01/02/2003 – 2004 Ford Faction Concept

Source: Ford Motor Company

2004 Ford Faction Concept

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2, 2003 – Why can’t there be an SUV tailored
more for city life than backcountry pursuits? Why can’t there be a
contemporary vehicle interior inspired by a fashionable twenty
something’s apartment?

In fact, there could be. And that
vehicle is the new Ford Faction concept making its debut at the 2003
Los Angeles Auto Show.

As the first automotive design from
Ford’s new Ingeni studio in London, the Faction concept shows what
happens when people living in the heart of a crowded, urban
landscape set out to create a car to suit their lifestyle.

The
result is a tough, yet fashionable three-door SUV with all-wheel
drive, novel utility and multimedia features, plus a refined
interior for American urbanites who know and appreciate European-
influenced materials.

This is a concept vehicle with the honest,
genuine appearance of a Ford, specifically created for people who
live in the middle of the action – hence the name Faction. It’s for
city drivers who haul friends and gear, and who need to maneuver
quickly through crowded streets.

When parking becomes a
precision sport, the Faction concept can be squeezed into tight
spots with the help of City Eye, a camera system that provides a
view of directly behind the vehicle.

“The Faction is designed
for – and by – the lifestyle generation,” says Kris Tomasson, chief
designer at Ingeni. “These are people with active, diverse lives
who want a vehicle that’s functional, nimble and stylized.”

Mays, Ford vice president, Design, commissioned the Ingeni project.

“The Faction concept is targeted at a new world audience that is
very design savvy,” Mays says. “This is a refined product in much
the same way as a nice watch or a piece of designer furniture. And
that’s why were showing it in L.A. This is the only trend-setting
city in America with a lifestyle built around people and their
cars.”

City Living Made Easier

The design of the
Faction concept is unique. It hinges on the concept of making life
with a car in the city easier.

A city-friendly door system uses
double-link hinges that make getting in and out of the car much
easier when your parking ramp spot has been infringed by an
inconsiderate neighbor. After pressing a button on the key fob, the
circular door handle presents itself to the driver to indicate the
doors have been unlocked even from a distance.

Faction’s unique
tailgate has a low opening line with fully retractable glass that
also is activated by the key fob. This feature allows smaller items
to be loaded into the back of the vehicle without the need for
opening the tailgate.

Interior Style and Utility

The interior of the new Faction concept was inspired by
contemporary furniture. Ingeni designers were strongly influenced
by trends at Europe’s annual Milan Furniture Fair. Faction concept
features clean, simple shares and muted colors, with carefully
selected materials, including leather.

Two unique items
reinforce the influence casual furniture had on the Faction concept.
A specially designed clock that displays two time zones – Los
Angeles and London – has replaced the rear view mirror. Just behind
the clock is a visible ceiling fan for ventilation and cooling.

The interior layout follows the philosophy of uncluttered,
functional simplicity. The whole rear section of the roof is a
glass panel, which gives a feeling of openness to the inside. When
more cargo room is needed, the rear bench seat can be lowered with a
single-switch retraction system. Additional functionality comes
from a unique storage tray that slides in and out of the cargo area
and can be used right-side up or up-side down, depending on package
and luggage needs.

Many of the items drivers use, such as the CD
holder, cupholder, waste-bin and an innovative retracting gearshift
lever, have been relocated into the center armrest. This allowed
the designers to simplify and lighten the instrument panel to a few
necessary items including the speedometer, fuel level and a central
multi-switch.

A Unique View: The City Eye

In
addition to controlling the heating and cooling system, the
multi-switch also is where drivers access the City Eye, a media
system that provides security, entertainment and driving information
to both the driver and passengers.

Multiple cameras take images
from strategically placed interior and exterior locations – and make
urban parking a whole new, easier experience. The images are
displayed on three screens at the base of the windshield. The
driver has a choice of a panoramic rear view, a close-up view
directly behind the vehicle, a security scope, or the entertaining
antics of other passengers.

The security mode keeps a close
“eye” on the vehicle, informing the driver and local authorities of
a possible break-in or theft. The City Eye also is where the driver
can view videos as well as service information obtained via a
custom-designed personal digital assistant.

Under The Hood

Although Faction concept drivers rarely venture off
the paved streets of their urban environment, they have the
capability to visit more rugged terrain should they desire. The
vehicle has a permanent all-wheel-drive system, with traction and
braking control and disc brakes on all four wheels, providing
enhanced capability for wet or snowy road conditions.

Faction
concept has been engineered for a responsive driving experience. It
borrows its Duratec ST engine from the European Focus ST170, an
uprated version of the standard 2.0-liter Focus powerplant that
delivers 167 horsepower and 143 foot-pounds of torque.

It
features a high-flow aluminum cylinder head with larger inlet valves
and higher-lift intake and exhaust camshafts for higher peak rpm
levels, plus continuously variable intake valve timing. Duratec
ST’s dual stage intake (DSI) manifold uses long runners for low-end
torque and shorter runners for higher peak power outputs, giving
Faction its highly honed urban driveability.

It also features
the refinement of a dual mass flyweel, which enhances the smoothness
of the semi-automatic transmission.

From Ingeni in Europe
to North America

The Faction concept is the first
automotive design from Ingeni, Ford’s new design and creativity
center in London.

Opened in June 2002, Ingeni has an
international team of approximately 30 designers and business
managers. From their base in the world’s capital of culture and
style, the designers at Ingeni use state-of-the-art software and
other computer technologies to create and capture quality designs.
They also share insights with international experts from the worlds
of fashion, commercial arts, advertising and marketing.

In
addition to creating automobiles and lifestyle merchandise for
Ford’s eight brands, the designers also develop non-automotive
consumer products running the gamut from sunglasses to furniture.

Comments ()