Ford Europe debuted its first folding hardtop today at the Geneva Motor Show - the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet. The specialty Focus was designed by Pininfarina, and will be built at Pininfarina's Italian facilities starting in mid-2006.
The drop-top Focus provides a boulevard cruiser companion to the Focus ST at the top of the Focus range, emphasizing luxurious appointments rather than performance. It will be interesting to see how well the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet competes with Volkswagen's Eos. More pics and the full press release after the jump.
LIFTING THE ROOF ON FAMILY MOTORING: THE NEW FORD FOCUS COUPÉ-CABRIOLET
• Geneva Show preview for Ford's exciting new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet
• Coupé-Cabriolet combines Italian style with practicality and Focus driving quality
• First European Ford with a power folding hardtop
• Two-piece electric retractable roof turns coupé into cabriolet in seconds at the touch of a button
• Substantial luggage capacity for a cabriolet – more than 500 litres of useable space with roof in place in coupé mode
• Developed and designed in continued collaboration with Pininfarina
• To be manufactured in Italy by Pininfarina S.p.A, starting mid-2006
• Focus Coupé-Cabriolet complements the existing Focus family – this elegant new model joins potent Focus ST introduced in late-2005
• Full technical details and individual market prices to be announced closer to launch later in 2006
Ford returns to the world of open-topped motoring with the elegant yet practical Focus Coupé-Cabriolet – making its preview debut at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.
The introduction of the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet has been led by customer response to Ford's Vignale Concept, which was displayed at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The positive reaction prompted Ford to green-light the car for production, and it has been made ready in less than two years.
The new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet has been developed jointly by Ford of Europe and Italy's Pininfarina, which enjoys a worldwide reputation for the design of some of the world's most attractive vehicles. The Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will go into volume production in mid-2006.
"We were delighted with the reaction to the Focus Vignale Concept and were determined to progress it to volume production," said Gunnar Herrmann, Vehicle Line Director for the Ford Focus. "We also wanted to keep the production model as true to the beautiful concept car as we could, while making it convenient and affordable for everyday use."
Refinement, elegance, and agility
The new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet is a true example of the design and engineering direction Ford is going in; stylish and stimulating, but a delightful day-to-day car. In short, a car people will be proud to be seen in.
In typical Ford style, the operation of the hard-top roof is simplicity itself. The Focus Coupé-Cabriolet can be turned from an elegant coupé into a stylish cabriolet within seconds at the push of a button.
The Focus Coupé-Cabriolet joins the Focus ST at the top of the Focus range. Customers will not only spot the family look, but also be aware that the Coupé-Cabriolet has its own unique profile, thanks to the smoothly flowing lines of its gently arched coupé roof.
The preview model is finished in a classy new exterior metallic colour – 'Luna' – which shows off the vehicle's elegant yet sporty exterior.
The car utilises a two-piece folding electric hardtop to go from snug family motoring to wind-in-the-hair excitement. It is a full four-seater, and will offer a substantial luggage compartment with more than 500 litres of useable space. This further underscores the vehicle's everyday usability and practicality.
The bold wheelarches familiar on all Ford Focus models give it a purposeful look, while the profile and rear views display a distinctly Italian design flavour with chrome details and a well-proportioned bootlid area.
"The initial design intent of the Vignale Concept remained almost untouched during its transition to the production Focus Coupé-Cabriolet," said Chris Bird, Director Design, Ford of Europe. "The new Focus also provided us with a great starting point from which the design team could create a really distinctive dual-personality vehicle."
Inside, the emphasis is on refinement, and elegance and the use of premium quality materials. The preview model is trimmed with an attractive two-tone interior, with the upper instrument panel coloured in the new, dark-elegant 'Iris' and contrasting to the trim and the luxurious leather seats colouring in light 'Camel' tone.
In keeping with its status as a hero model in the Focus range, equipment levels will be comprehensive. Full details will be revealed closer to market launch, but the usual Focus refinements including air conditioning, multiple airbags, in-car entertainment options and a full complement of active and passive safety features will be standard.
Customers will also be able to personalise their car to their own taste with an extensive list of colour and trim options, plus a dedicated range of options and accessories.
Feel the difference
Customers will literally feel the difference as the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet transforms. The change from one to the other is quick and easy. At the push of a button, the retractable two-piece hardtop effortlessly folds backward and completely stows in the boot, inviting driver and passengers to enjoy the experience and fresh air of wind-in-the-hair motoring.
But the two-piece retractable hardtop not only provides shelter from inclement weather. The hardtop not only gives the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet a bold and distinctive profile as a two-door coupe, but also has been constructed to be durable for smooth, easy operation and long-term reliability. The solidity of the hard-top gives the car extra rigidity, essential for a car of this class.
"Focus Coupé-Cabriolet is designed as a Grand Tourer, rather than a pure sports roadster", said Jon Wellsman, Ford of Europe's Brand Manager for Ford Focus. "As you would expect from a Ford Focus, it will be great to drive both as a coupé, and as a cabriolet."
The Focus has earned its accolades as one of the best handling cars in its class, setting the standards by which C class cars are judged. The Coupé-Cabriolet will be no exception, and has been developed to be as agile, convenient, and reliable as the Ford Focus name implies.
The new Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will be offered with a choice of three powertrains: two petrol engines, the 100 PS 1.6-litre Duratec and the 145 PS 2.0-litre Duratec, and the latest generation 136 PS 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. These efficient Ford powertrains combine economy and ecology, with their low fuel consumption and low emissions.
Full technical details of the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will be announced closer to market launch later in 2006.
Ford with Italian flavour
The new Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet has been developed in cooperation with renowned Italian vehicle design, engineering, and manufacturing company Pininfarina S.p.A.
Following the confirmation in November 2004 that Ford of Europe would progress the Focus Vignale Concept through to a production model, the company selected Pininfarina as the ideal partner to work with on the programme.
The co-operation with Pininfarina continues through the manufacturing process, as all Focus Coupé-Cabriolet production vehicles will be built at Pininfarina's manufacturing plants Grugliasco and Bairo, both being located in the suburbs of Turin, Italy. Core Focus parts will be supplied to the plant by Ford's lead Focus manufacturing facility in Saarlouis, Germany.
"We are proud to be working again with Ford of Europe on the new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet, as it represents for us a significant investment, not just in terms of our design and engineering expertise, but also in our ongoing relationship with Ford of Europe, and the deployment of our high quality manufacturing facility in Italy," said Andrea Pininfarina, Chief Executive Officer of Pininfarina S.p.A.
Ford Focus model range grows
The addition of the new Coupé-Cabriolet model extends the Ford Focus range, offering customers a superb choice. Focus now offers three-door and five-door hatchbacks, a four-door sedan and a five-door wagon, plus the new Coupé-Cabriolet and the Ford Focus C-MAX multi-activity vehicle. The range also includes the recently launched Focus ST performance model.
The Ford Focus is one of the most successful model ranges in Europe with more than 4 million units built, not including 370,000 Focus C-MAX models built since its launch in 2003. The Focus, which enjoyed European sales of 442, 000 units in 2005, is produced at European assembly plants in Saarlouis in Germany, Valencia in Spain and St Petersburg in Russia.
Production sites for the Ford Focus outside of Europe include the US, China, Taiwan, Philippines and South Africa. More than five million Focus cars have been sold worldwide, with major sales highlights in 2000 and 2001, when the Focus achieved the status of being the best-selling car in the world. The Focus was also the first vehicle in automotive history to win the Car Of The Year title in both Europe and America.
The new Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will go on sale across Europe from later this summer. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 vehicles will be produced a year.