Matthieu's 2003 Ford Visos Page.


In 2003, Ford unviled the Ford Visos, a new retro style coupe bases on Ford Capri Mk 1 Styling Details.

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(Pictures: Ford Motor Company)

Ford Visos Design Study

Ford signals future design direction through new Visos concept car

This autumn, Ford unveiled its Visos design study. This concept car has been linked to suggestions that Ford intends to bring back to life the Capri. Ford's emphasis with the Visos is strongly on its individual character but visual links have been made with the Capri not least because of the side intakes and the car's overall stance. Whatever the history of the concept, the Visos is intended to indicate how Ford wish to proceed with their design direction. The indications from this vehicle is that future offerings are likely to be sleeker and visually simpler than in recent years.

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

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."

Chris Svensson, Design Chief, on Visos:

To me, Visos is all about innovation. As the name suggests, Visos is a strong hint at the shape of things to come. It gives a glimpse not only of what Ford of Europe’s future vehicles may look like, but also of the challenges that designers will face in the future. Our team not only addressed each of Visos’ challenges, but also often turned them into advantages that allowed us to entertain, to be dramatic and truly to push at the limits of car design.

Comfortably fitting four adults into a sleek, sports coupé silhouette that is only marginally longer than a Focus, is unprecedented. By giving Visos dramatic, wide shoulders, we were able to move equipment that would normally be found behind the instrument panel, into the car’s flanks. This in turn allowed us to dramatically decrease the size of the instrument panel, freeing up valuable cabin space.

We decided to use doors that open in a conventional way, but extended them to cut deep into the roofline. The roof itself lifts up and folds inward on either side, for easy access to the rear seats.

Despite interior space that is appropriate to a luxury touring car, we managed to retain the energetic lines of a sports coupé. We also hid the B-pillar behind the side-window glass, and created a sharply curved C-pillar to give a distinctively Ford look to the side view."

Chris Hamilton, Exterior Design Manager, on Visos:

From the outset of the project we wanted to create a vehicle that incorporated clean, elegant lines and dramatic proportions that conveyed its purpose and character. Using Active Surfacing, we were able to hide the aerodynamic aids normally associated with high performance cars and only call on them when required. This retains the purity of Visos' purposeful exterior shape without compromising its performance potential.

When the driver selects Sport mode it initiates a series of changes to the exterior, the interior and to the performance characteristics of the car. Externally, this results in the deployment of the front splitter, the rear diffuser and the rear spoiler. In Comfort mode the vehicle does not necessarily require the same aerodynamic assistance and so these devices are retracted into the body.

Regardless of the operating mode, the aerodynamic aids are deployed automatically at 90 kilometres per hour.

Active Surfacing is also evident in integrated door cameras that fold flush into the door panels when the vehicle has been shut down. When the engine is started the cameras automatically rotate out of the door surfaces. The camera imaging system provides a clear rear view and it features blind spot detection to warn the driver if it is not safe when changing lanes. When the car is parked the cameras retract into the car's bodywork, ensuring that they are fully protected from dirt or damage.

The front lights use a combination of different technologies to create a distinctive light graphic that is a key design signature for the face of the car. It was very important to the team that the car have a strong presence on the road, even at night, and that it was clearly identifiable.

Paul Campbell, Interior Designer, on Visos:

The inside of Visos is full to the brim with technology and innovation. My favourite part, though, is the sculpted instrument pod, mounted on the steering wheel. It consists of a large analogue circular dial flanked by two customisable LCD panels. This is another design element that demonstrates the dual personality with displays that can be either performance-orientated or luxury-inclined.

We have really loaded up the inside of Visos with useful technology. Yet it is designed to be accessible to people who are not technically minded. Most of the conventional dials and switches have been replaced by a high definition LCD monitor in the centre console. This allows easy, central control and assessment of all vehicle functions.

The LCD panels and monitors used in Visos are Sony screens that incorporate next generation LCD technology, which provides improved contrast and brightness.

We partnered with Sony to incorporate state-of-the-art electronics technology into Visos. Ford also worked with Biganimal Design, London to explore new ways to display and interact with information on the LCD screens. The result is systems that are intuitive to use, yet allow full control over all aspects of the car - from in-car entertainment, like DVDs, to the GPS Navigation system and the climate control system. The inside of Visos is just as exciting as its outside.

Visos interior in detail:

At the push of a button, the inside of the Visos can change from a laid-back saloon, into a sports car. The lighting, soft and calming in Comfort mode, can turn brighter, more purposeful - while the seats automatically reshape to hug your body. The steering wheel slides closer to the driver, and the angle of the seat adjusts to a more sports car like position. The instruments switch to Sport mode supplying an array of information to suit the keen driver and the gear lever is deployed from the centre console to operate the sequential shifter on the advanced ASM transmission.

Push the button again, and you're back in Comfort mode. Gentle lighting is resumed and the seats are restored to a more comfort-orientated configuration. This defines the adaptability of the Visos and its ability to configure itself for two distinctly different driving modes.

Passenger needs are also fully catered for with the front passenger seat offering a full, first-class recline mode and an extending footrest. With the front passenger seat in non-recline mode the Visos provides adult-sized individual rear seats divided by the full-length centre console that runs from the instrument panel through to the rear bulkhead. Mounted on this console, between the rear seats, are dedicated controls for the rear seat audio/visual entertainment systems.

Visos programmable characteristics:

'I miss tinkering under a car's bonnet. After all, many of us are real car enthusiasts, and enthusiasts will always appreciate having more control,' says Chris Hamilton, Visos Exterior Designer.

With the Visos, Ford is welcoming the enthusiast back under the bonnet. An LCD monitor, mounted to one side of the engine, displays the current set-up. By plugging a laptop computer into a USB port, next to the LCD monitor, the user can change settings that control such attributes as the dampers, rev limiter and much more.

Users can even download preset configurations from a dedicated Ford server on the Internet, or swap setting files with other owners.

Visos is powered by a 6 cylinder bi-turbo engine. It has a power output of 350 PS, and 400 Nm of torque is available. The engine is mated to a 6-speed advanced ASM transmission, driving all four wheels.

Visos exterior in detail:

Visos has classic coupe styling, with a sharply curved C-pillar, reminiscent of the iconic Capri. The B-pillar is hidden behind tinted glass, giving the side-view a smooth, uninterrupted flow. The A-pillar is sharply raked, consistent with coupe styling. Two intake vents are situated on the rear three quarter panel, while 20-inch wheels fill out the lightly flared wheel arches.

The uninterrupted side glass is matched by the top surfaces of the car to give an appearance similar to a futuristic aircraft cockpit. The windscreen, the roof and the rear screen blend into one, incorporating at the rear the deployable aerodynamic spoiler and in the roof the retractable panels that give easy access to the rear seats.

From the rear, Visos sports wide shoulders, accentuated by angled horseshoe-shaped rear lights. A third brake light is mounted in the rear hatch. This light also accommodates additional cameras for rear visibility. A recessed number plate housing echoes the lines of the rear hatch, while two chrome-tipped exhaust pipes hint at the car's performance potential.

The front of Visos consists of a deep air dam, with twin air intakes that reflect the same design as the exhaust pieces. A narrow grille with a chrome surround sits above the air dam.

An inverted version of the rear lights are used in the front of Visos, with a blue strip of light surrounding the composite LED headlamp behind a clear lens. The bonnet slopes gently from the nose to the windscreen, with a pair of crease lines that run into the front lights.

Story by Ford Motor Company

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