LIGHT AND STRONG CHARACTERIZE THE ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS BODY STRUCTURE
- The all-new Ford Focus is engineered to exceed global safety standards
- Focus contains more advanced high-strength steel than any previous Ford – more than 55 percent of the structure is made from high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels
- The all-new Focus features a unique tailor rolled B-pillar design with varied thickness for increased strength
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2011 – The new Ford Focus has an exceptionally strong, stiff and light steel body structure that has been engineered to exceed global safety standards.
This body structure, which has been rigorously designed using state-of-the-art computer simulation tools, makes use of advanced high-strength steels and innovative fabrication techniques to minimize body weight while delivering enhanced crash performance, improved vehicle dynamics and superior refinement.
“The new Focus uses more high-strength steels than any previous Ford,” said Jim Hughes, chief nameplate engineer. “These advanced materials help us cut fuel consumption by reducing weight, while still improving the strength and stiffness we need for vehicle safety and dynamics. Innovations like the tailor rolled B-pillar design have enabled us to raise the strength and efficiency of the structure to a new level.”
High-strength steels enhance structural performance
Advanced high-strength steels are used extensively in the all-new Focus body structure. High-strength steels make up more than 55 percent of the body shell, and more than 26 percent of the vehicle’s structure is formed from ultra-high-strength and boron steels – significantly more than any other Ford product.
On average, the yield strength of the steel in the body is 47 percent higher than the current European Focus. The structural integrity of the body shell is also reflected in its torsional rigidity as the new four-door Focus is 30 percent stiffer than the 2011 North American model.
To further enhance dynamics and refinement, engineers have put special emphasis on increasing the local stiffness of the structure at the suspension mounting points. In these areas, the body stiffness has increased by as much as 75 percent.
Innovative B-pillar design increases strength, cuts weight
The advanced design of the new Focus body structure can be illustrated by the B-pillar reinforcement, a key structural part that is made from ultra-high-strength boron steel that has been produced using an innovative tailor rolling process.
The process allows the thickness of the steel sheet to be varied along its length, so the component has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.
The tailor rolled B-pillar in the new Focus has eight different gauge thicknesses to improve side- impact crash performance, while saving more than three pounds per vehicle.
Improved safety structure
Other key design features on the new Ford Focus body structure include:
- Ultra-high-strength boron steel used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rocker panels and door reinforcement beams to help create a passenger cell that manages deformation in a crash – including frontal, side and side pole
- Integrated door opening reinforcement ring and door load paths produced from high- strength steel to resist side intrusion and maintain structural integrity
- High-strength steel front crash structure to efficiently manage high crash forces and maintain good crush behavior, transferring loads in a controlled way to the body side structure via three load paths in the A-pillar, the rockers and the door sill rails
- Very high-strength dual-phase steel used in front crash structure, inner rocker panels and floor crossmembers for increased crash-energy absorption, and to manage the deformation of the passenger cell
- Front chassis subframe that is designed to decouple from the lower body attachment point during a frontal crash event. By reducing the loading, this patented decoupling system reduces deformation in the first-row footwell area
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.