New Concept Car: Ford Evos

At the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, Ford’s stunning Iosis concept car debuted the company’s “Kinetic” design language, which shortly thereafter debuted on non-U.S. models like the Mondeo, European Focus, C-Max, and Kuga. Our first taste of Kinetic design came more recently with the 2011 Fiesta and 2012 Focus models. But now Ford’s look is evolving, with another Frankfurt concept—the 2011 show’s gorgeous and aptly named Evos—previewing the next evolution (get it?) of Blue Oval design.

Sadly, the company won’t go so far as to adapt the Evos’s quad butterfly doors for production. But this fastback four-seater, which is shorter than a Focus sedan but wider than a Porsche Panamera, does embody a half dozen newly defined pillars of Ford global design—which will drop the Kinetic moniker. The Evos will provide the template for future Fords, and so we took a virtual tour of the car with Ford design chief J Mays, who explained those design pillars.

The first two pillars of Ford’s new design language are “silhouette innovation” and “perceived efficiency.” The former, according to Mays, represents a profile “that defines your automobile and looks different than most of the other cars in a particular class on the road,” while the latter equates to visual lightness and sleekness. “We’d like to have lightweight pillars [and] a teardrop cabin [where] the lines on the side disappear at a vanishing point somewhere around 100 yards behind the car.” The gist? Think less ‘traditional three-box sedan’ and more ‘four-door coupe.’

“Refined surface language” refers to a smoothing out of Kinetically sculpted body surfaces, among them the architectural fenders, creased door skins, and sculpted hoods. This directive also appears to be a reaction to other manufacturers that Mays claims have “annexed” and subsequently exaggerated Ford’s Kinetic motifs. Ford is going in “exactly the opposite direction” now, he said, keeping what he called the “excitement” of Kinetic design but rendered in “beautiful shapes you’d love to run your hands over.”

An emphasis on the fourth pillar, “technical graphics,” basically refers to the lamps and lower body addenda. “Headlamps seem to be growing to absurd proportions,” said Mays. “They’ve become less about technology and more about design flourish and style. And we think that’s reached its complete evolution. So we’re going to the minimal height for the headlamps and the taillamps and we’re going to let the technology speak for the graphics rather than overt style.” The headlamps on the Evos are rendered in LEDs “designed in such a way that you probably haven’t seen before.” Will every future Ford model get “razor-cut” headlamps such as these? Yes, and Mays told us that he is committed to LED headlamps on every new Ford, although we’ll have to see if those make it past the accountants.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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