Friday, March 1, 2013
Ford’s “427” concept sedan was a modern, all-American 4-door model that was inspired by the company’s landmark sedans of the ’60's, like a 427 cubic inch V-8 powered Galaxie 500 XL. The prototype version from 2003 featured an uncompromising V-10 engine.
Ford’s mighty F-350 Tonka concept hints of what’s to come for the next-generation Ford F-Series pickup. Wrapped in vibrant yellow paint and lots of chrome, the Tonka showcases a 6.0-liter 32-valve turbocharged Power Stroke concept V-8 diesel engine—rated at 350 horsepower and up to 600 lb-ft of torque—teamed with a five-speed PowerTorq transmission. This is Ford’s first application of a five-speed automatic with a diesel engine. Inside, the Tonka is equipped with modular, customizable snap-on gauges and oversize, aircraft-inspired toggle switches. For complete comfort, the driver sits on an adjustable Commander’s Seat with full-floating suspension inspired by the heavy-duty, long-distance Class 8 rigs.
Influenced by the classic 1949-1951 Ford, the Forty-Nine coupe concept also had the chopped and channeled look on customized cars from that era. The Forty-Nine featured rounded high intensity discharge and projector-beam front lighting, sleek, narrow, wrap-around LED taillights, and a roof with an all-glass upper structure. Inside, a raised console ran down the middle between the 4-bucket seats, and in front of the driver was a classic single-dial gauge cluster. "Powered by Thunderbird" badge on the side announced that a T-Bird 3.9-liter DOHC V-8 in the engine bay was tuned to fit the car"s appearance and refined muscle.
1994 Ford PowerStroke Concept Truck, Ford built this wild concept vehicle to promote their Power Stroke Engine, Featured on the cover of “American Dream Cars, 60 years of the best Concept Vehicles”, also portrayed in Ford Racing video games, own a contemporary piece of Ford History!
One of the highlights of the 1993 Chicago Auto Show was the introduction of the Mustang Mach III. The open-air 2-seat roadster had a carbon-fiber body, cutdown windshield, and 19-inch chrome five-spoke wheels. In addition to the inspired styling, the Mach III was equipped with a 450 horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 engine, connected to a six-speed transmission. The supercharged engine could run on either gasoline or methanol, and propel the Mach III to 60 miles per hour from a standing stop in less than 4.5-seconds. Debuting in 1993, the Mach III gave the public a glimpse at the styling of the upcoming all-new 1995 Mustang.
Metallic Gunmetal / Brown leather. Concept designed by Taru Lathi (exterior) / Sally Wilson (interior).
Focus — The epitome of iconoclastic design, Focus featured organic materials and shapes from primordial ooze. The seats are covered in saddle cowhide. The dash trim, console and rear deck accent is hand-worked steel, still with the hammer marks of Ghia's artisans on it, grained with sandpaper and clear coated. The instruments live in similarly-treated steel nacelles, their connections bound in spiral wire. The shift lever resembles an old grape vine. Focus is living sculpture. Its platform, an all-wheel drive Escort RS Cosworth Turbo, lends life of its own.
One of the most radical and adventurous dream cars ever the GHIA Focus, presented at the 1992 Turin show. Based on a shortened Ford Escort Cosworth, it was naturally a very rapid sports car. But it was Taru Lahti’s styling that made the biggest impression. Novel features included whale like front stabilizers, interesting headlamp architecture, distinctive air intakes, and alien-like grabbing handles down the body sides, scalloped rear fins, central rear-exit exhaust and amazing "bubble" rear lights. The cabin was equally avant garde, combining organic shape and natural materials with an exposed, stark treatment and curious, off-centre detailing. The Focus might have made production as a Ford but was judged too radical and too expensive.
The 1992 Ghia Focus was designed by Taru Lahti and is an intricate, eclectic, iconoclastic, imaginative example of automotive sculpture. Ghia Focus is a constantly fascinating symphony of shapes, textures, materials and forms, subtly formed and juxtaposed in both expected and unconventional ways. It abounds in details, but its details harmonize with its overall form and substance. They're never jarring or uncomfortable. They're always pleasing.
J Mays, Ford's vice president of Design, describes Ghia's Focus as, "A concept that is as close to a piece of art as you'll ever find, an astounding one-off that has less to do with auto design than [with] sculpture." Mays recalled being captivated by Ghia Focus when he saw it for the first time at its 1992 Turin Show debut.
Camilo Pardo, now Chief Designer at Ford's Living Legends studio in Dearborn, worked with Taru Lahti at Ghia while Focus took shape. Pardo points to the organic textures, materials and shapes that float, like the amoeba they sometimes resemble, throughout the realization of Ghia Focus as a breakthrough in auto concepts.
Ghia Focus is built on a 100mm shortened floorpan from the full time 4 wheel drive Escort RS Cosworth with the Cosworth's 227 horsepower turbocharged and intercooled 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. The body is constructed from carbon fiber composite. Curb weight is 2,100 pounds. Ghia Focus sits on 18" split rim alloy wheels behind full plastic wheel covers mounting 225/45 front - 255/40ZR-18 rear Goodyear tires with a custom cut tread pattern that complements Ghia Focus's design. Ghia Focus is a roadster, with a removable hardtop that stows under a hatch in the rear deck. It is designed also to have a folding soft top. Those are the technical details, but as J Mays noted, Ghia Focus is more about sculpture than it is about automobiles.
Taru Lahti's sculpture started with the nose, rounded in plan view with a Mustang-like hood scoop. Small projector headlights and marker lights reside behind clear plastic covers. The air intake for the radiator, intercooler and engine is under the nose. The corners of the nose are marked by horizontal canard fins.
Just in front of the steeply sloping curved windscreen at the back corners of the a series of small irregularly-placed holes which foreshadow the unique taillights. The sides of Ghia Focus are slightly indented and protected by one of its novel features, a round side protection bar that emerges from the front of the door, parallels the profile of the sides rising slightly to the rear where it intersects the top of the rear wheelwell and around the quarter to terminate at the license plate housing.
The tops of the rear fenders peak above the wheels for occupants' rollover protection, curving inward to wrap slightly over the rear deck, creating a channel shaped like sand blown around a stone. The tail and marker lights are an array of small irregularly-placed round lights that seem to dribble across the rear deck's corners. The exhaust is a single outlet below the license plate enclosure, a SuperTrap silencer poking through the gunmetal-painted carbon fiber.
The cockpit floor is covered with curved, formed wood. The seats and door panels are covered in thick natural saddle cowhide in Brown and Tan. The steering wheel has two asymmetrically curved round steel rod spokes at 4 and 8 o'clock supporting a thick laminated wood rim. Asymmetrically-graduated analog instruments are attached to the exposed steering column, their wires enclosed in wound wire sleeves. The same sleeves also house the exterior mirrors' exposed adjustment cables. Door armrests flow into the tapered edges of a bifurcated binnacle around the steering column which fades into the dash top, then picks up again to flow down through the center stack through the console and up onto the rear deck. The shift lever is formed of two sinuous metal rods, like old grape vines, supporting an asymmetrical wooden shift lever that fits the hand like a well-used sailmaker's palm. The instruments, outside mirrors, console and rear deck trim are hand-formed, brushed and clear coated steel still showing evidence of the Ghia metal artists' hammers.
Words do not come close to doing Taru Lahti's Ghia Focus justice. It is a visual and tactile delight on the order of the most sensuous creations of Jean Bugatti, Joseph Figoni and Franco Scaglione. It is a science fiction fantasy that exudes life.
Ghia's Focus is "elegant" in the most sincere and innovative way, waiting to grace the lawn at Pebble Beach or Bagatelle.
Part of a unique pair of concept cars, the Ghia Zig Concept debuted in 1990 with the Ghia Zag. Finished in mica black, the aerodynamic two-seat barchetta contrasted with the brilliant white finish of the Zag, a multi-purpose sports concept.
Together, Zig and Zag – both based on Fiesta architecture – were envisioned as a potential system of sports cars, hatchbacks, sedans, pickups and delivery vans employing a shared lower door and body panels.
The open topped car featured a truncated windscreen inspired by the sports racing cars of the past. Inside, bright blue seats with neon green inserts provided a striking visual difference from the lustrous black exterior finish. The instrument panel was futuristic with a similar bold colour scheme.
Zig had 16-inch custom-cut tyres and bold wheels.
Zig and Zag — Opposite ends of a spectrum of designs based not only on a common platform but also a common lower body. Filippo Sapino, former Managing Director of Ghia, said, "Tom Scott in Ford Advanced Design developed the concept, then we developed the shape [at Ghia to achieve a low cost] expansion of the model range."
Source: Ford Media
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:32 AM
Futuristic yet practical and versatile, the Ghia Zag was a sports multi-purpose concept similar to a small van. It offered convertible functionality between passenger capacity and loading space, and featured a folding roof rack.
As the Ghia Zig zigged with aerodynamic efficiency, so zagged the Ghia Zag. Both vehicles featured seven-element fibre optic headlamps. At the rear, Zag’s design featured a nine-element fibre optic array of tail, brake and warning lights, and, unlike Zig, the Zag featured small, slippery wing mirrors finished in body colour white.
The interior of the Ghia Zag included tube-frame seats in aqua nylon, with the trim in a bold but complementary bright purple. The interior also featured an array of hold-downs, clips and straps to secure a wide variety of sporty goods.
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:27 AM
Ford F-150 Concept Pick Up, 1990
Ford fields two concept trucks — the Surf, a no-roof, no-tailgate version of its new Explorer 4x4, and the Street, an exercise that goes head-to-head with California customs in creating a mean and nasty street image.
Based on a full-size F-150 model, the Street gets its don't-mess-with-me Hulk Hogan stance from a low profile and big 16-in. wheels. Roof height is chopped 3 1/2 in. The truck is lowered 4 in. in front and 3 in. at the rear. Then the suspension was set up to create a nose-down, "bad" attitude.
The California influence is also evident in the shaved door handles, frenched antenna and quad exhaust molded into the rocker panels. Ford doesn't have anything special under the hood to back up the menacing look, but that may soon change.
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:23 AM
The sleek, aerodynamic Aerostar concept vehicle is a sneak preview of Ford's new mini-van, due out in 1985. The rear-drive van seats seven and has a one-ton payload. Ford predicts EPA mileage of up to 40 mpg, highway. Production Aerostar vans will closely resemble the concept vehicle, but they will differ in details such as grille and headlights.
Ford gave mini-van watchers a glimpse of the small van it plans for 1985 introduction when it unveiled the Aerostar concept vehicle recently. The company conﬁrmed that the new van will be smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic, and more fuel efficient than Ford's present full-size van.
Two versions will be offered: a commercial van and a station-wagon type that seats seven in a two-two-three arrangement.
One of the more interesting chassis details is a rear-drive axle, which is contrary to the way Chrysler and some imports build their small vans. “Front- wheel drive has some drawbacks we wanted to avoid in our small van," says Phil Benton. Ford sales vice- president. “Aerostar is rated to carry a 2,000-pound load inside or to pull a trailer up to 5,000 pounds in weight."
Benton also points out the beneﬁts to the driver of having the engine in front (in contrast to some imports): “We think some van buyers like the idea of having an engine ahead of them if there is an accident. Also, the driver and front-seat passenger do not have to climb over the front wheel wells to get into the cab, as in mid-engine [Toyota] and rear-engine [Volkswagen] vans.
‘Three engines will be offered: 2.3-liter (140-cu.-in.) four-cylinder and 2.6-liter (159-cu.-in.) V6 gasoline types and a turbo-diesel four. With a ﬁve-speed manual transmission, the four-cylinder gas engine is expected to deliver EPA fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
A four-speed automatic imported from Germany will be optional.
Aerostar is 174.9 inches long, with a 119-inch wheelbase. The long wheel- base is important for ride; it prevents the pitching that occurs when a stiff suspension is set in a short span. That's why Aerostar’s rear wheels are set so near the rear of the body.
Aerodynamics is stressed in the body shape, though the production Aerostar will be less dramatic in appearance than the concept vehicle.
Also, the production vehicle’s windows will be recessed slightly and not be completely ﬂush as shown on the concept vehicle.
The shaped lens for the headlights will be foregone in favor of conventional rectangular lamps with almost ﬁat lenses. And look for the production grille to be more open for better engine cooling.
Ford will continue to produce its full-size van and sell it alongside the Aerostar. With that arrangement, the new van is expected to be priced below the full-size model.
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:21 AM
A host of microcars followed: the five-seater but small Pockar, the Shuttler, the three-wheeled Cockpit and the Trio.
In the Trio, three seats were arranged in an arrowhead arrangement in a width of only 53 inches. The floor was a honeycomb sandwich of glass fiber and Kevlar, while the seat frames were made of aluminum and glass fiber. The rear-mounted 250cc twin-cylinder two-stroke engine drove the rear wheels through a continuously-variable belt transmission.
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:18 AM
1983 Ghia Barchetta Concept Car
Based on the architecture of the Fiesta XR2, the Ghia Barchetta was an advanced concept for a two-seat sports car, an attractively open market niche at the time.
Barchetta was inspired by the barchettas of the 1950s. It achieved Ford’s goal of demonstrating the potential of an affordable sports car, intriguing European driving enthusiasts about its production possibility.
Barchetta was finished in silver with matte dark grey bumpers and wraparound front indicators, and fitted with perforated 13-inch wheels with Goodyear NCT tyres. It was powered by XR2’s 1.6-litre, 16-valve engine.
The Ghia Barchetta’s shape can be recognised in the eventual Capri sports car created by Ford Australia.
The Ghia Barchetta originated to fill the empty niche identified by Ford’s V.P. of International Automotive Operations for a low cost, modern two-seat sports model, a market left unfilled in the early Eighties. Constructed on the Fiesta XR2 platform, Ghia Barchetta was never intended to be displayed publicly but rather to demonstrate that a profitable market could be developed from good design and standard production components. It is an example of what-might-have-been for its concept did not find a cost-effective production home in Europe even though it eventually inspired the Ford Australia Mercury Capri which was confined to that market.
Constructed by Ghia on the Fiesta XR2 platform, with 86 horsepower 1.6 liter overhead valve 4-cylinder engine, Ghia Barchetta took both its inspiration and its name from the lightweight, elemental barchettas of the Fifties. Constructed at Ghia in steel, the Ghia Barchetta concept’s taut construction with minimal front and rear overhangs emphasized the economy of design inherent in its front-wheel drive platform while displaying the good looks and style of larger packages. The matte dark grey bumpers give Ghia Barchetta a dressed-up look and highlight its rounded wedge profile. Small extractor vents behind the front wheels complement the barchetta heritage and highlight the metal-forming talents of Ghia’s calderai, the traditional crafters of ornamental brass and copperware from the Turin area.
The realization of the Ghia Barchetta so enthused the sports car fans among Ford Europe’s management that the intention to use it only internally as a demonstration was rethought and it was publicly displayed in 1983 as a concept illustrating the versatility of Ford’s FWD powertrain and chassis components. At least some enthusiasts felt the same, starting a "Barchetta Club" in Germany which counted as many as 10,000 members but still not enough support to find Ghia Barchetta a home in Europe. Built as an operating concept, Ghia Barchetta has a fully functional cloth soft top and rides on 13" cast alloy wheels with 185/60HR-13 Goodyear NCT tires. Ghia’s strength among Ford’s several design studios was its ability, in a very short period, to construct a functional concept, very close to the production realization. Ghia Barchetta demonstrates that capability.
Presented here in its original silver livery with two-tone grey cloth interior, Ghia Barchetta is showing its age. The exterior finish is in good condition but the interior shows the effects of its-life as a demonstrator for the proposition that a sporty convertible could be created on existing components. The driver’s seat back bolster, particularly, is worn through from repeated entry and exit. The Ghia Barchetta concept bodywork is exceptional, functioning well and displaying even panel gaps and smooth panels that would be enviable on a restored car, much less on one that has seen potentially exhaustive use as a concept demonstrator and show car. In 1989 Mazda (now a Ford affiliate) introduced the Miata 2-seater based upon the 323 sedan. It was a runaway sales success and inspired a number of competitors. Ghia’s little Barchetta was just a little too early to catch the wave.
Source: Ford Media Site
Posted by Pw3680 at 8:14 AM