In 1998, Ford unleashed the Focus as a replacement for the iconic Escort, the popularity of which had seen it become one of the most ubiquitous sights on Europe's roads for the three preceding decades. With such large boots to fill, it is testament to the design and build of the Focus that it has managed to achieve similar levels of affection among mainstream car buyers.
The Focus, now in its third generation, has had various guises, but is most commonly seen in five-door hatchback form. The car features core elements of Ford's 'kinetic design language' to create a vehicle that appears to be in a state of constant motion, with its swept-back windscreen, and headlights that seem drawn backwards by sheer force of acceleration. As one would expect with a vehicle at the forefront of contemporary design, the car incorporates a number of innovative safety and energy-saving features, such as Torque Vectoring Control, which constantly balances the amount of power going to each front wheel in response to the road surface, resulting in safer cornering.
The Focus has been successfully adapted into formidable rally and touring cars, a fact which has certainly not damaged the prestige of the brand. The Focus is now one of the world's best selling cars, and the inclusion of an electric model in the current range means that Ford have certainly got their eye on keeping it that way over the coming environmentally-conscious years.