The Dramatic Visos Design Study | Part Two

Chris Bird, Ford of Europe Design Director, on Visos:

It is every car designer’s ambition to be able to express creativity in a three-dimensional form – to be able to go beyond the rational confines of creating a production car and to create something that pushes at the limits of practical car design. While it is rewarding to see the results of a design team’s work driving around on the streets every day, it is something of a dream to be able to create that ‘one off’ vehicle that looks to the future and stirs the emotions.

We wanted Visos to be a car from which we could take ideas and features and flow them through into future models. Above all, we wanted it to remind everyone that, despite the hugely competitive nature of today’s automotive business, the young design group inside Ford of Europe can express themselves in a more esoteric way.

We knew the sky wasn’t the limit – we needed to set targets, we needed to define the parameters, and we needed to make sure it was undoubtedly a Ford. As Ford designers, we also wanted to ensure that the vehicle we created would send a message about how we see the European "blue oval" car of the future evolving, in terms of design language and cues, and also in terms of customer-focused technology.

Visos is the fusion of a true sports car and a luxury touring car. It adapts seamlessly to the driver’s demands, delivering a motoring experience that is as stirring and inspiring as the appearance of the vehicle itself. Visos has ample space for up to four adults, and many innovations that clearly set it apart from any current production vehicle.

It is an exciting car, packed with innovation and new technologies. The inside bristles with LCD panels and futuristic controls, while the outside remains sleek thanks to ‘Active Surfacing’ – a technique that sees the technologies of the vehicle hidden, until they are called for by the driver, the road condition or the vehicle’s dynamics.

With Visos we had the opportunity to be dramatic. Yet we had to discipline our thinking, so as to create a vehicle that is not only emotionally stirring and inspiring, but also one that is practical and feasible. The Visos delivers on all of these aspects. It is disciplined drama.

continues... | Part Three
Published 20 September 2003 Melanie Carter

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