Ford unveiling Evos Concept with cloud-optimized plug-in hybrid powertrain at Frankfurt show; previews new global design language
|The Ford Evos Concept previews a new global design language for the next generation of Ford cars, MAVs and CUVs. Click to enlarge.|
Ford will unveil the Ford Evos Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The company said the four-door, four-seat fastback concept with plug-in hybrid powertrain previews its new global design language, while exploring key future powertrain and vehicle technologies.
Ford’s global Research and Innovation team, led by Paul Mascarenas, was tasked with building Evos Concept around an advanced technology experience that exploits a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development in the Ford Research and Innovation laboratories. Seamless connectivity between the vehicle and the driver’s “personal cloud” of information is at the heart of the vision for its capabilities.
With information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or office. The car knows the driver, and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to deliver an exceptionally dynamic driving experience.
Ford researchers are focusing their efforts in this area to deliver on four key customer benefits: personalization; seamless enhancement of the driving experience; looking after the driver’s well-being; and delivering smart electrified powertrain optimization.
Cloud-optimized hybrid powertrain. The Ford Evos Concept is equipped with a lithium-ion plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain providing the same performance and fuel economy as the Ford C-MAX Energi scheduled for introduction in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013. (Earlier post.) The Ford powersplit hybrid architecture allows the electric motor and gasoline engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency. The advanced powertrain typically runs in all-electric mode before switching to charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.
Cloud connectivity would provide further opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency by selecting the optimum combination of powertrain modes for any given journey.
Access to historical driver behavior and travel patterns allows us to calculate the optimal fuel and energy efficiency by predicting the destination. Our researchers are working to increase understanding of driver behavior, develop accurate protocols to predict it and enhance the trip by providing the smartest use of fuel or battery for the situation.—Paul Mascarenas
The cloud-optimized powertrain would automatically ‘know’ when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle’s predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions during the journey and current weather conditions.
In the future, communities may place firm restrictions on the types of vehicles allowed to use certain roads or highway lanes, and some city centers may choose to be open only to full electric vehicles. Helping drivers comply with such regulations could therefore be among the benefits of this technology. For example, the French government is considering creating zones mandating lower emissions, while cities such as London, Berlin, and Stockholm already have them in place.
This capability would further enhance the performance of Ford’s advanced PHEV technology, which offers an overall driving range of more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) using the battery and engine.
The other customer benefits of Ford’s approach include:
The personalized, cloud-connected lifestyle. While today’s Ford products provide drivers with many personalization options, cloud connectivity will enable future Ford vehicles to take the experience to the next level. Drawing from a detailed understanding of the driver’s preferences and driving habits, the Ford Evos Concept combines this personal information with additional data from the cloud, such as the driver’s work schedule and local traffic or weather conditions. This information provides a personalized and seamless experience as the driver transitions in and out of the car.
Enhanced driving experience. Ford Evos Concept explores adaptive vehicle technologies to redefine the driving experience. Current technology requires vehicle chassis settings to be defined based upon the abilities and tastes of a cross-section of drivers and the topography of typical roads. The concept foresees tuning handling and performance to the road ahead and the specific individual behind the wheel.
Learning driver habits and capabilities, the technology can overlay map and weather data sourced from the cloud to adjust powertrain, steering, suspension and braking systems for optimum enjoyment, comfort and safety. Because the vehicle is adaptive and honed to maximum performance based on the situation, it takes driving engagement to a new level.
Driver wellness. Ford researchers have already developed technologies focused on driver wellness, such as the heart-rate monitoring seat and certified allergy-free interiors. With a seamless connection to the cloud, the Ford Evos Concept monitors the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly.
The Ford Evos Concept is also equipped with advanced air quality sensors and filtration systems to help allergy sufferers. Location aware, it can access air quality data from the cloud and proactively suggest a healthier route to the destination.
In dynamic driving situations, the vehicle may simplify the appearance of the instrument panel to display only necessary gauge information and switch the driver’s connected smartphone to “Do Not Disturb” mode to help keep the focus of attention on the road.
Ford’s new design direction. The Ford Evos Concept was specifically developed to introduce the new Ford design direction. Key design elements will be applied to forthcoming Ford vehicles.
With Ford Evos Concept is the length of a typical C-car, but with the width of a CD-car. The forward position of the cowl, the strongly rounded front screen and the A-pillars set further to the rear enabled the designers to create the impression of a classic GT car, but with a contemporary feel. The concept’s hinged gullwing-style doors, both front and rear, provide access to the four-seat cabin.
The concept car measures 4.50m (177in) long, 1.97m (77in) wide and 1.36m (53in) high, with a wheelbase of 2.74m (108in).
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. With its compelling design and innovative technology experience, this is a clear demonstration of the exciting vision we have for the Ford brand. While you will never see this car on the road, the next generation of Ford products around the world will display many of the distinctive design ideas and advanced technologies it showcases.—Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development