Ford Focus undergoes altitude testing
The new Ford Focus family hatchback has been spotted in the Swiss Alps during extensive testing after first being revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
It is no normal testing for Ford engineers, however. The camouflaged Focus, whose current generation model is the best-selling family hatchback in the UK, is being tested in low oxygen, around tight corners and on steep gradients.
Engineers will drive the vehicle up 200km of hills, testing both the petrol and diesel versions of the new Ford Focus.
Ford vehicle integration engineer Bernd Herweling said: “We use the first section for our test which is the biggest climb. It’s pretty much a constant 12 per cent gradient all the way up to the 2,400 metre mark. Up there the air is a lot thinner so the engine has to work harder. It’s a long route which allows us to generate a lot of data."
The as-yet unrevealed engines are tested at extreme temperatures during testing and the Focus is tested to ensure the latest generation has the same nimble and responsive handling as the outgoing model.
Describing the Focus as ‘as surefooted as a mountain goat’, the engineers are confident the new Focus will be able to cope with anything customers can throw at it.
The Ford Focus will be available to buy in the UK in 2011.