Who will buy the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet?
Ford say their research into this growing sector shows there is a 50/50 split between male and female buyers although more females tend to drive these cars than males.
Around 70 per cent of owners are married and 30 per cent have children. The coupe-cabriolet styling attracts 57 per cent of buyers to this segment and 32 per cent of customers will come from the C-sector where the Focus range is already the market leader.
All Focus Coupe-Cabriolet models have alloy road wheels, active roll-over protection system, four seats with sculptured rear bench seats, electronically operated and heated door mirrors a Thatcham Cat 1 alarm, CD player and air conditioning.
The CC-2 derivatives have larger alloy wheels, leather steering wheel and a Sony MP3 player. Top of the range CC-3 models have leather seats, a different style of 17 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a Sony six CD player, automatic lights and wipers, front fog lights and a distinctive grill surround.
Insurance group ratings are 8E for CC-1 variants and 11E for CC-2/CC-3 models.
Ford feels the best selling version could be the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet CC-3 with a 2.0i 16V 145PS petrol engine and five-speed manual transmission priced at £18,795 but if loaded with lots of options including satellite navigation, the luxury pack will bring the total up to a significant £23,345.
When I drove the 2.0-litre petrol engine model on the press launch it proved to be reasonable enough for most people's needs, though it didn't give the performance needed to go with the sporting design.
I rather suspect the 1.6-litre unit will be too sluggish and the likely best overall engine for all round drivability and fuel economy will be the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine.
On that basis this is the one I selected for a longer run using it day in and day out for a very wet week of weather. Whilst the folding metal roof was watertight, when I opened the very large bootlid water ran off it at the sides and into the load area so that might be a long-term issue for a water damaged boot lining.
Whilst the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet feels as though it has a torsionally stiff and significantly reinforced bodyshell, with the roof down there was still an element of body shake and this became more evident on poorer road surfaces, concrete sections of motorways for instance.
With the roof up the car regained all the handling ability, compliance and ride comfort found with all other Focus models.
The roof operation was smooth and simple to use and buffeting inside the car with the hood down was minimal especially with the optional rear wind deflector fitted. With the roof up the interior of the car was exceptionally quiet although the roof does creak and groan when driving over non-motorway road surfaces.
The interior is well laid out with all the instruments in logical positions. The driving position is good and visibility with the roof up is fine. The rear seats are roomy enough for teenage children but adults might find legroom a bit skimpy compared to the VW Eos.
With the roof up there is a considerable amount of luggage space and with the roof stowed in the boot there is still plenty of space which is unusual in this type of car.
The larger rear end of the Focus CC, the car is styled and built by Pininfarina in Italy, gives the vehicle a classier and elegant, well proportioned appearance from the side, it looks a very smart coupe. It also makes this Focus appear to be a larger car, more D segment that a C class car.
Definitely the engine of choice is the 2.0-litre, 136PS turbodiesel. Having lived with it for a week, overall it is the best performer. Fuel economy was an average 48.6mpg, the engine is pretty refined and very responsive and the six speed manual transmission works very well with this engine.
Priced at £20,287 the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet CC-3 2.0 TDCi is well equipped with anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags, roll over protection system, 17-inch alloy wheels, Sony CD system, air conditioning, heated windscreen, automatic lights, rain sensing wipers, driver's power adjusted seat, heated front seats and leather trimmed steering wheel.
However the test car came with an additional £2,650 DVD navigation system and uprated sound and information system, metallic paint, parking sensors, which should be standard fit, luxury leather trim and the rear windbreak so the entire car ended up at a hefty £24,837. OK for company car users but pretty steep for private users.
Next to the VW Eos this is probably the best of the medium sized coupe-cabriolet models currently on sale.
Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet 2.0 TDCi CC-3
Price: £20,287 (as tested £24,837)
Engine: 2.0-litre Duratorq 136PS, 320Nm common rail turbodiesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front wheel drive. Performance: 127mph, 0-62mph 10.3 seconds, 47.9mpg (48.6mpg actual)
Emissions: CO2 156g/km, Band D £140 VED.
For: Refined, practical, well equipped, reasonable ride and handling roof down but excellent when the roof is up, easy to use retractable roof operation, diesel engine better than the petrol units.
Against: Not as brand desirable as the VW Eos, rain water runs into the boot, roof creaked and groaned when in coupe mode.