Ford has dropped a comprehensive collection of images and details of the Evos Concept ahead of its official global unveiling at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show on September 13.
Ford says the dramatic four-door, four-seat plug-in hybrid fastback showcases the company’s “first truly global design language and a new vision for customer-focused and intuitive technologies”.
Ford group vice president of global product development, Derrick Kuzak, said the Evos Concept represented the ‘ultimate expression’ of the brand’s new international design direction.
"The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership," Mr Kuzak said.“While you will never see this car on the road, the next generation of Ford products around the world will display many of the distinctive design ideas and advanced technologies it showcases."
At 4500mm long, 1970mm wide, 1360mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2740mm, the Ford Evos Concept is slightly longer and wider than the Peugeot RCZ.
Its length is typical C-car class, while its width is bordering on the next class up, giving it a wide, sporting stance.
The new design language gives a nod to the old kinetic design theme, but is a clear evolution in almost every element.
The signature trapezoidal grille is mounted higher on the car for a more confident, aggressive appearance. Ford executive design director, Martin Smith, says expect to see this grille throughout the range of next-generation vehicles.
There are a number of bold and technical shapes, including the thin ‘laser cut’ headlights and the heavily sculpted and muscular bonnet and flanks.
The taillights, while reminiscent of the current Mondeo rear lamps, are sleeker and sharper, and heavily recessed into the bumper.
The wide-swinging roof-hinged doors are pure concept, but open up a modern cabin that is not burdened by a B-pillar – a model rapidly taking off among today’s automotive designers.
Inside, the Ford Evos Concept is both driver-focused and designed to enhance passenger comfort and experience.
The surfaces are clean and muscular, with trapezoidal elements continuing from the exterior. The driver’s seat is red and infotainment displays flow from the instrument panel to wrap around the driver. The passengers get their own independent seats, with integrated touchscreens for those in the rear.
Mr Kuzak said the technology in the Evos Concept is designed to personalise the vehicle for each driver and each drive.
“In the Ford Evos Concept, this objective is explored and extended to the area of connectivity, where the intent is not to convert the vehicle into a smartphone, but rather to provide personalised and safe connection to the outside world in an enriching manner designed totally for the vehicle context.”
He said the systems used are an evolution of the current SYNC and embrace next-generation ‘cloud’ technology, designed to enable a seamless lifestyle between home, office and vehicle by accessing the driver’s personal information.
Ford says the potential of the cloud is almost limitless, with the ability to do anything from automatically adapt the car’s driving dynamics, play the same music or news program that was streaming at home, and even heat or cool the cabin to the ideal temperature before the driver gets in the car by checking your calendar and predicting your departure time.
If you think the Ford Evos Concept little more than a design and technology concept, guess again.
The Evos is powered by the same lithium-ion plug-in hybrid powertrain from the Ford C-MAX Energi, which is scheduled for sale in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013.
The Evos Concept has a driving range of more than 800km, and can be driven in full-electric or combined petrol-hybrid mode. The powertrain is also linked to the cloud, and can switch between hybrid and electric mode based on your predicted drive route, your driving behaviour, the weather, upcoming weather and other factors.
Ford hasn’t released performance data for the concept yet, but if it goes as well as it looks, it could have some serious speed about it.
The Ford Evos Concept promises to be one of the highlights of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show when it is unveiled in two weeks’ time.
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