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Concept-Ford Verve Preview

Concept-Ford Verve Preview

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
Critical Knowledge:
  • A preview of Ford's upcoming subcompact car, due for North American production in 2010

  • Employs Ford's "kinetic design" philosophy

  • Follows the footsteps of the iosis and iosis X concepts

  • Ford's Convers+ system allows easy access to all driver-operated functions


Introduction
When the Ford Verve Concept was originally revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show in 3-door hatcback form, it hinted at the design direction for the European- and Asian-market Fiesta due to go on sale later this year. At the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford revealed the Verve concept in 4-door sedan form as an indicator of what the North American version of the car will look like when it goes on sale here in 2010. Ford also showed the 3-door version in order, according to Ford, "to test North American reaction to an alternative body style."

The Verve follows Ford's "kinetic design" philosophy-an aim to design vehicles that look more sporting, dynamic and exciting. The stylish Verve Concept follows the "iosis" (introduced at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show) and the "iosis X" (introduced at the 2006 Paris Motor Show)-two earlier kinetic design concepts credited with inspiring production models such as the Mondeo and S-MAX.

Exterior Design
Building on the kinetic design momentum in the iosis and iosis X concept cars, Ford uses terms such as "precision sculpted," "agile muscularity," and "toned athleticism" to describe the exterior body shape and design of the Verve concept. Eye-catching in deep magenta with a unique tinted clearcoat finish for a deeper glow, the Verve Concept offers sleek coupe-like lines with 18-inch, 12-spoke chrome alloy wheels, a tinted panoramic glass roof, and a B-pillarless structure.

While the 3-door Verve concept is dominated by a large, inverted trapezoidal lower grille with a small upper opening highlighted by the Ford oval, the sedan has a slightly different face, with a de-emphasized lower opening and a larger upper grille employing Ford's familiar three-bar theme. Both versions feature cat-like projector-beam headlamps that sweep rearward toward the A-pillars. Chrome detail surrounds the side windows, emphasizing the cab-forward look. The 3-door model features high-mounted LED taillights sculpted to follow the upper contour line with an integrated tail spoiler fitted above the one-piece tailgate. Centered in the middle of the rear diffuser is a split exhaust outlet.

Interior Design
The cockpit of the Ford Verve concept offers a playful sense of sophistication and fashion, and a look at pioneering technologies that may someday be a production reality. Reflecting the kinetic design elements on the exterior of the vehicle, the instrument panel is sculpted with full surfaces and flowing contours to envelop the occupants: a contrast to the airiness provided by the glass panoramic roof. Ignoring a traditional old-fashioned upright center stack of instruments and controls, Ford designers focused their design toward the generation that grew up with mobile phones. Central to the design is the Convers+ system that allows easy access to all driver-operated functions while displaying information on a large color screen. Buttons have been grouped for optimal ergonomic positioning in a manner consistent with the logic found on mobile phones. This completely new interior design is carried forward on navigation and in-car phone controls.
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