Car reviews - Ford - Focus - Coupe-Cabriolet
Ford’s new Focus convertible is big on style but not on driving dynamics
19 Nov 2007
By CHRIS HARRIS
FORD jumps into the C-segment convertible market with a coupe-cabriolet designed, engineered and produced by Ford of Europe in conjunction with famed Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, which is better known for its work with Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. The Ford Focus CC is essentially a considerably re-engineered Focus sedan with a two-piece metal folding roof that retracts into a unique boot at the touch of a button. The single-spec CC is well equipped in terms of safety, comfort, luxury and security while the 2.0-litre petrol engine makes up in fuel economy what it lacks in performance. It comes with a standard five-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic with sequential manual shift function.
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Ford CapriReleased: October 1989
Ended: July 1994
Family Tree: Focus
FORD'S third sporty car with the Capri badge eschewed its 1960s predecessors' rear-wheel drive coupe configuration for a striking convertible shape. Based on an early 1980s concept car called the Barchetta, Ford Australia devised the front-wheel drive four-seater rag-top on the KC-KE series, Mazda 323-derived Ford Laser platform, and used its 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in single-cam (SA series only), double-overhead cam and twin-cam turbo guises. But widely publicised quality-control problems, coupled with the early 1990s recessional downturn, greatly curtailed sales despite the fact that this was the first convertible built in Australia for decades. But what really killed the Capri was its lousy timing: originally pencilled in for a 1988 launch, US airbag requirements delayed Australia's great global export hope until 1990, by which time the altogether sharper and sexier Mazda MX-5 completely stole the Ford's thunder. Sales limped on until Ford pulled the plug on its ill-fated Capri project in 1994, but not before the significantly improved SC edition (early 1992) and 1993's SE series proved to critics of the potential of the project – particularly in rorty Clubsprint form.
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