Ford Verve Concept

The significance of the Ford Verve Concept is that it's the first physical evidence of the design direction for an all-new small Ford since it was announced earlier this year that the European arm of the company's global Product Development group is taking the design and engineering lead in creating a new small-car portfolio for major world markets. The Ford Verve Concept is the first of three concept vehicles which will debut in key regions Europe, Asia and North America.

Building on the kinetic design momentum of Fords recent iosis and iosis X concept cars, and the more premium feel of production models like the new Ford Mondeo, the Ford Verve Concept is a bold expression of a small-car vision.

Martin Smith uses expressions like "precision sculpted", "agile muscularity" and "toned athleticism" to describe the full surfaces of its body shape, which are complemented by a sleek roofline and B-pillarless structure that lend an elegant, coupe-like feel of sophistication.

Its colour a deep magenta red encapsulated in a tinted clearcoat for an even deeper glow is a daring declaration of individualism and exclusivity.

We wanted to make a bold statement about our vision for Ford small cars of the future, said Stefan Lamm, Chief Exterior Designer, Ford of Europe. Ford Verve Concept symbolises our ambition to be a leader in small car design and create individual cars for individual customers, just as we have with the S-MAX and new Mondeo.

Given a wide degree of freedom to create the concept, the design team, including lead exterior designer Chris Hamilton, grounded their efforts in reality. Ford Verve Concept was created with an eye toward production feasibility.

The concept's face is bold and sporty, yet friendly and engaging. The front of the vehicle is dominated by a large, inverted trapezoidal lower grille and a large Ford oval badge centred in the compact upper grille opening.

The lower grille features strong horizontal blades punctuated by a regular array of bullet shapes that combine to create the visual effect of corresponding vertical bars. The lower grille and badge treatment are the Design teams intended signature elements to communicate the Ford design DNA in future products.

The bonnet shape is sculpted dynamically toned and athletic but not overtly muscular. This feeling combines with the more pronounced, rearward-stretching headlamp units inspired by Mondeo to give the face of the Ford Verve Concept a friendly, open and inviting personality. The prominent headlamps feature two projector beams and a light-emitting diode (LED) array.

From the side view, the concept has the purposeful, cab-forward look of energy in motion. The profile is emphasised by the pillarless side window shape, the upper contour of which mirrors the bodys curving upper contour line. This extends rearward from the angular A-pillar to marry the sculpted, semi-high-mounted, LED tail lamps themselves sculpted to become part of the fullness of the body shape and the car's integrated tailgate spoiler. These elements blend cohesively together and support the vehicles panoramic glass roof.

A bodyside belt line adds to the dramatic array of shapes that lend a feeling of controlled tension. The wheel arches also communicate tension and muscularity another signature of kinetic design.

At the rear, the lower diffuser with integrated centre exhaust outlet are central elements of a cohesive design that incorporates the encapsulated rear bumper and design accessories, like brushed aluminium accents on the lower edges of the fog lamps. The lower diffuser is formed of dark chrome, which provides a muted contrast with the deep magenta body colour to create a controlled expression of tension and suspense.

The 18-inch, 12-spoke, two-piece alloy wheel design lends even more drama to the car. The wheel design is light and airy, with a feeling of depth and three dimensionality that draws the eye to the base of the spokes. Ford Verve Concepts low-profile tyres each feature a sidewall stripe that complements the rich body colour.

Other accents on the vehicle evoking the way in which carefully selected accessories can complement fashions include a subtle chrome bar in the door handles and similar use of brushed aluminium on the lower grille surround, the rear number plate surround and on the lower edge of the front fog lamps.

These combine subtly to signal a higher level of premium quality than that typically found in small cars.

With a small car, for example a B segment car compared with a larger car, we believe we can play up or amplify key elements of the kinetic design form language, Lamm said. Its not just a matter of copy-and-paste from one vehicle segment to another but rather how to interpret the philosophy for each individual car. You can clearly see this when you compare the larger iosis concept, the iosis X crossover and this new project.

Source: Ford press

Gallery: Ford Verve Concept