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Ford Evos Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

  • Looks like: Ford’s take on the Aston Martin Rapide
  • Defining characteristics: High-mounted grille, tiny headlights
  • Ridiculous features: Four gull-wing doors, information screens galore inside
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Not in this form, but expect design cues to grace future Fords

Ford likens the four-door Evos concept to the Iosis concept introduced at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. You’ll notice the Iosis’ influence on Ford cars you see today, like the new Focus and Fiesta. Near Detroit last week, chief designer J Mays (no relation to this writer) said to expect similar influence from the Evos.

“We got a lot of mileage out of Iosis as the precursor to what became Kinetic Design,” Mays said, referring to Ford’s current design ethos. “What we’re looking for is a design DNA that will take us through the next five years.”

Designed in Germany and built in Italy, the Evos is about as long as a compact car, but the sucker is wide. At 77 inches, it eclipses even the full-size Taurus. The thin lights and glass-bisected roof mirror Ford’s Vertrek crossover from last January’s Detroit auto show. Thin lights appear to be Mays’ latest inclination: “Headlamps have grown to absurd proportions,” he said. “They’ve become part of styling. [But] headlamps are technical.”

The Evos has an arsenal of sports-car cues. A trapezoidal Aston Martin-like grille sits just below the hood. Muscular fenders border spindlier wheels. Up front, horizontal side portals flatten the car’s stance. The Iosis’ vertical slats, cribbed later by the Fiesta, communicated height.

The Iosis and Evos do share gull-wing doors. The Evos goes one step further. When closed, the rear doors run clear out to the rear bumper and trunk lid — areas where an ordinary car has cut lines. It masks the door’s outline, so all you notice are the front ones. Among four-door cars that masquerade as coupes, the Evos fools best — but don’t bet on this making it to any production car.

Nor will much of the interior, we suspect. A thin rail flows from the instruments to the center console, with information screens across that rail and the driver’s door. The passenger side of the cabin looks pretty minimalist. The spindly center console clears up some space; we hope that suggests roomier cabins in future Ford models.

Being a concept car, the Evos carries a barrage of technology: a plug-in hybrid drivetrain from Ford’s C-Max Energi, health-monitoring seats that adapt to your current mood, and adaptive driving dynamics and entertainment through cloud-based driver information.

Mays promised design cues will grace Ford cars in four months, not four years. Will a production car with Evos DNA debut at January’s Detroit auto show? Mays wouldn’t say, but by our (very limited) math skills, his timeline ends sometime around a frigid January day in eastern Michigan. So stay tuned.

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