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Sydney show: Ford concept a ute for five

Concept ute: The R5 features impressive ground clearance and large wheels and tyres.

The Ford R5 is a concept car well within the realms of possibility

16 Nov 2000

FORD's R5 concept car is a five-seat recreational utility aimed squarely at the 'let's do it' market.

"The basic brief for the R5 was very simple. We wanted to create a vehicle that built upon the recreational features of the highly successful AU Falcon ute," said Ford Australia president Geoff Polites.

"The ability to carry five people with a host of gear would create all sorts of travel and activity options for our customers. Our designers have taken the Falcon ute to another level." The R5 is finished in subtle Ghost Gum Silver paintwork and features impressive ground clearance and large wheels and tyres.

Based on a Falcon ute platform, the cabin has been stretched rearward from the B-pillar with a shortened ute tub mounted behind the cabin.

Entry to the cabin is via standard forward doors and rear opposed doors, and is assisted by the deletion of the B-pillar.

The deeply sculptured front bumper, wheel arch flares, integrated sideskirts and 18-inch wheels combine to provide a purposeful appearance. The R5 has about 75mm greater clearance than a conventional Falcon ute.

The front bumper houses a simple mesh grille, high performance quad beam headlights and low-mounted driving lights.

A one-tonne electric winch has been concealed behind a mesh insert in the lower intake area of the front bumper.

Twin side port exhaust outlets are located in front of the rear wheel arches on each side of the car.

An integrated sports bar is mounted on the tub behind the cabin. A canopy, lockable tonneau cover or integrated bike racks could be added easily.

The 18-incyh, six spoke alloy wheels are shod with 245/50R18 'crossover' tyres that have a unique 'reptile' tread face, designed to deliver optimal performance on and off the road.

Functional items to aid the active user have also been added. The rear bumper incorporates a 240v power socket and an outlet for the 50-litre on-board fresh water storage tank.

The opposed doors of the R5 open to reveal a futuristic combination of form and function.

The five-seats in the cabin are trimmed in contrasting Eucalypt suede with charcoal nylon mesh inserts.

Brushed aluminium highlights appear on the dash, gear-shift and door trims.

The central display unit houses controls for the in-car electronics which include telematics, a prestige sound system, automatic climate control, satellite navigation and mobile communications equipment such as phone, fax and e-mail access.

The rear seat has a 60/40 split with access to the load area to create external load access for long items such as water skis or surfboards.

The R5 is powered by a 220kW, 5.0 litre V8 mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

Large four-wheel ABS discs brakes with twin-pot callipers have also been fitted, along with traction control.

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