“Sometimes people only buy a car for the brand, even when they don’t like how it’s designed. With our new design language, however, we want to create cars that attract customers who otherwise would never have bought Fords”. So, just over a year after taking over the helm of Ford Europe design, Martin Smith is happy to be able to send out a clear message as to where the next generation of blue oval cars is going in styling terms. A “declaration of intent” called Iosis, a concept car presented in September in Frankfort, where it catalysed public attention with its sculpted forms which are much more emotive and expressive than Ford products marketed in recent years.
A “gentle revolution” is how the Cologne Style Centre designers, to whom Smith assigned the briefing for the Iosis in October 2004, define it.
Well proportioned, with a racy body and a cab that is pushed backward without being off-balanced, it has the profile of a true sports car, emphasised by the bold wings and sturdy shoulders. The details are very well executed to give an effect that is markedly three-dimensional in an approach that is quite the opposite of mere graphic treatment.
We find the same principle in the interior details, a much more futuristic environment that is seen to best advantage when the two doors, hinged to the pillars, are raised, a system engineered by Modarte. The colours are bold with orange dominating the two tones of grey in a combination that injects energy into a four-seater sports cab that is also highly comfortable, designed with long journeys in mind. The steering-wheel and gearstick are very Star Wars and Playstation, while the aeronautic world has suggested the ventilation ports that look like jet engines.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 155