Ford Focus C-MAX In Detail | Part Eight

New Durashift Six-Speed Manual Transmission

The new 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi will come standard with a new six-speed manual transmission, which has been designed to enhance the driving quality of the Focus C-MAX even further. The new six-speed gearbox, codenamed MMT6, is a product of the joint venture between Ford and Getrag (GETRAG FORD Transmissions GmbH), and is also offered on the latest Ford Mondeo models.

The MMT6 manual transmission is perfectly matched to the 320 Nm (235 lb-ft) of torque output from Focus C-MAX’s premium 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. It combines in-gear performance, flexibility and top speed potential with improved fuel economy, and brings even greater refinement to the Focus C-MAX common-rail powertrain, because reduced engine revs at cruising speed result in quieter operation.

The new transmission is a major contributor to Focus C-MAX’s premium driving environment via the car’s instrument panel-mounted gear lever. Crisp and accurate, Focus C-MAX’s fun-to-drive shifting quality has been achieved through the engineering of a refined shift mechanism.

The 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi and the 1.8-litre Duratec are fitted with Ford’s proven MTX75 five-speed manual, which has been optimised specially for the vehicle.

Maximum Control – Dynamics and Chassis
The new Focus C-MAX does for its segment what the Ford Focus did for the European compact car segment when it was first introduced. It brings a level of driving quality that will change customer expectations of what a car like this can be.

Ford engineers gave Focus C-MAX a longer wheelbase (by 25 mm) and wider track (by 40 mm) than other Focus models. The vehicle’s body structure was optimised for stiffness to Focus standards despite its larger size, thus giving the Focus C-MAX’s vehicle dynamics team freedom to fine-tune the front and rear suspension systems to meet or even slightly exceed the Focus in terms of stability, precision, road noise and comfort.

The chassis features heavier-duty components and incorporates some features found previously only on larger cars. These combine to produce Focus C-MAX’s special handling, steering and braking capabilities:

  • The front subframe is completely new, with many front components optimised for stiffness and to carry more front-end weight.
  • Front body-mount bushes have been improved to help filter out road noise and rumble for a more refined and comfortable ride, but also to enhance the vehicle’s overall driving dynamics.
  • A stiffer front lower control arm bushing is designed to optimise Focus C-MAX’s steering responsiveness and suspension control stability.
  • A new rear subframe features a higher weight-load ratio capability.
  • Ford’s Control Blade rear suspension is designed to ensure optimal cornering precision through inherently high stiffness, while allowing for good longitudinal compliance for superior impact absorption. The system features enhancements designed to ensure stable handling combined with comfort and surprising agility for a car in this segment. For interior comfort and enhanced control of road noise, engineers have introduced a newly specified Control Blade bush.
  • Roll stiffness – the body’s resistance against leaning during manoeuvres – is optimised in the new Focus C-MAX and contributes especially to the vehicle’s dynamic qualities. Despite being taller and heavier, the body roll angle at a given lateral acceleration is equal to that of any other Focus. This special trait, and further reductions in friction, convey confidence to the driver and contribute to Focus C-MAX’s intuitive, fun-to-drive nature.
  • Ford’s classic attention to detail included the application of a new double-ball-joint rear anti-roll bar mount and spring link.
continues... | Part Nine
Published 25 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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