/>

2012 Ford Focus to feature Internet connectivity

Ford is set to upgrade its Focus range with next-gen cabin tech that lets you surf the Internet as you drive, and it's all possible thanks to the Ford Sync infotainment system.

Rory Reid
1main.jpg
1 of 6

Heads up, geeks -- Ford is set to upgrade its Focus range with next-gen cabin tech that lets you surf the Internet as you drive.

Surfing the Web will be possible thanks to the magic of the Ford Sync infotainment system, which comprises some fancy Windows Embedded Automotive gubbins, an on-board Wi-Fi adaptor and a pair of USB ports nestling in the centre console.

To take advantage of the feature, users will simply have to slot a 3G wireless dongle into an empty USB port and tweak a few settings on the car's in-dash display. Then the 3G data signal from the dongle will fill the cabin for passengers to share on their wireless devices.

The signal's pretty strong, too. We were able to pick up the network from well over 30m away, so, if you're the caring, sharing type, you can allow others in your convoy to get online, too.

Anyone that doesn't have a Wi-Fi dongle needn't fret. The Focus also supports tethering, which means it'll share the 3G data connection on your mobile phone so that you can use other external devices over Wi-Fi. All you need is a mobile that supports Bluetooth, a mobile-data contract, and some sort of gadget to surf on.

Those without external gadgets can get involved, too. The Focus will let you surf the Web on its integrated 8-inch display without the help of a 3G dongle or mobile phone. To use it, simply pull up to a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot (Starbucks, your mate's house, or whatever), fire up the in-car browser and you're good to go.

Sadly, the browser wasn't available on the European model we tested. But it does exist on US cars, and Ford expects it to be available on European models when, or soon after, the car launches in March or April 2011.

According to Ford, its browser, which has been developed in-house, will feature tabbed page navigation, Flash support and bookmark browsing that lets users easily revisit pages. Ford says it'll be easy to operate, too, as it recognises 'drag' gestures that trigger vertical or horizontal scrolling.

The 2012 Focus' Internet connectivity offers users a wealth of new entertainment possibilities. In addition to listening to CDs, iPods and music stored on USB keys, users will also be able to access streaming music services, such as Spotify, and watch streaming video services, such as YouTube or iPlayer, in the car, although these services can only be accessed on the car's integrated display while the vehicle is parked. Passengers who wish to enjoy these services on the move will have to do so on an external device.

We can't begin to tell you how excited we are about this feature and Ford Sync in general. Americans have been enjoying it for months now, so it's about time us Europeans got some loving, too. If you want to learn more, take a gander through our photo gallery above, and then have a read of our full 2012 Ford Focus ST preview.

The future is almost here, friends.

1aa.jpg
2 of 6
Slide your 3G dongle into one of the car's two USB ports and you're ready to rock. You can also tether your mobile phone via Bluetooth or simply pull up outside a building with Wi-Fi.
1a.jpg
3 of 6
Here, we've picked up the Wi-Fi network with an SSID of 'MyFord Yellow Focus'. Drivers can customise the SSID to whatever they please and specify whether the network is open or secured.
3.jpg
4 of 6
Ford plans to launch an in-dash browser.
2.jpg
5 of 6
Ford Sync will be available on all 2012 Focus models, including this sporty ST model.
4a.jpg
6 of 6
The 2012 cars will go on sale from early 2011.

More Galleries

2022 Ford Maverick: This super-affordable hybrid pickup could be a gamechanger

More Galleries

2022 Ford Maverick: This super-affordable hybrid pickup could be a gamechanger

66 Photos
Nintendo Switch: The 36 best games to play in 2021

More Galleries

Nintendo Switch: The 36 best games to play in 2021

37 Photos
Toyota Land Cruiser J300 flagship is now forbidden fruit

More Galleries

Toyota Land Cruiser J300 flagship is now forbidden fruit

17 Photos
2022 Lexus NX crossover looks better inside and out

More Galleries

2022 Lexus NX crossover looks better inside and out

54 Photos
Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

More Galleries

Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

16 Photos
New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

More Galleries

New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

65 Photos
2022 Ford Maverick base still makes a strong case

More Galleries

2022 Ford Maverick base still makes a strong case

6 Photos