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New Ford Car puts hi-tech in Focus

Ford has launched what it says is the most technologically advanced car in its class, the new Focus.

Starting at £16,000 for the bog-standard, 1.6 petrol engined version, the 1.6 EcoBoost turbo petrol car, powered by Ford's Titanium X engine, loaded with every gadget available and a set of smart 18-inch alloys weighs in at 25 grand according to Thinq.

There are two screens, one in the central dash, the other in the centre console above the audio system, each controlled by a joypad on either side of the steering wheel. As you might expect one controls the car's functions, the other the entertainment.

Much of the inbuilt technology is there to allow leaden footed owners to eke the best fuel mileage out of the already frugal power plants, the most obvious being stop/start technology.

It's nothing new, and available on an increasing number of mid-range cars trying to squeeze under the current EU emissions standards, but it's quite impressive nonetheless.

A gear change indicator tells you exactly when to shift up or down the six -speed manual box for optimum fuel efficiency and Traffic Sign Recognition takes video of the road in front of you and recognises a variety of standard signs including speed limits.

Drift into another lane without indicating and the Lane Departure Warning will let you know.

Try and pull out into a lane while someone is sitting in your blind spot and a little orange light flashes in your wing mirror.

Auto High Beam dips the headlights automatically, Active City Stop will prevent low-speed collisions and Active Grille Shutter cuts the car's emissions by two per cent by routing air away from the radiator intake when it doesn't need it, reducing drag.

Add active cruise control, power steering, climate control, Bluetooth, that 30-pin Apple dock connector and torque balancing, which distributes power to whichever wheel needs it most and you've still only really scratched the surface of what's going on under the skin of the 2011 Ford Focus.