Ford is busy preparing its fourth-generation Focus for a presumed 2019 launch, with the small car this time snapped whilst being evaluated by engineers in southern Europe.
Predictably, the five-door development mule is covered up in camouflage with fake body panels to trick prying eyes, but its interior has been spotted successfully for the first time.
If the cabin looks familiar, safe to say it is because its centre stack design has been pinched straight from the seventh-gen Fiesta light car – which is yet to be confirmed for an Australian release.
The carmaker's touchscreen 'Sync3' multimedia system features prominently on top of the dashboard, while the button layout below has been simplified significantly.
Interestingly, the instrument panel has been completely blacked-out, hinting that digital instrumentation – which debuted on the GT supercar and forthcoming Mustang facelift – might be coming to Focus. Previous images also revealed that a head-up display may end up on the options list, too.
Several overseas reports suggest the next Focus will have all-new underpinnings.
Additionally, the interior is also likely to benefit from the new model's increased dimensions – especially its noticeably longer length and wheelbase – which would result in more cabin space including legroom.
Several overseas reports suggest the next Focus will have all-new underpinnings, but it remains unclear if Ford will instead employ an evolution of its current hardware. Nevertheless, the larger wheelbase appears to indicate the former.
Styling-wise, the small car should be instantly familiar thanks to the latest development in its established design language, with the spy shots indicating that a sleeker body is on the cards.
Powertrain choices are all expected to be turbocharged, with the Blue Oval's family of 'EcoBoost' engines said to proliferate range-wide.
This means that a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with around 103kW of power should propel entry-level variants internationally.
Furthermore, a larger 1.5-litre triple that produces between 110kW and 147kW is also supposedly set to be a starter for European markets at the least.
The RS halo model is almost certain to blast back into action, but it will presumably be quite late to the party again.
Meanwhile, the Focus ST will reportedly return, packing an estimated 202kW punch from a downsized 1.5-litre four-potter, which represents an increase of 18kW over its predecessor's 2.0-litre powerplant.
Hot hatch enthusiasts may also be treated to the introduction of adaptive dampers into the ST line-up, with the performance-focused feature potentially trickling down from the aforementioned Mustang update and current-gen Focus RS.
Speaking of which, the RS halo model is almost certain to blast back into action, but it will presumably be quite late to the party again given the existing version arrived five years after the third-gen Focus first lobbed.
Anticipated to break cover next year, the new Focus could make a public debut as soon as the Detroit motor show in January, with an Aussie on-sale date likely to be pencilled in for sometime during 2019.
The existing model has been on sale locally since August 2011, while a mid-life facelift was introduced in September 2015.