safety ratings and leading fuel economy with each new vehicle,” Sue Cischke, Ford Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

“The two-door Focus’s crash test performance shows that a high level of protection can come in a small package,” Steve Kozak, Chief Engineer, Ford Safety Systems.

One comment

  • June 12, 2011 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I love this car, great looking, tough, enjoy to ride, and also good economy in fuel. And now, you give information of it has been proven as a safe cars.
    The main weakness of this car is just little underpower and “not good enough” engine, not same with they claim when promote it. But in overall this is very good car especially for people who has a good test drive.

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