Ford Focus Cosworth
Celebrating the link of legendary partners
GENEVA, March 9, 1999 - Since Ford Motor Company's acquisition last autumn of its longtime partner Cosworth Racing, performance enthusiasts have been awaiting the return of the Cosworth badge to a special Ford performance car. The Ford Cosworth Focus, a concept exploring that possibility, makes its European debut at the 1999 Geneva International Motor Show.
The Ford Cosworth Focus Concept was inspired by the 1999 Ford Focus World Rally Car (WRC), the legendary successes of Cosworth Racing and the heritage of Ford's performance road cars bearing the Cosworth badge that have earned a special place in the hearts of European motoring enthusiasts.
The concept vehicle has been developed to show the potential forfuture performance versions of the all-new Ford Focus. Since its debut at Geneva in 1998, the Ford Focus range has been launched to worldwide critical acclaim - culminating in the "Car of The Year 1999" title in January.
"Ford Focus has already brought new levels of dynamics and refinement to the C Segment and was the natural candidate to explore Cosworth's continuing road car partnership with Ford," according to Al Kammerer, Ford Focus Vehicle Line Director.
"Ford has a great tradition of providing exciting performance versions of its latest cars," Kammerer said, "and this potential performance application for Ford Focus is a great way to welcome Cosworth Racing into the Ford family."
The Ford Cosworth Focus was created by engineers from Cosworth Racing, in partnership with Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering and Advanced Design centres. In this concept car, the team has developed the stiff, light body structure, outstanding handling, steering and stability of the Ford Focus to demonstrate the performance potential of Ford's all-new C Segment platform.
Ford Special Vehicle Engineering chief engineer John Coletti sees the Ford Cosworth Focus as a "no-compromise sporting saloon".
"With its multi-link independent rear suspension, the Ford Focus provides a sophisticated chassis on which to base such a high-performance car for the enthusiast," Coletti said.
The Ford Cosworth Focus is powered by a Cosworth-developed 2.0-litre turbo-charged and inter-cooled Zetec-E engine which produces more than 200 PS. A standard 5-speed MTX-75 transmission makes for smooth gear-changing and acceleration - but it benefits from the addition of a viscous-coupled, limited-slip differential.
The car features lowered suspension, variable-rate front and rear anti-roll bars, adjustable shock absorbers and larger 14-inch front and 12-inch rear disc brakes with 4-piston calipers. Ultra-low-profile Goodyear 235/40ZR18 Eagle GS tyres mounted on 18-inch OZ magnesium wheels reduce the weight of the car and add to its muscular stance.
Lower body panels and a new front bumper with integral fog lamps further distinguish the sporty exterior of the Ford Cosworth Focus, while the roof-mounted rear spoiler is designed to provide significant downforce at higher speeds.
The sporty theme continues inside the car: the distinctive Ford Focus interior is augmented by Recaro front seats, alloy pedals, steering wheel and gear lever knob, as well as a customised instrument panel.
For now, the Ford Cosworth Focus is a tantalising concept vehicle only. Cosworth Racing and its parent company are quick to point out that there are no immediate production plans for this vehicle, but Ford is not ruling out the possibility that a performance-oriented model could join the Ford Focus range sometime in the future.
The last vehicle in the line of Ford-Cosworth road cars was the Ford Escort Cosworth, which ceased production in 1996.