Ford's new combination of practicality and power
FORD has two new arrivals to welcome here this week.
Their B-MAX compact people carrier is obviously the one with widespread family appeal. However, the scintillating Focus ST is the one many people will dream about driving.
The B-MAX catches the eye because its hinged front and sliding rear doors allow such unhindered access -- the central aperture is 1.5 metres wide.
That is a boon to anyone with smaller children in the back, trying to get child seats in and out etc.
Available on the B-MAX is the SYNC system. This allows voice commands to connect mobile phones and music players by Bluetooth or USB, make hands-free telephone calls, and control music and other functions.
There are two versions: B-MAX and B-MAX Titanium.
Standard equipment includes air-con, 15in steel wheels, global open/closing windows, fold-flat passenger and rear seats, ESP (helps avert skidding) and headlight courtesy delay.
Titanium adds 15in alloys, front fogs, LED daytime running lights and child observation mirror.
The Focus ST has been described as Ford's first truly global performance motor. It has been jointly developed by Ford's RS team in Europe and the US Special Vehicles Team.
It is powered by a 250bhp direct-injection two-litre alloy turbocharged, 4cyl EcoBoost. But fuel consumption isn't bad (7.2l/100km) with emissions of 169g/km.
Standard equipment includes keyless start, sporty Recaro seats, Bluetooth and 18in alloy wheels.
There are two models -- ST and ST2. Prices for the ST start at €35,170 with the ST2 at €37,470.