MEET THE EVOS
A stunning concept car, with the silhouette, advanced technology and bold ambition of great Ford vehicles to come
By Eric Hagerman
The destiny of DNA is to evolve, and the genetic code of forward-thinking global design for Ford has evolved into a stunning new species of street prowler. Say hello to the Ford Evos Concept, a car that first turned heads last fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show, giving auto buffs an astonishing glimpse into the future. “The momentum of our global product plan is building fast, and this new design DNA provides a clear direction for a whole new generation of models,” says J Mays, the company’s global chief creative officer and a driving force behind Evos.
The vehicle offers all that and more. A daring redefinition of the fastback form perched on a widened athletic stance, it features four gull-wing doors that lift open vertically in striking fashion to allow four enviable occupants to slip into the cockpit. The thinly curled lip of the cowl reveals a refined grille that sleekly gives way to the clean, taut hood and low-slung roofline, which tapers into a teardrop on the fastback.
As a concept car, Evos builds upon the One Ford strategy to establish a common, instantly recognizable brand DNA that expresses itself in each next-gen car—from the United States to Europe and beyond.
More than 1,100 Ford employees at eight different design studios around the world will rely on Evos to guide them as they craft the company’s next generation of cars. When engineers and consumers look at Evos, they can see the perfect embodiment of six telltale qualities: silhouette innovation, perceived efficiency, refined surface language, technical graphics, premium look and, most strikingly, the new face of Ford.
The Best Gets Better
Evos is a living testimony to the ongoing sophisticated evolution of the kinetic design language that first appeared in 2005 on the Ford iosis Concept, according to Martin Smith, the company’s executive design director for Ford in Europe and Asia.
Traits from iosis are already obvious in Ford vehicles all around us on the streets today, including the Mondeo, Fiesta and Focus. Similarly, elements of Evos will not only influence the look of Ford vehicles of the near future but actually be incorporated into current models such as the forward-thinking Fusion.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to cars like Fiesta and Focus gave the design team confidence that our original kinetic design approach resonated with consumers around the world,” says Smith. “With our new global design DNA, we have retained the same dynamic character, but with a more technical execution and a distinctively premium feel.”
With the simpler surfacing, the car projects a bold look. The clean body lines evoke a sense of motion even while standing still. They’re not so emphatically creased as they were in the prototype. Like a tailored suit, sophisticated design schemes don’t have to scream, “Look at me!” They capture your attention and charm your sensibilities with quiet, elegant finesse.
The silhouette has been pushed to nearly ideal proportions, with a wheelbase similar to that of a C car, but with the width of a larger sedan, like Fusion. The gull-wing doors are totally unexpected in a fastback, yet they’re not merely for show. They prove that form follows function, allowing easy access to the cockpit. “If you look at how the roof is executed, it’s striking, but we’re not actually sacrificing anything in the passenger compartment,” explains Stefan Lamm, exterior design director for Ford of Europe. “We’re just pushing our engineers to be really efficient in our packaging.”
“Efficient” means aerodynamic—not only in performance but also in presentation. This critical design cue is vital to this refined surface language. What you notice immediately, even if it is subtle to the eye, is that Evos engineers have drastically dialed back the car’s overhang—the mass that extends ahead of the front wheels. It’s a proportion that has grown clunkier over the years thanks to increased safety features and the predominance of front-wheel drive. The car’s grille has been moved up to achieve a trimmed-down effect. As part of the same effort, the LED headlights have been pared back, a hint to the outside observer that this car is packed with the latest technology.
Add it up and you get the upscale look Mays pursued. “The new generation of global buyers has higher expectations for more premium design language,” he says.
Evos offers a sweet taste of what Ford owners have come to expect for a premium look and feel in their cars. Just as the first smartphone made any other cell phone feel like an antique, this car showcases a modern design that won’t feel “old” after five years.
But premium positioning applies to more than looks. Evos engineers are leveraging forward-thinking SYNC® technology to connect drivers with a cloud of information that can affect many aspects of their lives. “The intent is not to convert the vehicle into a smartphone, but to provide drivers with a personalized and useful connection to the outside world within the vehicle context,” explains Derrick Kuzak, the group vice president of Global Product Development.
What you can expect is that your Ford will get to know you—learning from your preferences, driving habits and schedule. It will act as a personal assistant, heating your seat before you climb in or rerouting you to take advantage of your plug-in, hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain.
These are just a few of the ground-breaking features that will eventually become Ford vehicle signatures in Evos. And as inspiring as it is for Ford owners, it’s just as motivating for those working at the company. “Evos stands for the future, it stands for the brand, it stands for the design language,” says a passionate Lamm. “But it’s also an inspiration for our designers. It’s right there in a clay mold in the studio, and we compare everything we do with this vehicle every day.”