Ford unveils the Verve Concept
|Sunday, January 13, 2008
FORD VERVE CONCEPT
Ford Verve concept shows big aspirations for new small cars.
Ford is revealing the Verve. The small car concept showcases the style, technology, premium materials and substantial content that will set it apart when Ford’s new small cars go on sale in North America in 2010. Ford is injecting decades of European small car excellence into a new global family of small cars that are dynamic in design and performance.
Verve aims to transform North American customers’ views of small cars. It will appeal to “Millennials” – the fastest-growing segment of the population – as well as their parents. These customers have grown up with the Internet, mobile phones and 24/7 connectivity, and they believe bigger is not necessarily better, precision is everything and technology rules.
SPORTY, SOPHISTICATED EXTERIOR
Dynamic personality evident from every angle
Verve comes in both four- and three-door body styles. The four-door is the basis for the production vehicle that will be sold in North America beginning in 2010. The European three-door is being shown to test market reaction to the body style – as a possible additional small car for the North American market.
The Verve concept has a sleek and dynamically poised design. Viewed from the front, the vehicle features:
- A bold, three-bar graphic with a Ford blue oval in the upper grille opening and downsized the lower, inverted trapezoidal grille.
- Pronounced, rearward-stretching headlamps, giving the face of the Ford Verve concept a friendly, open and inviting personality.
- A toned and athletic hood sculpture that’s not overtly muscular.
- Prominent headlamps that feature two projector beams and a light-emitting diode (LED) array.
- Two unique LED side markers flank the front fascia.
- Specially designed 18-inch, 12-spoke two-piece alloy wheels that lend even more drama to the car.
From the side view, the Verve concept has a purposeful look:
- The profile is emphasized by the pillar-less side window shape, mirroring the body’s curving upper contour line. This extends rearward from the angular A-pillar to marry the semi-high-mounted, LED tail lamps sculpted to become part of the fullness of the body shape.
- These elements blend cohesively together and support the panoramic glass roof.
- Subtle chrome bars accent the door handles.
- Brushed aluminum accents the lower grille surround, the rear number plate surround, and the lower edge of the front fog lamps.
- Low-profile tires feature a sidewall stripe that complements the rich Rouge Red body color.
Verve offers surprising spaciousness, quality materials and lots of smart features
The Verve concept interior follows the sensuous curves and contours of the instrument panel shape and features:
- A center stack that decouples traditional elements of the entertainment system – the screen, control elements and the electronics. With these features separated, designers could position controls for optimal ergonomics – in a design resembling the logic of a mobile phone.
- A center console with a tray for mobile phone or MP3 player, and a large bin for a purse or shoulder bag near the handbrake.
- Heating/ventilation controls, highlighted in a lozenge shape at the midpoint of the center stack. They have large twist dials inspired by the sculpture found in high-quality power showers.
- Key electronic systems such as navigation, a dynamic sound system and in-car phone controls.
- Speedometer and tachometer that are uniquely framed by binocular-shaped, short tunnels of jewelry-like brightwork that complement the center stack and contrast the rich interior colors like a fashion accessory.
- A steering wheel sculpted of soft-feel material, punctuated by the Ford oval badge as a rich tactile and visual centerpiece.
GLOBAL DESIGN VISION
Ford’s future small car is being developed as a global car – led by the Verve concept
Verve was developed through Ford’s new global product development system. Ford is building on its European small-car expertise to stake a bigger claim in this critically important segment. Ford’s celebrated small car lineup in Europe includes such top-sellers as the Ford Focus, Fiesta and Ka.
Verve provides a vision for a new world standard for quality, design and comfort. This strategy gives Verve a bold, modern, design along with sophisticated electronics, premium materials, surprising functional space and a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine – all previously unseen in the small car segment.
Ford maintains small-car leadership in Europe with vehicles set apart by their world-class driving dynamics and dynamic designs.
With more than five million vehicles produced in Europe since it was launched in 1998, the Ford Focus is one of the only vehicles in the world to be named “Car of the Year” both in Europe and in North America. It is Ford’s perennial top seller in Europe and, in 2007, was Europe’s top-selling car in its class.
The Ford Fiesta – which is smaller than the Focus – debuted in 1976, and it has sold more than 12 million units in Europe.
The iconic Ford Ka redefined the small city car sector in Europe with its eye-catching and enduring design and fun-to-drive character when it was introduced more than 11 years ago. Sales remain strong – with more than 1 million cars sold.
SMALL CAR POPULARITY SKYROCKETS
U.S. sales projected to grow 25 percent by 2012
Momentum in small-car sales is outpacing overall industry growth worldwide. Globally, small car sales have grown from 23 million units in 2002 to an estimated 38 million in 2012. That’s nearly 45 percent of the total expected 85-million unit industry, a level never before achieved. In the U.S., sales of small cars likely will grow by 800,000, or 25 percent – to a record 3.4 million units by 2012.
In fact, small cars and crossovers are the only vehicles with projected near-term growth in the U.S.
Driving the growth in the U.S. market is a group of young people aged 13 to 28 years – dubbed “Millennials.” Today, this group stands 1.7 billion strong worldwide and will represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population by 2010.
As a group, Millennials embrace eco-friendliness, stay in constant touch using modern technology and demand best-in-class products from around the world. This group will grow from representing 19 percent of the driving public in 2004 to amassing 28 percent in 2010.
Every day, 11,000 Millennials in the U.S. come of driving age. When it’s time to buy their first car, nearly half of this group shops the small-car segment.
North American Verve Concept Sedan
North American Verve Concept Sedan
North American Verve Concept Sedan
The Verve concept is bold and sophisticated – to help it clearly stand out from other small cars on the road. Building on decades of small car leadership in Europe, Ford plans to use the Verve as the basis for a small car that goes on sale in North America in 2010.
“Millennials will be the defining group of customers in the future, driving all types of consumer trends. Ford’s European-based cars are a great fit for this generation of drivers, who have grown up with the Internet and mobile phones as necessities, not luxuries – believing that bigger isn’t necessarily better, precision is everything and technology rules.”
Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President, Marketing and Communications
“Verve aims to ‘right’ North American buyers’ earlier small car experiences by offering a product that changes customers’ views of small cars from ‘cheap’ to chic – and from affordable to desirable.”
J Mays, Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company
“We’re looking at every aspect of what’s defined Ford as a small car leader in Europe and working to build on this expertise in driving dynamics and design across a global family of Ford cars that are as exciting to drive as they are to look at.”
Derrick Kuzak, Group Vice President, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company
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