PRETORIA, South Africa — Ford showcased its Evos Concept, and announced two new Ford models destined for local introduction, at today’s Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The Ford Fusion was revealed ahead of its official South African debut in the coming 12 months, while the two-tonne Transit will also be making its way to South Africa in the first half of 2014. Ford also took the opportunity to confirm that AppLink would become available in local models during 2014.
Seen for the first time in South Africa the Ford Evos Concept represents the ultimate expression of Ford’s new global design language and explores key future powertrain and vehicle technologies.
The Ford Evos Concept embodies the global Ford product development team's vision for future Ford products.
"With the Evos designers have sort to enrich a customer's every experience with their vehicle by personalizing and adapting it, thus creating unique, unexpected features that surprise and delight them," explains Jeff Nemeth President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
The concept’s technology experience embraces a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development in the Ford Research and Innovation laboratories. Seamless connectivity between the vehicle and the driver’s ‘personal cloud’ of information is at the heart of the vision for its capabilities.
With information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or office. The car knows the driver, and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to deliver an exceptionally dynamic driving experience.
Ford researchers have also developed technologies focused on driver wellness, such as the heart-rate monitoring seat and certified allergy-free interiors. With a seamless connection to the cloud, the Ford Evos Concept monitors the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly.
“The Evos Concept highlights Ford’s vision for greener, smarter vehicles with outstanding customer appeal,” adds Nemeth. “The bespoke concept vehicle also showcases Ford’s global design language as the momentum of the company’s One Ford product plan continues to develop.”
The Ford Evos Concept was conceived as a dramatic fastback concept, combining a striking new profile with innovative proportions. Attention-grabbing lines conceal a unique new format, with a four-door, four-seat layout which combines dynamic appearance with surprising practicality. With the length of a typical C-car, but with width of a CD-car, the Ford Evos Concept has a powerful, sporting stance.
The same visual cues found in the Evos Concept inspired the design direction of the new Fusion.
Stylish and technologically advanced, the Fusion will feature a fresh exterior design, a stylish interior, new high-efficiency Ford EcoBoost powertrains and a host of driver comfort, convenience and safety technologies.
“The Fusion will take up its position as the flagship model in the company's portfolio when introduced in South Africa in the future,” adds Nemeth.
The Fusion benefits from the continuing evolution of Ford’s kinetic design and offers a premium feel with a range of new, high quality materials.
The new Transit was also confirmed for introduction at today’s JIMS unveiling. Ford’s new full-size Transit van will provide professional tradesmen and commercial fleet customers unmatched fuel economy, innovative new configurations and leading versatility when launched in South Africa in the first-half of 2014.
“The Transit Custom, launched earlier this year in South Africa, has been very well received by the public who can now look forward to the continued expansion of our commercial vehicle line-up,” says Nemeth.
Visitors to the Johannesburg International Motor Show will also be able to view the Transit Connect, recently named the International Van of the Year. Not yet confirmed for local introduction the show provides an opportunity to gauge interest in the cargo van which is set to provide cost-conscious commercial fleets and small business owners with impressive fuel economy and versatility in an expanding commercial vehicle market.
“We have the unique opportunity to engage with our customers at the show in order to gauge their interest in the Transit Connect and better understand what their requirements are,” explains Nemeth.
Also on display is a concept kit showcased on the Built Ford Tough Ford Ranger. The Black Edition model, created especially for the occasion features black alloy wheels as well as unique wheel arch mouldings, grille, nudge and roll bars all in black.
“The Black Edition Ranger was created especially for the Johannesburg International Motor Show however we plan to make it available XL, XLS and XLT Hi Rider models in future,” he adds.
In addition to an expanding commercial vehicle line-up Ford has this year enjoyed an unprecedented spate of new vehicle introductions on the passenger car front this year.
“It’s been an exciting year for us with an array of new models being introduced locally. From driving enthusiasts to young families and small business owners, we have something for everyone. We’ve also gone further to provide an enjoyable driving experience, be it with driver assistance technologies or smart in-car features.”
In the last 12 months Ford has introduced a number of smart technologies into its line-up. Features such as SYNC, Active City Stop, Active Park Assist and various others are now available on selected models as Ford continues in its quest to offer customers innovative driver assistance features.
During2014 Ford will introduce another such feature when it launches AppLink in South Africa. AppLink allows drivers hands-free control of select applications (apps) on their smartphones via voice commands. Ford will introduce AppLink on most SYNC-equipped vehicles next year.
“It’s been an exciting year for Ford with more exciting innovations and offerings on the way. The motor show provides the perfect opportunity for customers to view existing product offerings and gain added insight into Ford’s future product plans,” he concluded.
Alan Mulally and Jeff Nemeth attended the show.
The Ford stand at JIMS.
The Ford stand attracted many visitors.