Ford has given advanced billing for a rolling design thesis it is calling the Evos Concept, a new kind of plug-in hybrid that will go on display this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Don’t expect to see it coming to any showrooms however. The custom-made vehicle is rather “an ultimate expression of Ford’s new global design and technology vision” and a promise of things to come.

“The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development.


Ford Evos Concept.

In a longer-than-average press release, Ford says the four-seater fastback is a first view of “customer focused and intuitive technologies.”

Head in the 'clouds'

While the company does get around to saying it is a “driver’s car” propelled by the C-Max Energi’s powertrain, it spends a lot of word space up front explaining how “the driver’s ‘personal cloud’ of information is at the heart of the vision for its capabilities.”

Ford says the car will offer a personalized and seamless extension of the “connected lifestyle” from the office or home and signals how Ford will build on the momentum of innovations including its SYNC in-car connectivity system.

"Our goal is to focus on enriching a customer's every experience with their vehicle – by personalizing it, adapting it, and creating unique, unexpected features that surprise and delight them," said Kuzak. "In the Ford Evos Concept, this objective is explored and extended to the area of connectivity, where the intent is not to convert the vehicle into a smartphone, but rather to provide personalised and safe connection to the outside world in an enriching manner designed totally for the vehicle context."


Functional and visually dramatic.

Ford also says the car will get to “know the driver” and automatically adapt handling, steering and engine controls to him or her.

“At Ford, the future of technology in the car will be defined by the experience that it delivers to the driver and passengers,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation. “We see technology as more than just an impressive list of microprocessors, sensors and software; it’s about the application of that technology to create an experience that enhances the driver’s time behind the wheel.”

What's in it for passengers? Both rear-seat guests “get an equally special experience,” Ford says, with dedicated touch-screen displays to interact with the vehicle and individually adjustable sports seats.

A car that cares

Ford says it wants occupants to be healthy and drivers operating at 100-percent capability, so an emphasis on “wellness” is baked into the tech-laden Evos.

“Our wellness research and technologies are focused on relieving driver stress and enhancing their situational awareness,” said Mascarenas. “Drivers around the world are spending more time behind the wheel, and the car should not be another stress point in their lives.”


Red driver's seat.

The red driver's seat carries over previously developed heart-rate monitoring ability, the interior is made of hypoallergenic materials, and the air filtration and monitoring system are nothing to sneeze at.

The car can even access air quality data and suggest an alternate route.

In “dynamic driving situations” the instrument panel can switch to display only vital data so drivers can better focus, and the integrated smartphone goes into a “Do Not Disturb Mode,” to further avoid distracted driving.

Powertrain

Normally the powertrain is among the first things described in a car review, and Ford does say it is just as proud of this aspect as the novel cloud concept it is attempting to float.

But the Evos is no hi-po Mustang beater. Instead it's an ultimate expression of a comparatively sedate offering. Its go-power – donated by the C-Max Energi – includes a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, electric traction motor and high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine.


All the data one could ask for.

So don’t let those Aston-Martinesque looks fool you. This aesthetic wonder is eminently eco-friendly, and not likely to pin you to the special driver's seat on a quick trip to 100 mph and beyond.

Its speed and driving range are equivalent to the donor car, Ford says, while noting its 500 mile (800 km) combined distance attainable are “more than any other plug-in or extended range electric vehicle.”

Ford says its “powersplit” hybrid architecture lets it run in all-electric mode or combined petrol-electric.


The Evos could arguably be called the world's coolest C-Max Energi.

Its default mode is all electric before switching to charge-sustaining mode as needed.

The Evos' immense data processing capabilities make its powertrain also “cloud optimized.” One of its capabilities is to select the ideal combination of powertrain modes for any journey.

“Access to historical driver behaviour and travel patterns allows us to calculate the optimal fuel and energy efficiency by predicting the destination,” said Mascarenas. “Our researchers are working to increase understanding of driver behaviour, develop accurate protocols to predict it and enhance the trip by providing the smartest use of fuel or battery for the situation.”

The Evos would further “know” when to save energy and switch modes depending on data from the predicted travel route, any emissions restricted zones and current weather conditions.

London, Berlin and Stockholm already have low-emissions zones, for example, and regions in France may soon also. Ford says it will be ready with a car that can adapt.

Design

Ford upstaged Lamborghini by giving the Evos four hinged gullwing doors which not only scream for attention, but, Ford adds, are practical because they give ease of ingress and egress.

Other more subtle cues inside and out are portents of future Fords, the company says.


Would you kick this out of your garage?

“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a strong premium visual appeal, and above all, are stunningly beautiful,” said J Mays, group vice president, design and chief creative officer.

The Evos measures 177 inches (4.50 m) long, 77 inches (1.97 m) wide, and 53 inches (1.36 m). Its wheelbase is 108 inches (2.74 m).

These dimensions are close to a global “C” platform in length, and a “C-D” platform in width to create a car reminiscent of great GTs of the past, but more user friendly, Ford says.

“This is an exciting new interpretation of the fastback bodystyle, with a really innovative silhouette as well as dramatic and very modern proportions,” Mays said.

Eye candy

Ford’s press release waxes quasi-eloquent with lavish self praise for what looks like a pretty neat car with great potential that unfortunately will never be.


The face of things to come from Ford.

One question is now that Ford has shown what it can do, and says this is a rolling showcase of future design and tech elements, what vehicles will it build that incorporate them and how soon?

As for the concept, we think it is quite spectacular, but incongruent in one key respect.

Namely, a car that looks so athletic ought to have more power than what is provided by a C-Max powertrain.

But that is not the point. Since the Evos never has to go anywhere except to the show circuit and photo shoots, Ford can get away with an upscale mythical pony car that reflects favorably on its almost-ready C-Max. Meanwhile Ford will continue soliciting and accepting spectators' oohs and ahhs, while never being so forthright as to state that its ostensible stallion is actually gelded.

More Evos videos follow if you click through at the end.

“Both the exterior and interior of the Ford Evos Concept clearly communicate that this is a driver’s car, so that as soon as people see the vehicle, they will immediately want to get in and drive,” said executive design director Moray Callum.

Yes, maybe so. And while we would not turn down a spin, we hold no illusion that appearances of unbridled performance are anything more than deceiving. No word was given on curb weight, performance, or potential price, which does not matter because it will not be for sale.

Source: Ford