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Ford Verve concept announces
An exciting new Fiesta for 2008

Ford Verve concept: front side, driving.

Clear and... exciting hint to the next generation Fiesta.

APN,
15 September 2007.

With its Verve concept car revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show (13 - 23 September), Ford gave a clear and exciting hint to its next generation supermini, B-segment, sub-compact or whatever you wish to call the Fiesta in your own market.

And... it is not just for Europe. The Verve concept car is the first physical evidence of the design direction for the all-new small Ford announced earlier this year, which shares the new Mazda2 platform. The European arm of the company's global Product Development group is taking the design and engineering lead in creating a new small-car portfolio for major world markets.

Ford Verve concept: front side, static.

New Ford Fiesta to reach Europe, Asia and North America.

More, the Ford Verve Concept is the first of three concept vehicles which will debut in key regions – Europe, Asia and North America.

John Fleming, President and CEO of Ford of Europe indicated that the Verve Concept is presented in Frankfurt to generate reactions while production plans are taking shape. He added that the design team took an unrestrained approach and this concept was one of the results. If the reactions are positive, the team will incorporate elements of this advanced design vision into the final production design.

Ford Verve concept: side view.

Side: energy in motion, with pillarless side window shape.

Martin Smith, Executive Director of Design for Ford of Europe said that the bold, even radical form language "demonstrates the dynamic possibilities for expressing Ford’s kinetic design philosophy in a small car.”

Finished in rich colours with materials inspired by fashion and cosmetics, the Ford Verve Concept was designed by Ford's studios in Dunton, England, and Cologne, Germany.

Ford Verve concept: front view.

Front with a large, inverted trapezoidal lower grille.

Building on the kinetic design of Ford’s recent concept cars and production models like the new Ford Mondeo, the Kuga crossover or the 2008 Ford Focus, the Verve Concept is a bold expression of a small-car with "agile muscularity" and "toned athleticism", complemented by a sleek roofline and B-pillarless structure that lend a coupe-like stance.

Stefan Lamm, Chief Exterior Designer, Ford of Europe has put it clearly: “Ford Verve Concept symbolises our ambition to be a leader in small car design and create individual cars for individual customers, just as we have with the S-MAX and new Mondeo.”

Ford Verve concept: back side view.

Encapsulated rear bumper and brushed aluminium accents.

The concept's face is bold and sporty. The front is dominated by a large, inverted trapezoidal lower grille under a far more compact upper one. The lower grille and badge treatment are the Design team’s intended signature elements to communicate the Ford design DNA in future products.

The bonnet shape is sculpted dynamically, combined with more pronounced, rearward-stretching headlamp units – inspired by Mondeo – to give the face a friendly personality. The prominent headlamps feature two projector beams and a light-emitting diode (LED) array.

Ford Verve concept: inside view from driver window.

The Ford Verve Concept is trimmed in a blend of magentas.

The side inspires energy in motion, with pillarless side window shape, the upper contour line extending from the angular A-pillar to the semi-high-mounted, LED tail lamps and integrated tailgate spoiler. These elements blend and support the vehicle’s panoramic glass roof.

At the rear, the lower diffuser with integrated centre exhaust outlet are part of a design that incorporates the encapsulated rear bumper and design accessories, like brushed aluminium accents on the lower edges of the fog lamps.

Ford Verve concept: driving position view, with illuminated console buttons.

Verve: looks like a very exciting model to drive, indeed.

The 18-inch, 12-spoke, two-piece alloy wheel design is light and airy, with a ‘three dimensionality’ that draws the eye to the base of the spokes. The low-profile tyres each feature a sidewall stripe that complements the rich body colour.

Other accents on the vehicle include a chrome bar in the door handles and similar use of brushed aluminium on the lower grille surround, the rear number plate surround and on the lower edge of the front fog lamps.

Ford Verve concept: steering wheel.

Steering wheel in soft-feel material, framed in brightwork.

Inside, pronounced sculpting characterises the upper instrument panel. Full surfaces and flowing contours on interior elements – especially the instrument panel and door panels – reflect the kinetic design elements on the exterior of the vehicle.

A predominant feature of the interior is the centre stack of the instrument panel. Aesthetically, it follows the curves and contours of the instrument panel shape, with a winged effect to frame a large-screen, colour Ford Convers+ system incorporated in the upper dash (opposite photo). The Ford Convers+ system incorporated in the concept is the latest-generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) recently introduced in the Ford Mondeo.

Ford Verve concept: upper console with Ford Convers+.

Winged effect framing a large-screen Ford Convers+ system.

Another key element of the centre stack design is the decoupling of the traditional elements of the entertainment system – the screen, control elements and the electronics. Separating these elements allowed designers to place controls and buttons for optimal ergonomic positioning in a design that resembles the logic of a mobile phone, a sensible idea for a car targeting generations familiar with mobile phones since their earliest souvenirs.

The architecture also embraces other key systems, including navigation and in-car phone controls, with buttons and switches similar to mobile phone designs, giving the Verve instrument panel centre stack a different feel than that of traditional automotive switchgear.

Ford Verve concept: headlight and fog light.

Modern light technology is a major design and safety factor.

The concept's heating/ventilation controls, highlighted in a lozenge shape at the midpoint of the centre stack, feature large twist dials which were inspired by the sculpture found in high quality power showers.

The centre stack structure flows into a centre console, which provides stowage areas, including a tray for a mobile phone or MP3 player as well as a large bin for a purse or shoulder bag near the handbrake.

Ford Verve concept: door trim.

Door panels reflect the kinetic design elements on the exterior.

“The centre stack is like the art gallery of the car,” said Niko Vidakovic, Chief Interior Designer, Ford of Europe.

The primary gauges – speedometer and rev counter – are framed by binocular-shaped, short tunnels of brightwork which complement the centre stack and contrast the interior colours.

The steering wheel gets soft-feel material, framed in brightwork. The left and right spokes of the three-spoke design incorporate the toggle controls for the HMI system.

Ford Verve concept: tail light with LED lamps.

LED tail lamps and integrated tailgate spoiler.

From the instrument panel to the seats, the Ford Verve Concept is trimmed in a blend of magentas. Materials were inspired by the fabrics and leathers of haute couture, according to Ruth Pauli, Chief Designer, Colours and Trims, Ford of Europe.

The portfolio of materials used by the Ford Design Europe team include deep burgundy leather for the upper instrument panel, contrasted in the lower area by a slightly green-hued black leather, with seats covered in deep burgundy leather trimmed with electric magenta piping.

Small elements of the interior – even control stalks on the steering column – are inspired by the packaging of luxury cosmetics, which often incorporate expensive-looking details to convey brand appeal. Such small packaging requires the precise execution of tonal quality and saturation of colours.

All in all, European design chief Martin Smith said the 2007 Frankfurt motor show and other opportunities in the near future for public feedback will be important drivers of the next generation Ford Fiesta design direction.

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