Ford iosis Max Concept - 2009
(from Ford Press Release) FORD IOSIS MAX CONCEPT COMBINES STYLE, INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY
Exciting, dynamic design
Like all kinetic design vehicles, the exciting shape of the iosis MAX conveys ‘energy in motion’ through its athletic stance and muscular surfacing.
The design team also sought to create a strong impression of lightness and efficiency. This was achieved through the concept’s sleek, sporting and aerodynamic profile, which provides a clear contrast to the more boxy approach adopted by many vehicles in the compact MAV segment.
The feeling of lightness is reinforced by the extensive use of glass in the vehicle, with the steeply raked front screen flowing back in one piece to the tailgate, revealing the skeletal roof structure underneath.
The visual excitement of the concept’s exterior is also transferred to its interior design. The cabin extends some of the kinetic design themes with complex shapes and graphic forms which complement the expressive style used on the outside of the vehicle.
Advanced materials are combined with innovative solutions like the ‘floating’ seat design to create an overwhelming feeling of space and lightness for the occupants.
New style for Compact MAVs
The primary objective for the iosis MAX exterior design team was to create an exciting new style for compact MAV format vehicles by applying kinetic design principles.
“We were convinced that we could use our kinetic design form language to develop a
C-segment MAV that was sporty, dynamic and desirable,” explains Stefan Lamm, Ford of Europe’s chief exterior designer. “The iosis MAX takes the core kinetic design elements and extends them to a new level, with a totally fresh execution which is not only stylish and innovative, but functional too.”
The front of the iosis MAX is dominated by the bold trapezoidal lower grille, which is now a key part of the Ford brand identity. For the first time, however, the grille features a distinctive new treatment with three horizontal chrome-rimmed bars, giving the vehicle’s face a more dynamic and imposing feel.
The dynamic character of the design is reinforced by the coupé-like side profile, with its striking new window line shape – the daylight opening graphic – and rakish C-pillar design.
The C-pillars, with their highly original ‘flying buttress’ design, also deliver significant functional benefits. The pillars act as spoilers, channelling airflow as close as possible to the tailgate glass for optimum aerodynamic efficiency.
The pillars work in combination with the dramatic looking aerodynamic spoiler which is centrally mounted at the rear of the roof structure, with its wings cantilevered above the tailgate glass.
Imaginative details catch the eye all around the vehicle, including the striking new graphics for the front and rear lamps, stylish LED lighting strips in the rocker panels, and stunning 19-inch alloy wheels with a lightweight two-piece construction.
Dramatic interior environment
The iosis MAX interior presents a bold evolution of the kinetic design language used on the exterior, incorporating dynamic shapes and advanced materials to create a dramatic interior environment which is light, spacious and expressive.
“The iosis MAX shows how affordable family vehicles can have interiors which are practical and comfortable, yet still highly desirable,” says Ernst Reim, Ford of Europe’s chief interior designer. “Our vision looks beyond normal automotive processes, taking inspiration from modernist architecture, lightweight construction technologies and even the sporting world.”
The cabin design features strong dynamic lines, very expressive surfaces and an inherent sense of lightness. The instrument panel is a key element, having a slim, muscular shape which ‘reaches out’ to the body sides, suspended above the floor like a gymnast gripping rings.
At each end of the panel, grab handles spiral down into the doors, creating the impression of a vortex spinning from an aircraft wing tip.
The innovative use of shapes and materials is also reflected in the centre console, which has a smooth plexiglass surface which rolls down from the instrument panel like a ribbon and flows through to the rear of the passenger compartment.
The whole of the console surface acts as a touch-screen display to control the vehicle’s infotainment systems, similar to the approach used on the latest mobile phones.
The lower console is supported on a spine-like bridge which runs the full length of the interior from the bulkhead through to the load area. The four individual seats are also cantilevered from the bridge, allowing for a completely uninterrupted floor and giving occupants the sensation that they are ‘floating on air’.
To reinforce the impression of space and lightness the seats themselves are constructed from a stylish lightweight carbon fibre skeleton, with inner panels constructed from nylon mesh inserts.
Warm luminous colour palette
Warm luminous grey hues were selected for the iosis MAX interior, complementing the striking pearlescent 'Limelight' colour of the exterior, while at the same time creating a spacious and airy ambience. However, small details are picked out in bright cadmium yellow to add visual impact and stress the dynamic character of the shapes and graphics.
Although the interior has advanced lightweight materials, imaginative use of textures and surface finishes allows many of the parts to combine a technical feel with more sensual natural characteristics.
“For the iosis MAX we wanted to achieve a more futuristic interpretation of kinetic design through a creative blend of lightweight materials and sophisticated textures and colours,” says Ruth Pauli, chief designer for colour and materials, Ford of Europe. “The contrast between different materials and the use of subtle three-dimensional effects help to create a unique interior environment.”
An example of the original approach used in the iosis MAX is the special geometric surface texture used to emphasise the taut, muscular shape of the instrument panel. The geometric elements are stretched and distorted to reflect the panel’s complex form, highlighting the tension in the design.
Innovation delivers increased practicality
The iosis MAX also explores innovative solutions which could provide future MAV vehicles with increased practicality and flexibility.
These ideas were conceived by a team led by Patrick Verhée, Ford of Europe design innovation and show-car manager, who oversaw the development of the concept vehicle.
To help overcome common problems faced by owners when loading or unloading the vehicle in a confined space, such as a congested multi-storey car park, the concept features a unique two piece tailgate design. This allows the tailgate to be fully opened, even when there is restricted space behind or above the vehicle.
To provide even greater loading flexibility the iosis MAX utilises a B-pillarless construction, providing a wide, unobstructed load aperture when both front and rear side doors are open. In combination with the ‘floating’ seat design, this enables awkward, bulky items – such as flat pack furniture – to be slid easily onto the floor of the cabin or the folded seat backs.
The stylish LED lighting strip in the rocker panels provides additional illumination to assist safe entry to and exit from the side of the vehicle.
New opening kinematics are also utilised in the dual-function hood design, which incorporates an active hood system for improved pedestrian protection in combination with greatly enhanced access to the engine compartment.
Responsive yet environmentally friendly
The innovation featured in the iosis MAX extends to its powertrain, which showcases efficient technologies coming in future Ford vehicles to demonstrate how reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be achieved without compromising dynamic performance.
Power is provided by a 1.6-litre 180 PS 4-cylinder petrol engine from Ford’s new EcoBoost engine family. Ford EcoBoost engines feature turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver fuel economy up to 20 per cent better than conventional petrol engines with a similar power output.
EcoBoost engines will be progressively introduced to Ford’s European product range from early 2010.
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost unit in the iosis MAX is further optimised through the use of a new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, intelligent alternator and six-speed Ford PowerShift double-clutch automated manual gearbox with ratios tailored to deliver maximum fuel efficiency. Simulations predict that the concept vehicle could achieve CO2 emissions
of 125 g/km.
The concept’s environmental sustainability is enhanced by the use of lightweight materials and through careful attention to its aerodynamic design; the body’s optimised shape and details including the ‘flying buttress’ rear door pillars, advanced rear wing design, rear diffuser, narrow tyres and active front cooling ducts which are blanked off when not required.
"We're eager to hear reaction to the iosis MAX as the design team has worked hard to incorporate so many interesting ideas, features and materials that could find their way into future Ford vehicles," says John Fleming, Ford of Europe's Chairman and CEO. "The car also signals the arrival of an exciting new range of environmentally friendly Ford EcoBoost petrol engines which use the same efficient principles already making an impact on our larger North American models.
"The next eighteen months will see some exciting new models with clean and affordable technologies arriving in the Ford of Europe range," Fleming adds. "When we say 'Feel the Difference', our European customers will know we mean it!"