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Ford Unveils Evos Concept Car with “Cloud Optimized” Hybrid Powertrain

by Noah Kravitz | August 30, 2011August 30, 2011 3:01 pm PDT

“This dramatic fastback concept signals a significant transformation of the Ford brand.” If Ford’s media kit is to believed, that single sentence is worth a thousand words and then some. A swoopy four-door fastback as a harbinger of Ford’s new global design language? Sign me up, man, sign me up!

Ford today launched said fastback, the Evos Concept car, at IFA in Berlin, Germany. With a nod towards the company’s newly evolving “One Ford” product plan and a hat tip to “The Cloud,” Evos comes packed full of eye-catching design flourishes and stuffed to the gills with future-forward drivetrain and interior technologies.

“The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development for Ford.

“With its compelling design and innovative technology experience, this is a clear demonstration of the exciting vision we have for the Ford brand. While you will never see this car on the road, the next generation of Ford products the world will display many of the distinctive design ideas and advanced technologies it showcases.”

According to company PR, the cloud will inform Evos’ infotainment systems as well as the plug in hybrid drivetrain itself. It’s pretty nifty-sounding stuff, and if Ford gets the user interface right it could inch drivers one step closer to a Jetsons-informed future:

Drawing from a detailed understanding of the driver’s preferences and driving habits, the Ford Evos Concept combines this personal information with additional data from the cloud, such as the driver’s work schedule and local traffic or weather conditions. This information provides a personalised and seamless experience as the driver transitions in and out of the car. “We’re researching how we can use patterns or preferences set by the driver to make life simpler,” said Mascarenas. “The car gets to know you and can act as a personal assistant to handle some of the usual routines of a daily commute.” It could automatically play the same music or news program that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before the driver gets in without having to be requested by predicting departure time based on his calendar. Wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, it could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as it pulls away.

Beyond that, the car pulls data from the heavens to optimize the lithium-ion plug-in (PHEV) hybrid’s performance. Or at least it would if Evos was a production vehicle:

The cloud-optimised powertrain would automatically ‘know’ when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle’s predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions during the journey and current weather conditions.

 

So Evos is a bespoke concept car not destined for the roads of Europe or anywhere else. But those who follow the auto industry know that concept cars sometimes beget production vehicles with very similar designs. We may never see a quad-gullwing door fastback bearing the blue oval marque, but we could well see a swoopy hybrid with all sorts of connected technologies as part of Ford’s new global product line. If it looks a least a little like Evos, and does half of what Ford’s PR team claims Evos can, I just might be interested. You?


Noah Kravitz

Noah Kravitz mourned the day that Star Castle was replaced in the pizza parlour he frequented as a kid. The sadness ended when he saw an older kid...

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