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Ford Focus successor available September 2004

Cologne, Germany. Ford will unveil its Focus successor at the Geneva auto show in March 2004.

But production of the next Focus won't start until the following summer. The conversion of the production lines will start in August and by September 2004 the new version of the compact model will be available at German car dealers.

Both the five-door and sporty three-door versions will be launched at the same time. The station wagon and the hatchback version will be available starting in April 2005.

Later in the year the Focus convertible -- a two-seater on a slightly shortened platform -- will go on sale. Ford has not decided yet if the convertible will have a cost-efficient soft top or a more expensive folding metal hard top.

Separately, Ford is upgrading its diesel engines. Starting in September the Mondeo will be available with a Euro 4 version of the 130hp TDCi. An adjustment to the electric turbocharger has improved the torque curve.

Ford is developing a 2.3-liter engine with approximately 150hp that will be available starting in early 2004.

And this month the Fiesta will add a 68hp diesel engine combined with the semi-automatic Durashift-EST transmission.

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