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Ford Australia has quietly introduced a new base model Focus, called Ambiente and priced from $23,490, plus on-road costs.
However, searching for the new grade of Focus has returned very little - the Ambiente is not on Ford’s Australian website, nor does the company actually acknowledge its existence, just yet.
According to Ford Australia spokesperson Damion Smy, the Focus Ambiente “is not a core part of our retail line-up, so therefore there are no plans to publish any information on it.”
Aimed at fleets then, the Focus Ambiente exists (as confirmed to CarsGuide by a number of Ford dealers). Priced from $23,490, plus on-road costs, the Ambiente replaces the upper models’ 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with a 90kW/150Nm naturally aspirated version of the same unit.
A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission available for now - a six-speed manual has been homologated for Australia if Ford sees the need - and unlike the regular Focus’ rotary dial, it uses a regular gear selector.
Standard equipment on the Focus Ambiente is reasonable for the price, with six airbags, a reversing camera, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels and the same 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
The more expensive Trend then adds the turbo engine with an eight-speed auto, semi-auto air-conditioning, satellite navigation, different 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, and different trimmings.
Just two options are available for the Ambiente: a $300 'Convenience Package' with automatic headlights and wipers, follow-me-home headlights and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, as well as $650 premium paint.
The Ambiente marks the second addition to the initial Focus range, with the $29,990 Focus Active now part of the range as the faux-SUV member of the line-up. The ST hot hatch will be added early next year.