Ford’s Evos concept, first unveiled back in 2011, promises to be the glamour car on the Ford stand at the Johannesburg International Motor Show in October.
While the Evos is purely a show car, it embodies the company's latest global design language as well as a pointer to where the One Ford product plan is going with 'smart' electronics, in particular the use of cloud computing.
Even some of the Evos' most outrageous 'sci-fi' features will be standard issue on future Focus and Fiesta family cars, says Ford, while its dramatic styling gives the company's worldwide design teams a common framework for a range of distinctive cars with a definite family resemblance, in much the same way as the latest Focus - Ford's most dramatic production-car styling in many years - is clearly a 'stretched' version of the equally successful Fiesta.
SWOOPING FASTBACK ROOFLINE
The four-seat Evos concept takes the swooping fastback roofline of the new Focus to a striking new level with its tucked-in tail, forward-mounted rear window (it's actually more a glass roof over the rear seats and would probably need electronically variable tinting to be practical in a sunshiny country such as South Africa) and short overhangs.
It's no longer than a typical C-segment car, but significantly wider, providing lots of usable elbow and storage room behind its four wide-opening gullwing doors - although its unusual width and rounded corners could make it a handful in tight car-parks, like certain supercars made in Italy by VW subsidiaries which shall remain nameless.
Its 'neural network' integrates automotive electronics with state of the art computing, exchanging data with the cloud to connect home, office and car, and provide new possibilities. The cabin is trimmed entirely in certified hypoallergenic materials, while the driver's seat has a built-in heart-rate monitor to monitor the driver's stress levels and adjust the car's responses accordingly.
PREDICTING DRIVER BEHAVIOUR
The Evos also uses the huge capacity of the cloud to understand - and predict - driver behaviour and travel patterns, then adjusts the mapping of the lithium-ion plug-in hybrid powertrain, switching between battery or engine power to use the least amount of energy to get to that specific destination.
It'll even put your smartphone in 'Do Not Disturb' mode when the revs and G-forces rise as you gun it into a mountain pass.
While that might seem a little Big Brother-ish at first glance, any executive will tell you that the essence of a good PA is the ability to anticipate the boss' needs; Ford intends its future cars to share that capability.