Ford iosis MAX Concept Previews Next-Gen Focus Cues

By Editors on March 9, 2009 1:39 PM

While the redesigned and "globalized" Ford Focus lineup is still a year down the road, the automaker provided a taste of what we can expect with its latest iosis concept vehicle that's currently being shown in Geneva. Admitting that the iosis MAX is a bespoke one-off, Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming did confirm that this third member of the iosis line of show cars offers a realistic look at the styling and design direction as well as the efficient powertrain technologies that will be found in the next generation of the company's global medium-sized vehicle range. While hardly a radical departure from the distinctive visual language already created by Ford of Europe's Executive Design Director, Martin Smith, the iosis MAX definitely does reflect an even more ambitious take on it.

To be sure, certain more radical elements of this package -- like the MAX's dual sliding rear doors and its dramatic interior trappings -- aren't likely to ever see volume-build status. But based on Ford's previous history with iosis concepts that subsequently transitioned into the European Kuga Crossover and Mondeo Sedan, expect the basic look of the front quarters and its "kinetic" bodywork flavor to feature prominently in the production versions of the upcoming Focus, which will go on sale here sometime in 2010. Slated to be manufactured in Michigan and Kentucky, the Focus will initially offer sedan and five-door hatchback configurations. It's also destined to spawn a formal four-door as well as a crossover variant to be called the C-Max for the European market. While the sedan won't be headed to our shores, chances are pretty good that the C-Max will find a place in Ford's U.S. portfolio by 2012.

Also destined to be an integral part of the next-gen global Focus package is Ford's EcoBoost engine family, which the iosis MAX showcases in the form of a new clean-and-lean turbocharged 1.6-liter in-line four that's rated at 180 horsepower in this application. The MAX package also includes two other elements that will be part of the mileage-making EcoBoost program: an Auto-Start-Stop system and a PowerShift dual-clutch automated transmission.

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