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Frankfurt show: Ford favours fastbacks

Blue Oval direction: Ford's next-generation sedans will feature more streamlined shapes, inspired by the swooping Evos four-door concept from Frankfurt.

More coupe-like silhouettes on the way for Ford’s future large cars

19 Sep 2011

FORD’S next-generation of larger four-door sedans will boast more streamlined shapes as the company attempts to add a larger visual dose of sporty as well as premium flavours to its mainstream family cars.

As evidenced by the company’s new Evos concept at the Frankfurt motor show, the move to more swoopy rooflines reveals the thinking – rather than the actual appearance – behind the look of the future D-segment (Mondeo) and D/E-sized (Falcon/Taurus) replacements.

Ford’s head of design J Mays said the first glimpse is heading our way within the next four months, which we expect to be the next-generation North American market Fusion.

Speaking to GoAuto on the sidelines at the Frankfurt show, Mr Mays said that, while the three-box boot will definitely survive, it will be more integrated in future large Fords, with a varying degree of rake as dictated by consumer preferences.

“A much faster profile is the new sedan,” he revealed.

“I don’t think a pure fastback is appropriate for every market, but I would say that all of our vehicles, including what is considered to be a three-box sedan, will be becoming far more fluid and fast-packaged – but they will still have a boot on.

“Without giving anything away, the new Fusion and Mondeo will still have a boot on it, but you will notice I think immediately that it will have a coupe-like roofline, with a very fast silhouette.”

27 center imageAsked if the Audi A7 Sportback (a five-door hatch with a four-door sedan fastback flavour) is an example of how streamlined the next generations of big Ford sedans will look, Mr Mays said that there may be some similarities there.

“I don’t think that is a bad analogy … but Audi designed that car as a coupe and we are not designing the Fusion and Mondeo as a coupe, but rather as an absolutely class-leading four-door sedan,” he said.

“Stay tuned, because we’re just a few months away now from talking more about that.”

At about 4500mm long, 1970mm wide and 1360mm high, and with a wheelbase measuring 2740mm, the Evos concept is roughly as long as a Focus small car yet wider than Mondeo, and as low as a sports car.

While the exact styling will not be duplicated in any specific production model, there are apparently strong hints in the way the front end, coupe-like profiling and rear shapes will form on the next lot of big cars.

The first production Ford sedan that Australians are likely to see extolling this fresh design language – an evolution of the current ‘Kinetic’ style, hence the ‘Evos’ branding – will be the next-generation Mondeo due in 2013.

Before that, however, Ford is likely to debut a pre-production version of the next-generation US/Canadian-market Fusion at a major motor show in the near future – perhaps as soon as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

Under the company’s One Ford mantra (and with no pun intended), Ford will fuse it and the Mondeo together as a single global model, in much the same way as the new Focus has replaced two distinct small cars worldwide in the past year.

The Fusion will probably be a sedan only while the Mondeo will continue with its sedan/hatch/wagon options, but it is unlikely both nameplates will survive.

Ford of Europe’s design boss, Martin Smith, said there will again be both four- and five-door versions of the next Mondeo, but the differences in style and silhouette will be “remarkable” compared with the current model.

“The next Mondeo will be considerably sleeker than the car we have on the road today,” he said.

“While it is not a forerunner for any particular car … the Evos reflects how our design thinking has progressed over the last six years since the Iosis (Ford’s first Kinetic design concept from the 2005 Frankfurt motor show).

“It will be the guiding light for the design of all our second-generation Kinetic Ford vehicles.

“The muscularity of the haunches is a new element we’re trying to get a sinewy athleticism to the vehicle.

“The surfacing is a lot tighter and more precise in order to achieve what J Mays refers to as a more visual ‘premium-ness’. The trapezoidal grille has moved higher up at the front to give a prouder and more premium look.

“These are all elements that are going to make it on our volume production vehicles, which hopefully our customers will want because of their design.”

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