Ford's about to smack rival car makers upside the head gasket with its brand-new Ford Focus range. The car, set for release in 2011, will be the first in the UK to use the amazing Ford Sync infotainment system, which itself is based on the Microsoft Windows Automotive platform.
As you'll discover in our video, this system does for in-car entertainment what Neil Armstrong did for the exploration of giant space rocks. It features a funky-looking customisable user interface, voice entry for the sat-nav, a voice synthesiser to read emails and texts aloud and -- the syrup on the cherry on the cake -- mobile Internet access.
That last feature is particularly impressive. The car has a built in Wi-Fi antenna, which allows you to connect to nearby hotspots and (as soon as Ford launches its in-dash Web browser sometime after the car's initial release) to surf the Internet on the Focus' internal display.
Until the browser is launched, the Ford Focus ST allows users to connect to the Web by connecting a USB broadband dongle to one of the car's two USB ports. Once done, it's possible for all occupants of the car, and indeed anyone within range, to use the Ford Focus as a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot.
This sort of thing could become invaluable for parents hoping to keep kids quiet by allowing them to surf YouTube videos on their laptops in the back seat. It also brings a wealth of new entertainment possibilities, most notably the option of playing Internet radio or the ability to watch BBC iPlayer when caught up in traffic jams. We think it'll struggle to provide a reliable signal if you're doing any kind of speed, but it should be fine for the school run.