Ford unveiled a new global city-sized SUV called the EcoSport (pictured below) last week in India, a model that follows the recently launched Focus small car in carrying the blue oval brand's new styling direction.
Ford's group vice president, design, and chief creative office, J Mays, told a small group of Australian motoring media including CarAdvice at the EcoSport’s launch that the baby SUV is an example of how Ford will achieve a more sophisticated design for its mainstream cars than rivals such as Hyundai.
“We’ve talked [last year] about visual premium-ness,” says Mays. “Premium doesn’t have to scream; premium can talk quietly.
“There’s a lot of frenetic design out there [in the new-car market]. I’m not criticising Hyundai, it’s just a different philosophy, but their [design language, officially called 'Fluidic Sculpture] is really all over the map, it’s really loud and fussy. I don’t think that’s premium and I really don’t think it’s sustainable.”
Hyundai has established its ‘fluidic sculpture’ design theme in recent years, with the styling that embraces numerous flowing creases featuring on models such as the ix35 compact SUV (above), i40 Tourer wagon and i45 mid-sized sedan (pictured top).
Mays says the stunning, Focus-based Evos concept (below) that Ford unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show signalled the end of the company’s successful ‘Kinetic’ design language, though says its new evolutionary styling approach hasn’t been given a name.
“It’s a simpler design language [than Kinetic] but is obviously based on Kinetic,” says Mays.
“We had Kinetic for five years but we’ve come up with enough changes to the [new styling] philosophy that we think we’re just going to call it the new global design language.
“Which is very catchy don’t you think!" he joked.
“We spend a lot of time on what makes a Ford a Ford in terms of how we design a car.
“If I back away from a car what I was want to see is what I call silhouette innovation so the profile of the vehicle should look different to other vehicles.
“So, for example, this vehicle [the EcoSport] – we’ve pulled the A-pillar about 250mm forward and it creates a much sleeker profile than you’d find on the majority of little SUVs on the road.”