Ford Evos Concept pictures and hands-on
Let's get one thing straight: this isn't the new Capri, and if you mention that word to anyone at Ford... well, let's just say we warned you. The front face of the Evos is the new Mondeo according to Ford's design team, however. And looking at it, you'd have to say that's a very good thing.
Step into the car, and it might not have the immediate"wow" factor of the Mercedes F125's 3D gauges, or the KIA GT's Transparent-OLED displays, but this is the best example we've seen of how massive an impact cloud computing will have on cars. Ford's Derek Kuzak sums up: "In the Ford Evos Concept [...] the intent is not to convert the vehicle into a smartphone, but rather to provide personalised and safe connection to the outside world in an enriching manner designed totally for the vehicle context."
Sit in the Evos and slam shut the massive gull wing-suicide doors, and you're surrounded by a wrap of tablet-like screens, that flex and twist, forming what in most cars is the centre console stack, the main dashboard, and a large part of the door. It's like one giant touchscreen, but has not been executed in an obvious, dumb way, and the icons and touch controls that come up on it are large and easy to read and press.
Just ahead of the centre armrest, marking the start of that big wrapping centre console that's angled towards the driver, is a selector knob, which allows you to set up the basic drive modes of the car. Other, more advanced setting and functions come up on the touchscreens - the engine, steering, suspension, your mail - and a host of cloud-based functions, all appear here.
And it's what you can't see from the static concept car that's the real story. The Evos will connect to each driver's personal cloud in a way that goes way beyond the mundane, near-future stuff like accessing your music library or finding a restaurant on the go. It uses the cloud to be "clever".
It knows where you're going by looking at your diary, finds a parking space in advance, dodges you around traffic, checks the weather and adapts the chassis setup to provide the most safe or responsive drive. It will even wirelessly turn the lights off in your house when it knows you're out and have left them on.
Excitingly, Ford sees these ideas as central to the next generation of vehicle personalisation. It boils down to this: a Mini is customisable when you buy it, but once you've selected your options the car comes out of the factory that way and pretty much stays like that forever.
On the Evos, personalisation isn't about the exterior look and style, but about adapting the engine, suspension, interior and driving experience to suit how you drive and road conditions. And it's about the interior's appearance and interactive elements being endlessly adaptable to suit your mood, road conditions, and who else is in the car.
I know what you're thinking: great, but none of this is coming to my next Mondeo, right? Well, perhaps not all of it, but Ford is determined to stay at the cutting edge of in-car technology. We've experienced the company's brilliant Sync system in the US, and it's coming to the UK and Europe soon.
The Evos shows where Ford is taking that technology next. Based on its current approach to being first with many in-car technologies and the near-term reality of much of this stuff, we reckon you won't be waiting more than a couple of years before you can get hold of a lot of what’s being shown here in Ford's road cars. If we're right, then the Evos is proof it'll be well worth the wait.