Ford innovations take center stage
Gull-wing coupe concept showcases design direction, technology; new Focus, Fiesta unveiled.
Ford is taking the Frankfurt Motor Show by storm with its innovative Evos gull-wing-door fastback coupe concept. This is a showcase for the Blue Oval's future global design direction, as well as a technology demonstrator.
Alongside the Evos, Ford has also unwrapped the first performance version of the third-generation Focus and extremely efficient versions of the Focus and Fiesta that sport new Econetic Technology badging and fuel efficiency of better than 85 mpg.
2011 Ford Evos Concept
What is it? The Ford Evos is described as a fastback, eschewing the trendy "5-door coupe" nomenclature. About as long as a Focus but as wide as a Mondeo and lower than both, it previews the future design of Fords the world over. It's also a plug-in hybrid.
What's hot? The idea of a cloud-savvy car is neat. The Evos is so integrated into your life via Wi-Fi and other mobile data connections that it can reset your alarm clock if your early morning meeting is canceled, adapt automatically to your driving style and the road conditions, and even monitor your health.
What's not? Can't say we're entirely convinced that "global" design is the way forward. Attempting to satisfy global tastes risks resulting in a bland mishmash, or perhaps an arrogant assertion of what everyone should like.
How much and when? This is a concept. Ford says we "will never see this car on the road." The technology isn't as far off as you might think, however — you can now use Facebook on the move in some vehicles, so your personal cloud is coming.
MSN Autos' verdict: This funky Ford does it all; it's a shame we'll never be able to buy one.
2012 Ford Focus ST
What is it? Ford's first "global performance car," the Focus ST will be sold around the world. The searing-yellow 5-door and sober estate version here are different but both are supercool.
What's hot? It looks the business. That 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo engine is 132 pounds lighter than the thirsty 5-cylinder it replaces, which should do wonders for the handling, and it develops 250 horsepower, which is more than enough power.
What's not? The proof will be in the driving, but we'll have to hope the ST hasn't been dumbed down by then to meet global tastes. The only other downer is that we'll have to wait until next summer before it goes on sale.
How much and when? Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but the global sales volume could mean economies of scale and competitive pricing. Sales will start next summer.
MSN Autos' verdict: If it goes as good as it looks, the Focus ST is going to be a winner.
2012 Ford Fiesta ST Concept
What is it? A concept previewing the proper hot-hatch bubbling under the surface of Ford's sharp-handling supermini. The car will spearhead the midlife face lift of the Fiesta range, due next year.
What's hot? A 1.6-liter 180-horsepower EcoBoost turbo engine in the already sharp-handling Fiesta? Sounds good to us, especially because it weighs 220 pounds less than the standard fare.
What's not? The Fiesta ST looks brilliant, should go like stink and handle like a true hot-hatch king. What's not to like?
How much and when? It won't come cheap, but when it goes on sale, Ford will be looking carefully at the Audi A1, Polo GTI and others to figure out where to pitch the pricing. It won't be on sale until at least late 2012, possibly not until 2013.
MSN Autos' verdict: On paper, the Fiesta ST looks like an absolute riot, but why are they making us wait so long?
2011 Ford Focus and Fiesta Econetic Technology
What is it? New Econetic Technology versions of the Focus and Fiesta are powered by a sophisticated development of the 1.6-liter TDCi turbodiesel engine. The Focus is especially high-tech since alongside Auto-Start-Stop it also features a nitrogen oxide trap and Active Grille Shutter.
What's hot? The engine produces 95 horsepower in the Fiesta and 105 horses in the Focus, thanks to the addition of a variable geometry turbocharger. Together with optimized aerodynamics and friction reduction, you get 85.6 mpg and 83.1 mpg, respectively.
What's not? Ford says the usual entertaining driving experience remains, but surely there has to be a compromise somewhere. Still, with carbon-dioxide emissions to match the best non-plug-in Prius, the Focus becomes the "greenest" nonhybrid family car you can buy.
How much and when? It won't be cheap, but it will be available soon — try early 2012. Price is yet to be announced
MSN Autos' verdict: Econetic Technology makes Ford a serious eco force to be reckoned with.
Must-See on MSN
Are you suggesting that Ford is going to offer their Fiesta and Focus models with turbo-diesel engines in the United States?
If not, the last part of this article is misleading!