Ford Evos Concept – The Ultimate Expression Of Ford’s Global Design And Technology Vision
- Ford showcases Evos Concept at JIMS
- Driver engagement technologies demonstrate the future of smart mobility
- Evos Concept represents Ford’s new global design language
PRETORIA, South Africa, 16 October 2013 – Making its South African debut at the 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show, the Ford Evos Concept represents the ultimate expression of Ford’s new global design language and explores key future powertrain and vehicle technologies.
Created as a bespoke concept vehicle, the fastback showcases Ford’s global design language as the momentum of the company’s One Ford product plan continues to build.
Technology vision for enriched customer experience
The Ford Evos Concept is not just a design-led exercise. It also embodies the global Ford product development team’s move to design and develop vehicles as more than just an interior and exterior, or a collection of attributes.
“With the Evos designers have sort to enrich a customer’s every experience with their vehicle by personalizing and adapting it, thus creating unique, unexpected features that surprise and delight them,” explains Jeff Nemeth President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
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.
Ford’s global Research and Innovation team were tasked with building Evos Concept around a technology experience as visionary as the design. The result signals how Ford intends to build on the momentum of innovations like the SYNC® in-car connectivity system.
“In the future, the technologies we see in our cars will be defined by the experiences they deliver to the driver and passengers,” continues Nemeth. “The possibilities are fascinating.”
The concept’s technology experience embraces a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development in the Ford Research and Innovation laboratories. Seamless connectivity between the vehicle and the driver’s ‘personal cloud’ of information is at the heart of the vision for its capabilities.
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 deliver an exceptionally dynamic driving experience.
Ford researchers are focusing their efforts in this area to deliver on four key customer benefits: personalisation, seamless enhancement of the driving experience, looking after the driver’s well-being and delivering smart electrified powertrain optimisation.
Video of the launch of the Ford Evos Concept car in Johannesburg South Africa
The personalised, cloud-connected lifestyle
While today’s Ford products provide drivers with many personalisation options, cloud connectivity will enable future Ford vehicles to take the experience to the next level.
Drawing from a detailed understanding of the driver’s preferences and driving habits, the Ford Evos Concept combines this personal information with additional data from the cloud, such as the driver’s work schedule and local traffic or weather conditions. This information provides a personalised and seamless experience as the driver transitions in and out of the car.
Researchers are exploring how patterns or preferences can be set by the driver to make life simpler. The car gets to know the individual and can act as a personal assistant to handle some of the usual routines of a daily commute.
The car could automatically play the same music or news programme that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before the driver gets in without having to be requested by predicting departure time based on his calendar. Wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, it could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as it pulls away
Enhanced driving experience
Ford Evos Concept explores adaptive vehicle technologies to redefine the driving experience.
Current technology requires vehicle chassis settings to be defined based upon the abilities and tastes of a cross-section of drivers and the topography of typical roads. The concept foresees tuning handling and performance to the road ahead and the specific individual behind the wheel.
Learning driver habits and capabilities, the technology can overlay map and weather data sourced from the cloud to adjust powertrain, steering, suspension and braking systems for optimum enjoyment, comfort and safety. Because the vehicle is adaptive and honed to maximum performance based on the situation, it takes driving engagement to a new level.
Ford researchers have already developed technologies focused on driver wellness, such as the heart-rate monitoring seat and certified allergy-free interiors. With a seamless connection to the cloud, the Ford Evos Concept monitors the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly.
“Drivers around the world are spending more time behind the wheel. The wellness research and technologies are focused on relieving driver stress and enhancing situational awareness,” says Nemeth.
The Ford Evos Concept is also equipped with advanced air quality sensors and filtration systems to help allergy sufferers. Location aware, it can access air quality data from the cloud and proactively suggest a healthier route to the destination.
In dynamic driving situations, the vehicle may simplify the appearance of the instrument panel to display only necessary gauge information and switch the driver’s connected smartphone to “Do Not Disturb” mode to help keep the focus of attention on the road.
Cloud-optimised hybrid powertrain
Completing the vision for the Ford Evos Concept is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain.
Ford ‘powersplit’ hybrid architecture allows the electric motor and petrol engine to work together or separately to maximise efficiency. The advanced powertrain typically runs in all-electric mode before switching to charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.
Cloud connectivity would provide further opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency by selecting the optimum combination of powertrain modes for any given journey.
The cloud-optimised powertrain would automatically ‘know’ when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle’s predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions during the journey and current weather conditions.
In the future, communities may place firm restrictions on the types of vehicles allowed to use certain roads or highway lanes, and some city centres may choose to be open only to full electric vehicles. Helping drivers comply with such regulations could therefore be among the benefits of this technology.
This capability would further enhance the performance of Ford’s advanced PHEV technology, which offers an overall driving range of more than 800 kilometres using the battery and engine – more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle.
“The Evos Concept highlights Ford’s vision for greener, smarter vehicles with outstanding customer appeal,” adds Nemeth.
Dramatic fastback design with unique proportions
To provide a fitting vehicle to introduce Ford’s new design language, the Ford Evos Concept was conceived as a dramatic fastback concept, combining a striking new profile with innovative proportions. Attention-grabbing lines conceal a unique new format, with a four-door, four-seat layout which combines dynamic appearance with surprising practicality.
With the length of a typical C-car, but with width of a CD-car, the Ford Evos Concept has a powerful, sporting stance. The forward position of the cowl, the strongly rounded front screen and the A-pillars set further to the rear enabled the designers to create the impression of a classic GT car, but with a very contemporary feel.
The concept’s spectacular hinged gullwing-style doors, both front and rear, provide unprecedented access to the spacious four-seat cabin.
The concept car measures 4.50m long, 1.97m wide and 1.36m high, with a wheelbase of 2.74m.
Shaped as the ultimate expression of the new design DNA, the Ford Evos Concept highlights key elements of Ford’s distinctive new global design language.
“We may never see this car on the road by the bold design DNA will be translated into elements featured on Ford products of the future,” says Nemeth.
From the front, the Ford Evos Concept immediately signals the arrival of something new – a new face for Ford featuring the signature trapezoidal grille mounted higher on the car and creating a confident, more premium look.
Bold, technical shapes, such as the extremely slim ‘laser cut’ front lamps or the dramatic graphic created by the front and rear screens connected by the thin glazed section of the roof, add a distinctive character to the design. Sculptured flanks highlight attention to detail on the surfacing, which lends a refined quality and a tauter, more muscular character.
The vehicle was sculpted with the same purity of surface sculpture and attention to detail which characterise premium vehicles. Around the world, a new generation of buyers has come to expect premium design in all products, regardless of the purchase price.
Built around the driver
Reflecting the fun-to-drive spirit of its exterior design, the interior of the Ford Evos Concept is built around the driver. A stylish and innovative cockpit promises new levels of driving pleasure and driver interaction.
The interior architecture features clean and simple surfaces, with a muscular, athletic character to the slim upper instrument panel, enhanced by bold trapezoidal cut-outs. Contrasting these muscular forms, curvaceous cockpit display surfaces sweep down either side of the driver, providing secondary information about vehicle and infotainment systems.
The concept features a bold red driver’s seat and the vision of unprecedented driver interaction via an advanced driver interface. The two rear seat passengers get an equally special experience, with dedicated touch-screen displays to interact with the vehicle and individually adjustable sports seats
“Both the exterior and interior of the Ford Evos Concept clearly communicate that this is a driver’s car, as soon as you see the car you’ll immediately want to get in and drive,” concludes Nemeth.