All-New Ford Focus Body Structure Is Lighter, Stronger And Safer
- Engineered to exceed toughest global safety standards
- More advanced high-strength steel than any previous Ford – over 55 percent of the structure made from high strength and ultra-high strength steels
- Innovative ‘tailor rolled’ B pillar design with varied thickness for optimum strength
PRETORIA, South Africa, 12 July 2011 – The all-new Focus has an exceptionally strong, stiff and light steel bodyshell which has been engineered to exceed the toughest global safety standards.
The body structure, which has been rigorously optimised using state-of-the-art computer simulation tools, makes use of advanced high strength steels and innovative fabrication technique to minimise body weight while delivering enhanced crash performance, improved vehicle dynamics and superior refinement.
Advanced high-strength steels are used extensively in the all-new Focus body shell. High-strength steels comprise 55 percent of the body shell, and more than 26 percent of the vehicle’s structure is formed from ultra-high-strength and Boron steels – significantly more than any other Ford product.
On average, the yield strength of the steel in the body is 47 percent higher than the current Focus. The structural integrity of the body shell is also reflected in its torsional rigidity: the all-new 5-door Focus is 15 percent stiffer than the current model.
To further enhance dynamics and refinement, engineers put special attention on increasing the local stiffness of the structure at the suspension mounting points. In these areas, the body stiffness has increased by as much as 75 percent.
The advanced design of the Focus body structure can be illustrated by the B pillar reinforcement, a key structural part which is made from ultra-high strength Boron steel and includes a steel sheet, the thickness of which varies along its length, so that the part has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.
The B pillar reinforcement in the all-new Focus has eight different gauges, ranging from 1.35 to 2.70 mm, and in addition to optimising side impact crash performance, the new design saves 1.4 kg in weight per vehicle.
Other key design features on the all-new Focus body structure include:
- Ultra-high strength Boron steel used in the A pillars, B pillars, rocker panels and door reinforcement beams to create an extremely rigid passenger cell that minimises deformation in a crash – including side, side pole and roof crush impacts.
- Integrated door opening reinforcement ring and door load paths produced from high strength steel to resist side intrusion and maintain structural integrity.
- High strength steel front crash structure to efficiently manage high crash forces and maintain good crush behaviour, transferring loads in a controlled way to the body side structure via three load paths in the A pillar, the rockers and the door waist rails.
- Very high strength dual-phase steel used in front crash structure, inner rocker panels and floor cross members for maximum crash energy absorption, and to maintain integrity of the passenger cell.
- Front chassis subframe which is designed to de-couple from the lower body attachment point during a frontal crash event. By reducing the loading, this patented de-coupling system avoids deformation in the passenger cell footwell area.
All-New Ford Focus Safety Systems Meet Toughest Global Standards
- Enhanced Ford Intelligent Protection System in the all-new Focus engineered to exceed toughest global safety standards
- Body structure and restraint systems subjected to comprehensive testing, including 80 vehicle crash tests and 2 500 full vehicle CAE simulations
- Advanced restraint systems with innovative next generation airbag design
The all-new Focus features the latest enhanced Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) which integrates next-generation restraint system technologies with an optimised high-strength body structure.
To ensure that the all-new Focus exceeds the toughest global safety standards, it has been subjected to a comprehensive testing and development programme, including 80 vehicle crash tests and 2 500 full vehicle CAE simulations.
Designed to achieve the highest safety performance in its segment, the all-new Focus IPS has been developed as a closely integrated system, so that the body structure absorbs energy highly effectively during a crash and works closely in conjunction with the vehicle’s restraint systems to protect the occupants.
The enhanced Ford IPS restraint system in the all-new Focus includes individual single stage front airbags and 3D side thorax airbags for the driver and front passenger, and standard side curtain airbags for the first and second row seats (standard on Sport models).
The driver’s front airbag is an innovative next-generation design which features enhanced chest protection technology designed to help reduce driver chest and rib injuries.
This next-generation airbag technology is designed to provide enhanced chest protection through the use of a reconfigured curved-shaped tether that pulls in the lower section of the airbag to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs. The feature is expected to be particularly beneficial for older, more injury-prone drivers.
Introduced for the first time in the all-new Focus, the tethering technology in the airbag will roll out to many other Ford vehicles in the coming years.
The front passenger airbag design is also enhanced, featuring adaptive venting technology that reduces the risk of injury by diverting some of the gas from the airbag through a side vent during the crash event.
The restraint system in the Focus is complemented by other optimised interior safety features. Ford’s horizontal stroking steering column helps to reduce loads on the occupant’s head and chest by stroking away from the driver in the event of a high speed frontal impact.
This is combined with a revised instrument panel design which provides optimised compliance, helping to protect the occupants’ legs if they contact the instrument panel during a crash.
The front seats are fitted with more effective retractor pretensioners, providing increased retraction travel, along with belt load limiters.
All-New Ford Focus – Enhanced Safety Inside And Outside
- Comprehensive approach to occupant and pedestrian safety
- Innovative features to improve safety for children passengers, including power child locks
- Protection from allergies thanks to unique development and certification approach
The all-new Focus is engineered to protect its occupants with outstanding levels of active and passive safety. The all-new Focus features a comprehensive suite of advanced active safety technologies to help the driver maintain safe control of the vehicle and avoid collision situations.
A state-of-the-art Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) system is at the heart of many of the active safety features, and uses intelligent logic to monitor the vehicle’s progress and apply effective – and often imperceptible – intervention when required.
Enhanced safety for the all-new Focus goes beyond superior crash performance, and embraces a comprehensive approach to occupant and pedestrian safety.
This commitment to the wellbeing of passengers and pedestrians extends to measures to protect children in the vehicle, a unique approach to eliminating potentially allergenic materials from the interior, and a range of features to improve pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian protection was a key consideration in the detailed design of all elements of the front-end, particularly in the design of the bumper and bonnet, the front structure, and the layout of the engine compartment.
A notable feature introduced specifically to improve pedestrian protection is a new dual motor windscreen wiper system, which allows the main elements of the motors and wiper mechanism to be moved to a safer position away from the centre of the vehicle.
The body structure also incorporates a new ‘soft’ cowl design, which has been carefully engineered to reduce the effect of impacts at the base of the windscreen.
The safety of rear seat passengers in the all-new Focus is crucial and has been given equal consideration to that of front seat occupants. Three-point safety belts are fitted to all rear seat positions, while the outer pair of seats has provision for ISOFIX mountings to secure child safety seats.
Another feature to improve safety for children travelling in the rear seats is the Power Child Lock function, which allows the driver to electronically activate or release the rear-door child locks via a simple control switch. Compared to conventional mechanical child locks which are inconvenient to use, the electronic system will encourage drivers to activate the child locks more often, thus improving safety for children travelling in the rear seats.
The power child locks are operated by a switch in the driver’s door panel, which also controls the rear power-window deactivation function. The locks are automatically disengaged in the event of an accident.
To safeguard the health and wellbeing of all occupants, the all-new Focus is the latest Ford product to have been developed with a special attention to optimising interior air quality and eliminating any allergenic materials.