The Ford Focus is an affordable compact car that was introduced in North America for the 2000 model year; famously, the Focus was available in Europe for a year or so before that, which contributed to the car’s early mystique. Ford designed the Focus primarily for the European market as a replacement for the Escort, though a few changes were necessary to bring the car across the Atlantic. The early Ford Focus immediately gained popularity within the motorsports community, which has helped inspire and guide the car’s evolution.
The Focus, now in its third generation, has gradually and steadily improved its performance, though American enthusiasts have always eyed the edgier European offerings with envy. When the third generation of the Focus was introduced for the 2011 model year, the two continents’ offerings were more closely aligned. The 2016 Ford Focus has undergone only a few significant changes in recent years, although this year’s lineup features a highly-anticipated new member of the family.