The iosis MAX is a study for the next generation of Ford’s compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV) as well as a glimpse at the design direction Martin Smith and his team are taking for the company’s next generation global C-car family.
The exterior and interior designs based on a fresh interpretation of Ford’s kinetic design form language.
Main exterior design elements include a coupé-like side profile, a new window line graphic , with a ‘flying buttress’ C-pillar design, newly designed lower trapezoidal grille and front / rear lights.
The interior features dynamic shapes and advanced materials; the centre console has a three-dimensional touch-screen surface. The lightweight seats are supported on spine-like bridge, offering occupants a sensation of ‘floating on air’.
The car adopts a number od solutions which enhance its environmental performance, such as lightweight materials, advanced aerodynamics, and a preview of the European development of Ford’s global EcoBoost petrol engine technology coming in 2010.
The powertrain adopts a 180hp 1.6-litre engine coupled with the PowerShift transmission, and the new Auto-Start-Stop system due for production in 2010.
Construction of the iosis MAX Concept was executed in partnership with the specialist coachbuilder Coggiola in Turin.
From the official Press Release:
“We were convinced that we could use our kinetic design form language to develop a C-segment MAV that was sporty, dynamic and desirable,” explains Stefan Lamm, Ford of Europe’s chief exterior designer.
“The iosis MAX marks the next stage in the evolution of kinetic design, and showcases a number of affordable petrol engine technologies that will make a difference to the environment and our customers’ pockets,” says Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s Executive Design Director.
“Our designers have stretched themselves beyond the two previous iosis concepts, and have applied kinetic design form language to a MAV format vehicle,” adds Smith.
“The iosis MAX proves that cars in the compact MAV class can have emotive, dynamic styling without sacrificing their traditional virtues of practicality or efficiency – something that the larger and revolutionary S-MAX has already demonstrated.”
“Although the iosis MAX isn’t a forerunner to a specific production vehicle, it clearly highlights how kinetic design is evolving and can be applied with stunning results to all vehicles in the Ford portfolio.”
Like all kinetic design vehicles, the shape of the iosis MAX conveys ‘energy in motion’ through its athletic stance and muscular surfacing.
The design team also sought to create an impression of lightness and efficiency.
The feeling of lightness is reinforced by the extensive use of glass in the vehicle, with the steeply raked front screen flowing back in one piece to the tailgate, revealing the skeletal roof structure underneath.
The front of the iosis MAX is dominated by the bold trapezoidal lower grille, which is now a key part of the Ford brand identity.
For the first time, however, the grille features a distinctive new treatment with three horizontal chrome-rimmed bars, giving the vehicle’s face a more dynamic and imposing feel.
The dynamic character of the design is reinforced by the coupé-like side profile, with its striking new window line shape – the daylight opening graphic – and rakish C-pillar design.
The C-pillars, with their highly original ‘flying buttress’ design, also deliver functional benefits as they act as spoilers, channelling airflow as close as possible to the tailgate glass for optimum aerodynamic efficiency.
The pillars work in combination with the aerodynamic spoiler which is centrally mounted at the rear of the roof structure, with its wings cantilevered above the tailgate glass.
The visual excitement of the concept’s exterior is also transferred to its interior design. The cabin extends some of the kinetic design themes with dynamic and complex shapes and graphic forms.
Advanced materials are combined with innovative solutions like the ‘floating’ seat design to create a feeling of space and lightness for the occupants.
“Our vision looks beyond normal automotive processes, taking inspiration from modernist architecture, lightweight construction technologies and even the sporting world.”
The instrument panel is a key element, having a slim, muscular shape which ‘reaches out’ to the body sides, suspended above the floor like a gymnast gripping rings.
At each end of the panel, grab handles spiral down into the doors, creating the impression of a vortex spinning from an aircraft wing tip.
The whole of the console surface acts as a touch-screen display to control the vehicle’s infotainment systems, similar to the approach used on the latest mobile phones.
The lower console is supported on a spine-like bridge which runs the full length of the interior from the bulkhead through to the load area.
The four individual seats are also cantilevered from the bridge, allowing for a completely uninterrupted floor and giving occupants the sensation that they are ‘floating on air’.
Trim and colors
Warm luminous grey hues were selected for the iosis MAX interior, complementing the striking pearlescent ‘Limelight’ colour of the exterior, while at the same time creating a spacious and airy ambience.
Although the interior has advanced lightweight materials, imaginative use of textures and surface finishes allows many of the parts to combine a technical feel with more sensual natural characteristics.
“For the iosis MAX we wanted to achieve a more futuristic interpretation of kinetic design through a creative blend of lightweight materials and sophisticated textures and colours,” says Ruth Pauli, chief designer for colour and materials, Ford of Europe.
“The contrast between different materials and the use of subtle three-dimensional effects help to create a unique interior environment.”
An example of the original approach used in the iosis MAX is the special geometric surface texture used to emphasise the taut, muscular shape of the instrument panel.
The geometric elements are stretched and distorted to reflect the panel’s complex form, highlighting the tension in the design.