New Ford Focus and Mondeo drivers no longer need their keys ready either to unlock their car or to start its engine.

Thanks to Ford's new keyless entry and ignition technology, the doors unlock automatically as the driver pulls a door handle. Similarly once inside, ignition is triggered at the press of the motorsport-inspired Ford Power button.

Customers using Ford's keyless entry and ignition enjoy more convenience and specific practical benefits. The only requirement is to carry the special transponder key in a pocket or bag.

If in a hurry or carrying a load, there is no need to stop and hunt in pockets or bags for the car key ? especially helpful in bad weather. The car's electronics confirm the valid key's presence, unlock the doors and, if dark, activate the car's 'puddle' lights in the wing mirrors immediately once door or boot handle are applied.

Once behind the wheel, inserting a key in the side of the steering wheel column is not necessary, thus avoiding a bunch of keys dangling at knee level.

Rolf Schmitz, Ford electrical engineering manager, said: "Ford Power provides a sporting bond between driver and his Focus or Mondeo fitted with race technology. Keyless entry and ignition makes rational sense too. Locking your car key inside the cabin also becomes a mistake of the past because the system's interior antennae sense the key's whereabouts inside the cabin and inhibits the locking mechanism."

The engine is fired up by touching the Ford Power button with the clutch pedal depressed. The button is the same as fitted in Ford World Rally Championship and Formula Ford race cars.

Applying Ford Power without disengaging the clutch is the equivalent of turning the ignition on so all equipment operates without starting the engine.

Switching off the engine is by simply pressing the Ford Power button. In the unlikely event of having to cut the engine while in motion, hitting the button three times in quick succession or once for longer than three seconds both work.

Locking the car is by pressing a lock button on the driver's door handle or bootlid ?enabling unimpeded keyless exit just as the car is entered.

As emergency back-up a conventional key is contained within the electronic fob. Keyholes are in the driver's door for access and steering wheel mount for ignition.

Ford Power, as first demonstrated by James Bond in the new Ford Mondeo which the spy drove in the movie Casino Royale, operates via radio signals between the key fob and door handles, to enable entry, and between fob and interior antennae prior to Ford Power being activated.

The door handle-mounted antennae recognise the key fob's signals within a two-metre radius. Interior antenna locations are at the rear of the centre console, between the front seats underneath the centre console and behind the rear seats. Encrypted communication between antennae and fob ensure the car only responds to the right key holder.