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The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Ford's eye-popping 'bank vault' city car

2005-01-07 10:04

According to Ford the Synus concept is aimed at people who lives in urban environments and work in the city.

Ford says that the Synusis compact enough to manoeuvre through congested streets yet bold enough to run with the big dogs at the same time.

The architecture of the Synus comes from the critically acclaimed Ford Fiesta. Smaller than the Ford Focus, Fiesta is what is known as a B-car.

Popular in other markets because of narrow streets and dense traffic, B-cars are almost unknown in America.

However, considering that the majority of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2010, the time may finally be at hand for the B-car market in the United States.

The Synus concept explores what such a car might look like.

While the Synus may be small, it has been apparently designed to stand up to the rough and tumble of life in the big city.

Taking its inspiration from bank vaults and armoured cars, this concept's exterior design immediately communicates that it takes security seriously.

When parked and placed in secure mode, Synus deploys protective shutters over the windshield and side glass.

Small windows on the flanks and roof are non-opening and bullet-resistant. The rear hatch has no window at all.

The Synus concept also signals security through its use of a driver-side dial operated combination lock on the B-pillar.

The rear hatch is operated via a vault-style four-spoke spinner. Flat glass in a slightly raked windshield furthers the armoured-car look of this concept.

Inviting inside

Innovative front seats are identically shaped and padded on both the front and rear faces. Each seatback can slide from back to front, allowing one or both of the front seat occupants to face rearward.

This arrangement could turn the Synus into a conversation pit, allowing for personal interaction between front and rear occupants. While the rear seat can accommodate two passengers, it also can fold flat to become a cargo area.

And to make the interior even more accommodating and spacious, the steering wheel folds away under the dash.

It also features a gigantic widescreen liquid crystal display in the tailgate. The largest flat screen LCD yet mounted in a vehicle, it offers a choice of internet surfing, movie viewing, or, via, cameras, watching what's going on outside the vehicle.

In motion, the display works with the cameras to function as the vehicle's rear window: by looking in the rearview mirror the driver can sees a high-definition closed-circuit image of the rearward view.

The powertrain of the Synus is taken from the Mondeo sedan. The engine is a turbocharged, intercooled 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Duratorq diesel engine with 98 kW.


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