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Ford Focus’s New Electric Retractable Tow Bar is a Fast Hit with Customers; Technology Coming to More Models

Hitching a trailer, small caravan or tow bar-mounted bicycle rack to a Ford Focus has until recently meant choosing a permanent fixed ball tow bar or a manually detachable tow bar.

Now a new solution is outselling both – just months after first going on the market.

The segment-first, simple-to-use Ford Electric Retractable Tow Bar automatically stores itself out of sight below the Focus rear bumper when not in use, to retain the model’s sleek looks and avoid any parking difficulties.

“Some Focus customers love or need the functionality a tow bar offers and the opportunity it provides to engage in increasingly popular outdoor activities,” said Kurt Reinhold, brand coordinator, Ford of Europe. “But they are also passionate about keeping their Focus looking the way it is – so that, when not in use, the tow bar is not visible.”

The Focus, offering a braked towing capacity of up to 1,500kg, is the first small family car to offer the technology. Less than seven months after going on the market, sales have already overtaken those of fixed ball and manually retractable tow bars. Ford is now planning to extend the technology to other models including Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy.

Available for all Focus body styles, the tow bar includes a 13-pin socket to support lighting and ancillary systems found on modern trailers and caravans that is connected to the car’s battery to ensure a reliable power supply.

The Ford Electric Retractable Tow Bar is released by a button located in the boot. The system cannot be activated accidentally and can only be operated when the ignition is turned off and the boot is open. A further safety measure requires the tow bar to be fully extended and locked into position manually.

Customers selecting an Electric Retractable Tow Bar with their new Focus will receive Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control at no further cost.

Hill Start Assist helps prevent a car rolling backwards when pulling away on a slope. Brake pressure is held for up to three seconds, enabling the driver to release the brake pedal and operate throttle and clutch pedals without applying the handbrake.

Trailer Sway Control uses the car’s Electronic Stability Programme to identify trailer sway and then gradually slow the vehicle, initially by reducing engine power and then applying the brakes.

Ford’s Electric Retractable Tow Bar is also available as a retro-fit accessory through local Ford dealerships.