VERVE, FOCUS, KUGA FEATURED AT 2007 FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOWBy Mike Thomas, FCN
DEARBORN, Sept. 10, 2007 -- A concept, a crossover and a cool new Focus highlight Ford of Europe's presence at the 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show, Sept. 13-23.
The Frankfurt show is held annually, but it alternates years between passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. When Frankfurt goes commercial, the Paris Motor Show takes over as one of Europe's most important auto shows. Last year, Ford premiered its iosis X concept vehicle at the Paris Motor Show while the company introduced its new "kinetic design" direction with the original iosis concept at the 2005 Frankfurt show.
Pride of place this year goes to Ford's best-selling passenger car, the Focus, which gets a new exterior look, new interior and enhanced features. Ford of Europe's design team added "kinetic design" elements like new trapezoid grills, sleek side view and sweptback headlamps to the Focus to link it visually with such recent vehicles as the Mondeo and C-MAX. In the rear, the Focus gets newly shaped rear glass, new taillamps and new bumper.
Inside, the Focus features new instruments designed for better visibility, a new center console option with such features as a 230 volt inverter and USB audio connection, and new colors and materials.
Beginning in 2008, Ford's state-of-the-art PowerShift transmission will be available in the Focus mated to a 2.0-liter Duratorq TDCi common-rail turbo diesel. The PowerShift is a dual-clutch transmission combining the operation of an automatic transmission with dynamics and fuel efficiency of a manual.
When combined with the 2.0-liter diesel, the powertrain offers 10 percent better fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to a conventional six-speed automatic. The powertrain will also be available on the C-MAX.
New features include a capless refuelling system, the new Ford Power Button, a button to start the Focus as long as the driver carries the key, tire pressure warning system and LED rear lights.
Ford's second production vehicle is the crossover Kuga, based on the iosis X concept vehicle and featuring a choice of front-wheel or four-wheel drives. The five-seat Kuga is the first crossover designed and developed in-house by Ford of Europe and joins Ford’s portfolio of multi-activity vehicles, a segment growing faster than sedans in Europe.
While details are still being finalized, the Kuga will at least feature a 2.0-liter 136 PS Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine and a Durashift 6-speed manual transmission.
The exterior design closely follows the iosis X look and includes such "kinetic design" features as front trapezoidal grill, sleek side and swept back headlights. Interior highlights include large center console, a design for maximum outside light and a new Blaupunkt navigation system that includes a rearview camera.
Ford of Europe's winning streak of high visibility concept cars continues with the Ford Verve, a design concept for a new European B-car and the first demonstration of a global small car that could be tailored to individual countries.
Verve highlights include "kinetic design" key elements outside; inside, the center instrument panel is fashioned on the design of cell phones with entertainment controls positioned for maximum ergonomic ease as opposed to being grouped together "Ford Verve Concept is presented here in Frankfurt as a concept car to generate reactions while our production plans are taking shape," said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe.
"Our design team took an unrestrained approach to how our future small cars could look, and this eye-catching concept was one of the results."
Ford of Europe’s sustainability efforts take a giant step forward at Frankfurt with the introduction of the new ECOnetic line. These cars will use a combination of the latest common-rail diesel powertrains together with other carefully selected features engineered to reduce CO2 emissions.
The Ford Focus ECOnetic, the first in the line to be launched near the end of 2007, features a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine, Diesel Particulate Filter and a special low-friction transmission fluid developed with Ford alliance partner BP to reduce CO2 emissions to approximately 115g/km (grams per kilometer). The current European Union proposal for CO2 emissions targets 120g/km.
More new Ford technology debuts at Frankfurt with an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission developed for the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy and a new 2.3-liter 161 PS Duratec HR gasoline engine. The transmission works with both the new gas engine and Ford’s existing 2.0-liter Duratorq diesel. Developed specifically for larger vehicles, the transmission includes a conventional automatic mode, Sport mode with different shift points and full manual mode.
Like the transmission, the new gasoline engine was developed for Ford’s larger vehicles to improve combustion, improved peak power and torque and low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness.)
Finally, Ford is not resting on its World Rally laurels and bringing a new Focus RS World Rally car to Frankfurt. The 2007 rally car has improvements in the engine and body shell and weight savings that shave approximately 20kg (almost 45 pounds) off the vehicle. That may not seem like a huge weight savings, but according to Jost Capito, director, Ford Team RS, regulations make it impossible to find huge leaps forward with a car already as advanced as the World Rally car, but any gain is a welcome improvement.