Focus joins the coupe-convertible brigade

Ford launched its open-top Focus in Geneva, adopting a fashionable folding hardtop designed in collaboration with Pininfarina. This is the first open-topped mid-size Ford in the market since the Escort went out of production.

It's taken a long time to get the new Coupe-Cabriolet to market too, as we were first shown the idea at the 2004 Paris Motor Show in the form of the cool Vignale concept. Though in essence the production car retains that car's overall look, the details leave it down, resulting in a disappointing production version of the concept. It's hard, on first acquaintance with the new car, to pin down the problems, but looking back on the concept, a few items stand out. It is not too surprising that Ford has not continued with the large alloys and wide track of the concept, nor that the rear deck has been raised to give class-leading luggage space, but the concept was a much cleaner design all round.

For instance, the fuel-filler of the production car is much larger and more prominent, and it conspires with the wider panel gaps of the production car's rear deck to give a less cohesive appearance. Likewise, the concept featured smooth doors, but the final showroom model features rubbing strips. These may all sound like minor details, but as a whole, the Focus is not as pretty as it could have been, and in our eyes is beaten hands down by Vauxhall's Astra TwinTop and the Renault Megane CC in the styling stakes, surely more important than luggage space in this market.

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