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You Know You Want It: Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet




Those of us who have to head home after the Geneva Motor Show have reason to feel a little cheated, especially after first visiting the Ford Motor Co. stand.

It’s accepted wisdom that the products that have rolled off the automaker’s European assembly lines, in recent years are far sleeker and sporty than those lumbering boxes – think Ford 500, er Taurus – American motorists have been given. Take the new Ford Fiesta subcompact, which is making its debut at this year’s Swiss show. It’s a real looker and it offers a range of unexpectedly upscale standard features.

Yes, Ford marketing boss Jim Farley told TheCarConnection.com that a 4-door version of Fiesta is bound for the States, but not until 2010. So, we’ll have several years to lament its late arrival, and the complete absence of kick-tail European offerings like Ford’s S-Max crossover ute/van.

But another new offering that was given surprisingly minor play during Ford’s 15 minutes under the Geneva show spotlight really got us envious of European customers.

The 2009 Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet. Yep, it’s the latest entry into the fast-growing hardtop convertible market, a segment that’s proving especially popular in Europe, where softtops have never really caught on big. The Ford offering was designed by the folks at Pininfarina, and will be built by the Italian stylists at their specialty manufacturing site, starting mid-year.

Going up against the likes of the Volkswagen Eos, the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet certainly takes the edge in styling. And the base Focus platform is one of the best in the compact segment.

And, darn it, that’s another reason to be jealous. For reasons only Ford beancounters can explain, the automaker decided not to go with the European Focus platform, which was recently updated. Instead, Americans are stuck with a rehash of a nearly decade-old architecture, that’s been given a decidedly lame re-skinning for 2008. Hmmm, maybe there’s an opening for a European auto correspondent at this magazine?
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Comments (12)
  1. Mercury wouldn't be in such bad shape if Ford brought European Fords over for that brand...
    ...and brought Australian Fords over for the Blue Oval.
     
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  2. Oh, and the Thai Ranger to replace our aging U.S. Ranger
     
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  3. Well, the euro version isn't sluggish enough, is too reliable, and doesn't waste enough gas. Duh.
     
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  4. S'funny.......Oz gets all these things. And we buy less cars in a year that the US does in a bad month.

    Me thinks that Old Henry be gouging the US market.....or desperately trying to keep things cheap for its US customers
     
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  5. Brian, an interesting point. Consider what Saturn is doing with Opel products. Sadly, my conversation with Ford global marketing czar Jim Farley, and others, indicates Mercury will NOT get a version of the Fiesta. But Farley has told me, repeatedly, that he can envision Mercury becoming Ford's Scion, a hip and youthful division. Can he migrate away from today's "nearly dead" buyers...or find a way to attract both? Stay tuned.
     
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  6. It's funny (sad, actually) that Ford continues to roll out cool variants of their cars for Europe, yet continues to rehash the same old stuff here in the U.S.

    Look at the current U.S. Focus. How could they NOT have brought that one here for the '08 refresh? When they redid the Euro Focus a few years ago, they were very aware that many were clamoring for the same platform here. I remember reading an article where a Ford exec claimed the price would be too high. I distinctively remember hiim saying they couldn't bring the Euro Focus here and have it under $20K. But if I'm not mistaken, Mazda sells the 3 here, starting in the low teens...kind of blows that excuse out of the water, huh? That U.S. Focus must be dirt cheap to build, for them to keep foisting it off on the American public. And then they scratch their heads and wonder why nobody wants their product? Laughable.

    We had a '01 Focus wagon a few years back. When in the market this past fall we looked at the "new" Focus. I almost felt insulted that they were trying to pass this off as a new product. The 3 is a few years older, yet feels more substantial. This car doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with the Civic (as I just did). Even the ancient Corolla I drove was nicer.

    As the auto industry becomes more global, Ford cannot keep trying to hide these Euro products from U.S. customers and expect them to happily purchase the subpar product it sells here. Even GM gets it, sending some Euro models here as Saturns as well as sourcing platforms from Australia.

    Two more years for a B-segment entry (Fiesta)? Ha. These guys should have had one in-market years ago, as Hyundai, Chevy, Toyota and Honda have already done.
     
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  7. Amen to all of these posts. Ford just doesn't get it. Lopping off all the interesting Focuses (Foci?) - the wagon, ZX5 and ZX3, and leaving us with only the 4-door sedan.

    But then, Mazda's doing the same thing with its "6" - dropping the wagon and the 5-door hatch. Maybe Mazda will beat Ford to the punch and sell the beautiful "2" 5-door hatch here before Ford can field the Fiesta (wow, alliteration, who'd a thunk it).

    And where's the C-Max (not to mention the S-Max)? I'd trade my beloved Suzuki Esteem wagon in on a C-Max in a heartbeat!
     
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  8. Styling is subjective - understood. But how could Ford possibly, in its wildest dreams, replace the aging but arguably attractive and interesting Focus ( especially the likes of the 3 door SVO) and replace it with the present understated (I'm being kind) coupe and sedan. Whoever is responsible should have proffessional help and find a new job. Maybe Ford needs better focus groups - no pun intended.
     
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  9. Same old story for Mercury. At the 2002 Cleveland Ohio Auto Show, Mercury had a sharp concept car, a 2 door convertible Marauder there. It looked great. Another blown chance to be unique from the Ford brand, maybe not quite "Hip & Youthful," but at least not a re-badged Ford. All Ford has in a drop top here is the Mustang and now I see we will be able to get a glass roof on it. A sarcastic Oh Boy. Nothing exciting or new. Ford had glass tops in the mid 1950's (Crown Vic and Mercury Sun Valley).
     
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  10. First off, when was the last time there was a Lincoln-Mercury saleslizard who knew how to drive a manual transmission? Probably sometime in the early 1970s.

    The current Focus is well past its sell-by date and it's probably still in production only 'cause Ford needs to boost its CAFE numbers.

    The Euro Focus is all well and good, but makes sense to me only as a hatchback. This coupe-cabriolet has the same problem that every other vehicle of its nature has - the tall, stumpy proportions are just flat weird.

    And, of course, with the dollar plunging Ford has given up on even a fantasy of bringing in far and away the best cars they build anywhere in the world - the Aussie Falcons.
     
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  11. I wonder if Ford trying to get out of the North American market when i see their stupid USA marketing plans. Here in Cailf., $4 gas is only a few weeks away & $5 gas probably due this summer, their most fuel efficient car, the Focus only claims 35 MPG. My 2001 Focus ZX3 5 speed seldom gets even 30 MPG. With their 2008 Focus models they have dropped the 3 & 5 door hatchbacks & wagon Guess they don't want my continued business. The Euro Focus diesel can get 50 plus MPG, but no diesels here. I would be interested in the forthcoming Fiesta if available with with a 5 or 6 speed manual AND a diesel. If Ford refuses to offer Fiesta diesel option in the USA, they can cross me off the list as a potential customer.
     
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  12. I had an 01 Focus ZX3 with a 5 speed. It was amusing to drive if not fast and it had character to it, inside and out. The "new" Focus has no character and is just horribly over-styled with some bizarre design cues.

    The Euro Focus in the US (like the original) could bring some life back to the Ford small car. If it made it here with a diesel TDi option, a wagon version, I'd trade my VW Jetta Wagon in right now for it!

    As long as it didn't suffer the quality problems of the early Focus...
     
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