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Ford Evos concept: Smoother than kinetic (photos)

Unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, the Ford Evos concept showed off new design language, along with a host of other technologies. The concept is meant to present a unified vision of Ford vehicles going forward.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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The Ford Evos concept represents many areas of Ford technology coming together in one vehicle. Ford says the Evos does not represent a car it intends to make, but serves as a showcase for a design evolution, a plug-in hybrid power train, and cloud-connected cabin tech. Elements of the Evos concept will show up in Ford vehicles coming out through the next decade.
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The grille seen on the Evos is already set to appear on the new Taurus. Other elements of the body evolve the kinetic design language Ford used on the Fiesta and Focus models. But the Evos shows that kinetic design tamed, with smoother sides that lack the almost frenetic feeling of motion from the Fiesta.
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The power train in the Evos is a plug-in hybrid system that Ford will use next year in the C-Max. This new hybrid system is an evolution of that currently used in the Ford Fusion, so can drive the car under electricity alone. To accommodate charging the battery from the grid, it uses a lithium ion battery, which can better stand deep discharging than a nickel metal hydride battery.
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Ford also says the Evos uses an adaptive suspension, which not only sets itself based on the current driver, but also uses its GPS to understand the road conditions.
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Of course, the doors are a remarkable element, which will probably remain forever in concept territory. Both front and rear doors hinge upwards. The lack of a B pillar makes easy access to the front or rear of the cabin.
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Ford upholstered the driver seat in red to differentiate it from the passengers. The thin seats, with seat belts attached at the shoulder, are very similar to those seen in the BMW i8 concept, suggesting that this style of seat will see use in production cars. The advantage of these seats is they take up less cabin room.
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The most advanced features, but also very possible, are the cabin electronics, which build on current capabilities to tie the car in with the life of the driver. For example, the car could read the owner's cloud-based calendar, and pre-enter the addresses for appointments as they approach. It would also learn the owner's routine, and be able to optimize its power train for the drive to work, which would occur at approximately the same time very weekday.

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