New Ford Focus Vignale Concept - Exterior Design | Part Two

Ford Focus Vignale Concept

Ford Focus

The Focus Vignale Concept is actually two cars in one - ideal for changing moods and environments.

Regardless of the weather, the Focus Vignale Concept conveys a strong emotional appeal that Ford designers believe will inspire longing and a touch of envy. As a stylish and sporty coupé that is just as appealing in autumn and winter months, the car brings elegance combined with rational attributes of luxury, comfort and safety.

Its profile is dynamic and distinctive, and promises the rewarding driving experience that comes as standard in all Ford cars.

Yet at the push of a button, the coupé transforms effortlessly into an open-top convertible. Its bootlid silently tilts open and its retractable hardtop folds backward to stow cleanly in the boot, morphing the vehicle to inspire carefree emotions of open-top, wind-in-the-hair motoring.

As the car assumes its open-top role, the quality of craftsmanship and premium materials is clearly evident, highlighted by well-executed design touches inspired by the heyday of the Italian sports car.

Just one of these design facets in the Focus Vignale Concept’s sweeping profile is the door handle. A modern execution of designs found in Alfredo Vignale's spyders from the Sixties, it is elegantly sculpted in a lozenge shape of polished aluminium. Yet, unlike the Sixties original, a simple, intuitive finger push now activates the doorcatch electronically, allowing the door to be pulled open with style and attitude.

"The surfacing is fluid and appealing, punctuated by neat details," said chief designer Kaoud. "Your fingers want to caress its surfaces."

Striking lines and bold body sections clearly build on the design language of the Focus production models. This foundation provided the concept design team with an opportunity unprecedented in the C-segment to create a stunningly attractive coupé derivative without making awkward design concessions to the practical packaging difficulties inherent in a folding-top cabriolet.

"Some are ready to accept compromises in cars of this kind, but we weren’t," Kaoud added. "Our approach was that this car should be beautiful as a sporty coupé first, because here in many areas of Europe customers drive these cars with the top up more than with the top down. Having a great-to-drive coupé which can then transform into a stylish convertible gives the Focus Vignale Concept its unique dual personality."

The result of the Ford design team’s work is a derivative model with a high degree of design coherence. Only cut lines visible at the base of the cleanly and fluidly shaped C-pillar betray the fact that the Focus Vignale Concept has a retractable top.

Published 1 October 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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