Ford Sport Activity Vehicle Concept Targets New Market Niche

Ford SAV Concept

Ford Motor Company Limited unveiled a Sport Activity Vehicle Concept (SAV) at the Geneva motor show. A stylish three-row mono-space, SAV Concept provides a glimpse of a new design direction for Ford of Europe.

Sleek and purposeful, the Ford SAV Concept demonstrates new ideas for people- and load-carrying flexibility. Martin Smith, executive director, design, Ford of Europe said: "We believe that within the family car market there is great potential for a non-traditional vehicle with the profile, proportions and appearance that reflect an active lifestyle. The Ford SAV Concept also demonstrates how we can use our flexible vehicle architectures to create a broader array of model variants that will attract more people to the Ford brand. This is the beginning of an evolving story and is indicative of an exciting future."

Different Proportions, Different Approach

Positioned between the Ford Galaxy and Mondeo, the Ford SAV Concept explores the future possibilities for even more diversity in the heart of the Ford family car range.

The new concept takes the innovative ‘business class’ flexible rear seating concept, first seen in Focus C-MAX, to the next level, introducing a remote-controlled rear-seat configuration system and an integral stowage system.

At the touch of a button, the three individual seats, which form the SAV Concept's rear seat row, can be reconfigured. Using electric motors, the middle seat slides rearward into a central location. It nestles between integrated, fitted luggage trolleys, which provide built-in armrests for the third-row passenger. The two outer seats then shift inward slightly to provide each occupant with greater spaciousness and comfort.

Exterior Elegance

The silhouette of the SAV Concept is unique, characterised by a very fast, raked windscreen and an arching roofline that ends in an integral tailgate spoiler. A distinctive side window graphic with a strong ‘kick-up’ at the rear lends a dynamic quality to the profile and creates a strong D-pillar shape.

The front of the vehicle offers a very bold graphic solution composed of the large, dual-lamp headlamps, raked bonnet and bumper sections shaped around a wide, deep inverted trapezoid lower grille opening. The interplay of intersecting lines converges on the Ford oval bedecked grille.

Fog lamps are positioned higher and more centrally than in past Ford models, becoming a much more dominant design feature, while the outboard lower bumper features deeply dished brake cooling ducts finished in brushed aluminium.

Strong body side feature lines and bold wheel arches give the Ford SAV Concept a clear sense of purpose and performance intent. An undercut shoulder line sweeps rearward from the aluminium-edged front wheel arch duct. Tension is created in the body side by a parallel lower feature line that lends substance to the body definition.

At the rear, SAV Concept displays a dramatic upswept window graphic balanced by distinctive two-piece tail lamps that extend onto the tailgate. Bright dual exhaust tips bracket the venturi-effect lower bumper design. It stands on 21-inch, low profile performance tyres fitted to highly sculpted aluminium wheels cast with five bold, Y-tipped spokes.

Performance Styled Interior

From its exquisitely sculpted steering wheel - with electronic up shift and downshift buttons integrated into bold thumb grips - to the hip-hugging forms of the contoured sports seats, the interior of the SAV Concept is performance orientated.

"With the SAV Concept, the interior design team explored ways to advance the differentiation of a sport model of the future," according to Ernst Reim, SAV Concept interior designer.

Complementing the exterior colour, the interior is finished in tones of slate and pewter accented by design details in orange. This theme is boldly established with a striking instrument panel centre stack finished in a soft touch, burnt orange metallic finish. Bright orange accents in the seating, floor coverings, leather-wrapped gear lever and instrument panel complete the theme, down to such small details as the lighting of switches and gauges.

Interior materials, including technically grained leathers and breathable mesh fabric, were inspired by high-tech sportswear materials used in today’s high-end trainer shoes and other sports clothing.

Titanium-tinted aluminium is also used in the interior, effectively accenting control areas such as the gear lever, the linear electric park brake handle and vent surrounds. A bold orange "racing stripe" in the floor material is framed each side by the seat runners.

SAV Concept’s dramatically contoured seats are motorsport-inspired. Front and rear, the seats are designed to hold their occupants securely and supportively even during spirited driving.

SAV Concept is equipped with a deeply dished instrument cluster incorporating a high-resolution display panel at the centre. Each gauge - rev counter, speedometer, temperature gauge and fuel gauge - features an orange needle radiating from an aluminium hub.

Brushed aluminium pedals with textured rubber inserts provide a further driver-orientated design detail.

Published : 03/03/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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