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2002 Focus ZX5 Five-Door Arrives In North America

TORONTO, ON, February 14, 2001 - Ford Focus, the best-selling car in the world, is poised for even greater popularity when the new, 2002 five-door ZX5 model arrives this fall at Ford showrooms across Canada and the United States.

The Focus ZX5 made its North American debut today at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

"With a three-door, a four-door sedan, a wagon and now a five-door Focus, Ford offers customers in North America a comprehensive line-up of world-class small cars all with Focus' fundamental fun-to-drive, easy to own character," said Martin Inglis, vice president, Ford North America Consumer Business Group. "Focus ZX5 is aimed at those who love the edgy styling, solid performance and handling of ZX3, but need the functionality of four doors with versatile seating and a rear hatch."

Signals a resurgence in the popularity of five-door models "In fact," Inglis added, "we believe a resurgence in the popularity of the versatile, stylish five-door could well be in the cards for the North American market, where a growing number of today's new generation of buyers seem to be developing a real taste for the 21st century's take on this bodystyle. Perhaps it's because today's buyers have become so accustomed to the shape and functionality of SUVs and minivans.

"With our new ZX5, we're at the forefront of this trend, establishing another benchmark within the Focus lineup."

Focus offers a high level of standard and optional comfort and convenience features. The actual design of the car helps overcome some customers' perception of comprised comfort in a small car. The long wheelbase and the high roofline design of Focus provide impressive interior roominess for up to five passengers and their cargo. 60/40 rear seats can fold flat against the floor to accommodate surprisingly large objects.

In Europe, where the three-door, four-door sedan, wagon and five-door are all marketed, the five door is the most popular model in the Focus lineup.

Continues to broaden Focus appeal In both the U.S. and Canada, the new ZX5 is expected to have broad appeal, including filling the gap with 30-something buyers who like the fashion-forward look of the design and need four doors. In the U.S., 25 percent of Focus buyers are under 25, and 45 percent are under 35. In Canada, where small cars account for two-thirds of the car market, Focus appeals across a broad demographic range, including more youthful buyers that ever.

Outstanding performance A 2.0L dual overhead cam Zetec 4-cylinder engine - standard on ZX5, ZX3 and ZTS and optional on Focus Sedan SE and Wagon SE - delivers 130 horsepower and 135 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Zetec engine delivers power to the front wheels via standard, crisp-shifting five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transaxle is optional.

Superb driving dynamics The ZX5's distinct, New Edge design, with sculpted body panels and taut character lines, provides a visual cue to the car's fun-to-drive character.

The front suspension incorporates zero offset geometry, to improve stability, and MacPherson struts for better steering feel. ZX5's fully independent Control Blade multi-link rear suspension - rare in this segment and price range - has already won over many driving enthusiasts who find it stable in corners and on rough, twisty roads.

For extra confidence in difficult driving conditions like snow, rain or sleet, the available ControlTracTM integrated vehicle dynamic (IVD) system monitors input from seven different sensors 150 times per second to ensure the car stays on its intended course. At the first sign of deviation, the system intervenes by either braking the appropriate wheel and/or throttling back engine power, to return the car to the driver's intended path.

"Since Focus was launched in 1999 (as a 2000 model) in North America, consumers and automotive writers alike have asked us to bring in the five-door model from Europe," said Inglis. "The 2002 Focus ZX5 is tangible proof that we're connecting with consumers in the very competitive small car market."

The Focus ZX5 will be manufactured in Hermosillo, Mexico and pricing will be announced closer to introduction.
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