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Iosis - Ford's dramatic new face

2005-09-01 07:23

Ford says the iosis defines a new design direction for Ford of Europe. The car will debut at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show.

"iosis is more than just a show car, it is sending a message about how Ford of Europe's future design will be defined", says Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Design Director. "It sends a bold message because our future products will be bold."

(Iosis is an ancient alchemy term referring to the mythical final stage of the transformation of base metal into gold)

In the case of iosis this language is applied in its most muscular form as expressed by the full surfaces spanning taut, dynamic feature lines. Strong shoulders supported by sharply defined undercut lines further support this muscular stance.


The iosis emphasises the "muscular look", with a smooth streamlined silhouette that has more than a touch of the new Jaguar XK./Aston Martin DB9 in its basic outline, while its prominent front wheel arches with a powerful air vent slot behind is a strong reminder of the Mazda RX8.

Another RX-8 reminder is the doors layout. Although a four-door, the iosis at first glance looks like a 2-door coupe, but it has no centre pillar, like the Mazda.

Unlike the Mazda, though, the iosis has doors that lift up and away from the bodywork, up above the roof.

However, we would doubt if these would ever make production, with a Mazda "barn door" solution more likely.

From above there's a hint of "arrow shape" as emphatically defined by Honda's S2000 sports car, while the rear angle shows, again, more than a little Jaguar/Aston.

New face

And the new face of Ford is represented by the familiar Ford graphic of an inverted trapezoid air intake, in this case placed below a bold, chromed grille.

The car gets 20-inch wheels milled from solid aluminium billets, featuring a contrasting polished and anodised finish that accentuates their three dimensional design.

Inside the instrument panel is a slim and complex form that sweeps around the front occupants of the vehicle.

Interior trim sees futuristic materials such as rubber and aluminium, plus leather, to give an ambience merges technical character with sophistication.

An ultra modern steering wheel fashioned from solid aluminium with contrasting orange glove leather grips and a graphite metallic leather airbag pad is matched by the Focus World Rally Car inspired sequential gear shifter.

The driver's cockpit is dominated by a prominent instrument binnacle housing a cluster of analogue instruments.


Their chronograph design is balanced by a high definition LCD display, re-configurable for the navigation system or views from three rearward facing cameras.

Eye-catching seats with skeletal frames featuring a ribcage and vertebrae structure are fashioned from aluminium and formed rubber.

Separating the front seats is a 'flying bridge' centre console.

The air vents featured on the fascia and the centre console have a twist control that unfurls the vanes in a way that mimics those of a jet fighter?s afterburners.

This imagery of a jet?s thrust is highlighted in the doors by aluminium inserts which flow and taper away from the vents.

Neoprene is used extensively in the interior finishing in three colours: dark charcoal, "oxygen" - a metallic grey - and a strong shade of technical orange.

There is also a unique leather finish that has a subtle, graphite metallic look. For the floor, conventional carpeting has been replaced with a more rugged, structured weave with technical silver highlights.


iosis features a number of design innovations.

The dramatic angled pivoting door arrangement features doors constructed from carbon fibre for lightness.

The doors are powered by rams that swing them upwards and outwards via a system of sophisticated hinges that ensure additional support isn?t required when the doors are open.

There are no conventional door mirrors on iosis.

Mounted in the rear valance is a camera to complement those on each door . The exterior cameras are pieces of precisely machined aluminium, swept back to further underline the car?s visual appearance.

The front lamps have an inner circular turning led for low beam with a vertical day time running light, separating it from the turn signal on the outer edge.

Beneath these lighting elements are 10 main beam LEDs, emerging when lit from tubes like a series of lasers.

This look is echoed in the rear light cluster with taillights organised in a circle with a flattened top, flanked to the outside by the indicators and inboard by the stoplights.

Inside iosis the centre stack houses docking points for a pair of memory sticks.

It is possible that rather than using a conventional key or even keyless entry, a memory stick could be used that as well as acting as a security device, would also contain the driver?s personal preferences for driving position, audio settings, screen configuration, and so on.

Another surprising feature of the interior is the extensive use of electro-luminescent foil to illuminate the doors and ceiling. In addition to being very package-friendly, it emits a gentle, even light and can be cut into any shape.


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