New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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 shows off four-door gullwing

2011-09-01 08:34

FUTURE FOCUS?: Ford’s new Evos design concept showcases engineering details the company’s plans to introduce to its range of passenger cars within the next five years.

Ford has revealed a radical C-segment design study, the Evos, ahead of its 2011 Frankfurt auto show debut.

The car, conceived as a showcase (and test bed) for a variety of future Ford driving and design technologies, is 4.5m long, 1.97m across and 1.36m tall.


The design’s most notable styling feature is its roof-hinged gullwing doors (four of them), a design element already in modern production with Mercedes SLS AMG but never attempted (in homologated road car form) with all four doors.

Gullwing doors, despite their dramatic arc of operation, are not only for show. Requiring less space to allow seamless passenger ingress and egress than a convention swing-door at full extension, they are a perfect solution to door-ding damage in claustrophobically crowded car parks with undersized parking bays.

Beyond the clever doors, its raked A pillars, rounded corners and coupe proportions combine to make the Evos one of the most striking Ford concept cars of recent time.

Inside there is a host of digitally enhanced features all attempting to boost Ford’s strategy of offering future customers a fully integrated driving experience. Ford’s says the Evos is capable of effortlessly providing continuation of the television broadcast you were watching (or music listened to) just before you left your home to go out for a drive.

Depending on the level of digitisation in your home, the Evos is capable of automatically opening/closing a powered garage door and switching off (or on, upon return) outside or interior home lighting.

GULLWING SEDAN?: The Evos has double the number of doors featured on a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar. Supposedly works a treat…

One of the smarter bits of cabin digitisation is borrowed from Saab. The Swedish manufacturer’s cars are well known for the "flight/night mode" instrumentation functionality, where only the bare minimum of dials are illuminated to reduce information overload that could lead to driver fatigue.

Ford’s Evos is capable of the same; with its digital instrumentation capable of relaying only crucial information – depending on a driver’s style, whether cruising or driving at pace.

Fantastically styled and packed with modern digital devices, the Evos concept is powered by an experimental Ford hybrid powertrain – combining lithium-ion battery power and a conventional petrol engine.

Although Ford’s is keeping powertrain details secret, its claims the combined battery/petrol set-up if good for a range of 800km…

Unlikely as it may be that the Evos gullwing doors will be homologated into a future road car, many of the concept’s digital features will be rolled out into future Fords within the next five years.

Latest from Frankfurt 2011.


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