Four concept cars, all very different one from the other. “You only need look to see we’ve decided to be a lot more American”. From the gallery over the vast Ford stand, J. Mays observes his creations with the satisfied air of a man who has worked hard and can now enjoy the fruits of his labours of the past few months: the Mustang, or the way we were and the way we would like to continue being; the Model U, which is, according to Bill Ford “the Model T of the 21st Century”; the 427, a Saloon that’s nostalgia on wheels; the Freestyle FX, the trend-setting crossover.
In conversation with Silvia Baruffaldi, Ford’s Vice President for Design sketches the present and future of the Ford Group and its products, dwelling on the contents and the significance of each one. From the Freestyle which he admits still reflects the influence of his time in Audi, to the big 427 saloon with its chrome-trim nose and 7-litre V10 engine. “This was how my team reacted to our request for a saloon with real character”, reports Mays. And then he moves on to the Model U, the Mustang and all the other Group brands.
Because the stand that celebrates the Ford Motor Company’s first 100 years embraces them all. Here too there is plenty for the Design Vice President to smile about, on the concept car front. Starting from the Mazda Washu, created by Moray Callum, and the Mercury Messenger which shows what designers can do when left to their own devices. The Navicross, according to Mays, is even better than the other two Lincoln concepts created by Gerry McGovern (i.e. the MK9 and the Continental Concept, editor’s note) and shows which way the brand is going. For its part, the Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage is ready to go into production as it stands, as a direct rival of the Porsche 911.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 138