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New Focus gets ESP as standard

Ford's updated Focus will get stability control (ESP), a crucial safety feature, as standard across the range when it goes on sale next month.

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• Prices up by £250
• Further safety improvements
• Hot Focus RS could be coming soon

Ford's updated Focus will get stability control (ESP), a crucial safety feature, as standard across the range when it goes on sale next month.

ESP uses sensors to detect possible skids and applies the anti-lock braking system to prevent the car from sliding.

A tyre-deflation detection device and hazard warning lights that flash during an emergency stop are further additions to the car's safety roster. The Focus has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Prices have risen by £250 across the range - the same as the cost of specifying ESP as an option on the old model.

The heavily restyled Focus also has improved interior trim, revised diesel engines for improved economy and carbon dioxide output, and a host of new gadgets including keyless go, memory card slots, iPod control, digital radios and bluetooth phone connection.

Three- and five-door and estate versions will go on sale in January. A couple of months later, the ultra-low carbon dioxide-emitting Econetic versions will follow, as will Ford's clever new Powershift double clutch gearbox and revised versions of the saloon, coupe-cabriolet and hot ST versions.

You should find it easier to choose which Focus to buy - Ford has cut the variants available from 107 to 82, mostly down to the company dropping Ghia models. Ford says this is because buyers prefer the Titanium trim level.

Ford hasn't forgotten its fast car heritage and says that an RS version of the new car is definitely on the cards. 'Emotionally, we all want to do it,' said a spokesman.