14 April 2005

Ford’s new Focus drop-top has broken cover, just a week after we brought you the first shots of arch-rival Vauxhall’s Astra CC on test. Ford confirmed it would be building a production version of the Vignale concept at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, and these pictures confirm development of the folding metal-roofed coupé-cabrio is well underway. Due in the UK late next year, the production version is unlikely to carry the Vignale moniker to the showroom, although there’s no word yet on the actual name.

Pininfarina has confirmed it will build the drop-top, filling the capacity at the Italian coachbuilder vacated by Ford’s StreetKa, which ends production this year. Ford’s rival to the likes of the Peugeot 307 CC and Renault Mégane CC should start from around £18,000. The engine line-up will be lifted from the Focus hatchback range but excluding the smaller units, which means 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol options and the 2.0 TDCi diesel. An ST model could also be added, although a hot version is yet to be confirmed.

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