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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 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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