Drawing a lot of the attention on the Ford
stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show will be the Ford Evos Concept, which Ford has said will guide much of its future design work.
Could it also be the basis of a future mass-market sporting coupe – a market that Ford has not managed to dominate since the long-running Capri (despite models like the Probe, the Cougar and the Puma)?
One of the most distinctive features are the gulling style doors, a feature that is also graces Peugeot’s HX1 concept at Frankfurt. Trick doors add a bit of theatre to concept cars, but the reality is that the production model usually appears with conventional doors.
Behind the attractive styling Ford is using the concept to try out various technologies, including how information is communicated to the driver. Ford says that Evos ‘embraces a new generation of driver interaction and awareness” and talks of providing a “personal cloud” of information – something clearly inspired by internet technologies.
“The possibilities are fascinating when we explore how to enable a seamless lifestyle between home, office and car linked by access to the driver’s personal information,” says Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation.
With information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or office. The car knows the driver, and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to suit.
The Evos, for example, could automatically play the same music or news program that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before the driver gets in. Wireless communication with devices in the home could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as the car pulls away.
The Ford Evos Concept has a plug-in hybrid powertrain with an electric motor and petrol engine working together or separately, in the familiar manner of the Toyota Prius. However the Evos will typically run in all-electric mode before switching to hybrid mode.
Here again the internet parlance comes back. Ford say cloud connectivity would enhance performance and efficiency by selecting the best combination of powertrain modes for any given journey.
The Ford Evos also includes key design elements that will be applied to forthcoming designs. With the length of a typical C-car, but with width of a CD-car, Ford describe the Evos Concept as having “a powerful, sporting stance”. The gulling doors are said to give outstanding access to the four-seat cabin.
The front end has the new face for Ford featuring with a trapezoidal grille mounted higher on the car “creating a confident, more premium look”. The Evos also shuns the fashion for bigger headlights, instead going for slim light units.