Thursday 23 March 2017

Evos so tempting

Ford's latest concept car hints at the look of its next Mondeo, says Shane O'Donoghue

If you're someone that worries about how much the likes of Twitter and Facebook know about you then look away now, as Ford wants to hand your life over to its cars of the future. The first indication of this came in the slinky form of the Evos concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year, though there's a lot more to this show car than most.

Ford's designers talked us through a typical day in the life of the owner of the Evos (let's call him 'Mick') and it's more than a little eerie. Before Mick even wakes, the car is at work. It notes that his early morning meeting has been postponed to the afternoon so takes the liberty of changing his alarm call. Not quite sure how it'll stop Mick panicking when he is woken later than he expected, but there you go.

Panic over, the Evos interacts with Mick's home entertainment system to show him the news items he's interested in before switching it to his favourite morning music. As Mick leaves the house and opens the car door it is already at his preferred temperature.

As Mick has some time to spare, the Evos suggests they take the scenic route to the office and when they leave behind his home town it adjusts itself for sportier driving. That means a firmer chassis, more direct steering and throttle and less electronic assistance. The car even automatically switches Mick's phone to 'do not disturb'.

When the twisty road comes to an end the Evos detects that Mick's heart rate is elevated and that he's quite warm, so the climate control compensates and soothing music is played. The Evos reverts to comfort settings and proposes that it take control while Mick catches up on his email. In this guise the car drives autonomously and lets Mick get on with important things like seeing how many 'friends' he has on Facebook.

As they near the office, the Evos searches automatically for a secure parking space close to the building with an electric charge point. The car parks itself and out Mick gets.

Sounds fanciful, doesn't it? Not to mention just a teeny bit scary.

Thankfully, all that future technology is only one reason for the Evos concept car. The other is to preview how Fords of the future will look. Before you even think it, this car does not preview a replacement for the Capri. Indeed, while it looks like a coupe, it does in fact have four doors. In true concept car fashion those doors are of the gull-wing variety.

Obviously the next Ford Mondeo won't adopt gull-wing doors, but take a good long look at the assertive face of the Evos, as that's how the Mondeo -- and other Fords -- will appear. Key details are the moving up of the inverted trapezoidal grille and the distinctly slim headlights. Hopefully the curvaceous flanks will see it through to production too.

I asked J Mays, group vice-president of Design and chief creative officer of Ford, how close to reality the look of the Evos is and he said he'd be "disappointed" if the new global car revealed in Detroit this coming January doesn't look a lot like it. Sources tell us that it will spawn a new Mondeo, hitting the Irish market in 2013.

You'll be glad to hear that it won't have the ability to change your alarm clock.

Sunday Independent Supplement

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