Pininfarina is in business again. Ford has enlisted the services of the Italian coachbuilder to bring its Paris Motor Show star - the Vignale concept - to life.

Pininfarina is in business again. Ford has enlisted the services of the Italian coachbuilder to bring its Paris Motor Show star - the Vignale concept - to life.

After its successful unveiling at the Paris show in September, Ford has announced that the Focus-based coupe-cabriolet will be built alongside the StreetKa roadster in Italy. It goes on sale in 2006.

The four-seat concept uses an electrically powered, two-piece roof structure. At the push of a button the hard-top coupe transforms into an open-top convertible. The bootlid silently opens to stow the retractable roof into the bootspace.

"The Ford Focus Vignale Concept is an elegant, stylish design model with a dual personality, design flair and contemporary details that hint at classic Italian sports cars," chief designer, Ehab Kaoud, said at the show.

Initially designed as a one-off model, the concept was meant to explore the possibility of future Focus derivatives.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford Europe's vice president for product development, said: "The Ford Focus Vignale Concept clearly demonstrates the intriguing possibilities to expand the all-new Focus family into specific niches."

The exterior is highlighted by the use of polished aluminium to revive the spirit of chrome detailing in Italian grand tourers of the past. A new grille, in chrome, with horizontal bars, clearly differentiates the car from its Focus siblings. This element could give hints of Ford's future design direction.