The Iosis MAX concept first shown at the Geneva auto salon is the first external clue as to the Ford’s global C-car—the nextgeneration Focus. Due for 2011, it will replace the two very different models currently sold in North America and Europe and provide the basis for Mazdas and Volvos,even though Ford has sold its equity stake in Mazda and might well be out of Volvo in the next year.
The Iosis MAX is a tallish hatchback. Ignore the insanely complex and expensive parallelogram-hinged door frippery, which is strictly concept; the car does provide some design clues. Its height is about halfway between the hatchback and the current C-Max, which sells in the very large compact minivan class in Europe. Ford insiders claim the Iosis MAX is neither a concept version of the next Focus nor the next C-Max. But the strong lower grille, with three horizontal bars, the graphics of the front and rear lights that stretch far along the sides of the car, and the rising beltline and tapering side glass DLO are all elements that will feature on the next Focus.
So too is the form of the body surfacing, which is less angular than on recent Euro-designed Fords such as the Fiesta. This is how Ford’s new-generation C-cars can share some design character with the U.S.-designed cars like the new Taurus. A key element of the new platform is powertrain adaptability.
The concept has a production-intent 180-horse, 1.6-liter four-cylinder Ecoboost engine. It features an idle-stop system with intelligent alternator (charges aggresively when coasting and minimally under acceleration) and mates to a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Ford will progressively roll out this powertrain to replace its larger-displacement gasoline fourcylinder versions from 2010 and claims it will post a 20-percent economy improvement. Besides Ecoboost, the platform has been engineered for diesel, gasoline-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric powertrains.
© Source: motortrend
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