Ford Europe outshines its North American counterparts yet again with the introduction coming at the Geneva Auto Show of the new Focus Cabriolet. It is based off the new Ford Focus design that has already had a friendly reception in Europe. The Cabriolet version will join the ranks with the 3-door, 4-door, 5-door, Wagon and Sporty ST and the anticipated racy RS version when it is released in 2009. However, with its hard-top convertible and open air driving the Cabriolet is certain to have an appeal all its own.
In the Press Release below you will notice that Ford is highly talkative about their trunk space. For a Convertible in general, but particularly for a small hard-top convertible, the Focus Cabriolet comes in with an adequate 524 liters of trunk space with the top up. With the top retracted there remains a complimentary 248 liters. This way if the whole convertible thing does not work out for them they can still promote the trunk space.
Full Gallery of images to follow
Here are some of Fords highlighted points for the Focus Cabriolet:
For being a small 2-door convertible the Focus Cabriolet is loaded with safety features that seem surprising yet welcomed. To replace the rigidity of a roof-line the designers provided a “rigid passenger safety shell” of steel that will distribute the force of an impact around the passengers and through the doors.
And in the “unlikely” event that the car might roll over Ford has installed their Rollover Protection Device (RPD) to protect the passengers. What that does is provide internal sensors and gyroscopes that detect an impending rollover. If a rollover seems immanent the sensors will “fire” off two “ultra strong” roll bars into position, which along with the strengthened A-pillars will serve to protect the passengers from increased injury.
The safety technologies in place in the Ford Focus Cabriolet are not necessarily new in the auto industry, but to put such safety into a car in this market segment is surprising yet very reassuring. A Focus Convertible would seem the most unlikely amalgamation to come from the North American design house of Ford, and you can almost be certain such safety features would not be included if they did build one. Obviously Ford Europe is catering to a more demanding market.
To learn more about the Ford Europe’s new Focus Cabriolet check out the Press Release below, and stay tuned as more photos and information is released at the Geneva Auto Show.
Cologne, 5 February 2008 – The new four-seater Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will have its public debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The new model joins the three-door, four-door, five-door, wagon and sporty ST models, extending the comprehensive new Focus range and offering the greatest variety of bodystyles for a single vehicle line within the Ford of Europe portfolio. As a final addition to the exciting and fully comprehensive Focus range, the all-new Ford Focus RS high performance model will be launched in 2009.
The newly designed Focus Coupé-Cabriolet with its retractable hardtop will once again be manufactured at the Bairo plant of Pininfarina, Ford’s partner in designing, engineering and building the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet. This stylish vehicle is a true four-seater that combines a high emotional appeal with “must have” means for everyday use: With the roof closed, new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet offers a best-in-class luggage capacity of 534 litres. Even with the retractable hardtop stowed in the boot, the new Ford provides a voluminous 248 litres of luggage space under the folded roof.
“As with the generic new Ford Focus, with the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet we also felt the importance of aligning this charismatic vehicle with our ‘kinetic design’ language as soon as possible,” said Stephen Odell, Vice President Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford of Europe.
‘Kinetic Design’ Styling
“The new Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet is a special blend: We felt that the new very ‘kinetic’ front end design will perfectly complement the timelessly-elegant, Italian flavoured profile and rear end design. The result is a perfect mix of latest level Focus dynamics and the special Coupé-Cabriolet design execution that we had already developed jointly with Pininfarina,” said Chris Bird, Design Director at Ford of Europe.
The entire front end design of the new Ford Focus was fully adopted for the Coupé-Cabriolet: The new three-dimensional bonnet design flows harmoniously into the iconic dual-trapezoidal-grille design, with both the upper and lower grille being equipped with a classy chrome surrounding. The front bumper, lights and front fender designs clearly reflect the latest dynamic Focus styling, but are also tailored to perfectly fit the elegant side view of the Coupé-Cabriolet.
The interior styling of the new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet also received a fresh approach with bold design statements, high quality finishes and hard-wearing materials all completed with a high level of craftsmanship. Most prominent for the driver is a new instrument cluster of a ‘binocular’ style with instruments illuminated in red.
As with the new Focus, the Coupé-Cabriolet also benefits from the flow through centre stack to the standard ‘premium’ centre console with an increased stowage volume of approximately 4 litres and a sliding armrest with a travel of 80 mm, both contributing to increased comfort and convenience.
A number of new standard driver assistance features have been introduced on all new Focus models with further technology options, and will also be introduced to the Coupé-Cabriolet.
These features include:
- Available ‘Ford Power’ button for keyless start, plus keyless entry system
- Standard emergency hazard warning light activation system (Info: except Finland and Sweden)
- New optional Tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS)
- New audio connectivity module for external devices and new levels of Bluetooth ® and USB connectivity, voice control and navigation systems
- New navigation systems include an affordable navigation option with ‘SD’ card slot as well as a DVD based system with 7″ colour touchscreen
- Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) tuner on Sony radio system available
Powertrains and Series
A fine range of Duratec petrol and Duratorq diesel engines was chosen for the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet: While the 1.6-litre 100 PS/74 kW Duratec petrol is the entry level into the Focus ‘wind-in-the-hair’ experience, the well acclaimed 2.0-litre 145 PS/107 kW Duratec HE engine is available with a choice of a sporty 5-speed manual transmission or the very comfortable FN automatic transmission for relaxed cruising joy.
The 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi engine has 136 PS (100 kW) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm. To make driving with the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi engine even more refined and comfortable, specific improvements have been made to its Sound quality and vibration behaviour. This engine – along with all other Ford Focus petrol and diesel engines – benefits from a new insulated, weight reduced cowl panel, for optimum acoustics and a new carpet with a modified heavy duty coating for further sound deadening.
In terms of the series availability, the new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet is once again available with a well equipped entry ‘Trend’ specification, which can also be ordered in conjunction with a special ‘Sport’ pack, covering a sport suspension and specially designed 17″-alloy wheels. Black tinted headlamp housings on the exterior emphasise the sporty appearance of this series.
The top-of-the-range ‘Titanium’ series also features exterior details like specially designed 17″-alloys and the black headlamp housings, but also classy interior items like the standard partial leather seats. As an option, full leather seats in three different designs are available.
High Safety Standards
A very stiff body shell construction and a precise suspension and steering tuning are the active and solid base for the new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet’s safety package. As a part of Ford PrecisionDrive, it helps drivers to intuitively rely on their Ford car in any driving situation. In addition to this very convincing package, ESP has now been introduced to be standard in all European major markets, and compliments the very capable four-disc braking system with EBA.
Also the passive safety starts with an ultra stiff body shell and a rigid passenger safety cell. Without a regular sedan roof structure however, front crash load paths for the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet had to be redistributed behind the A-pillars into the door structure.
As a result, these load paths were significantly reinforced by using high strength HSS 2 steel and increasing the rocker height by 35mm. The load path through the door structure can carry loads up to seven tons – comparable with the cumulated load capability of a Focus 4-door at the roof and door structures.
In addition to standard front and side airbags, Ford’s new Rollover Protection Device (RPD) system plays a vital role in increasing Focus Coupé-Cabriolet’s passive safety performance. RPD is designed to help protect passengers in the unlikely event that the vehicle rolls over. Electronic sensors and a gyroscope are at the heart of the system, and can detect an impending rollover. When this happens, two ultra-strong safety roll bars “fire” into position within a tenth of a second. Combined with the reinforced A-pillars and the highly rigid front window frame, RPD is a reassuring device that provides valuable extra protection for occupants.