Ford Visos concept transforms at 90kmh

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Saturday September 13, 2003

The Ford Visos Concept adds a futuristic element to previous European model designs with its blue oval shape and innovative use of technology such as door-mounted cameras that supplement rear-view mirrors, and "active surfacing" that hides the car's aerodynamic features until it reaches "sport" mode at 90 kmh.

Unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Visos concept is a full four-seat sports coupe that's spacious enough to meet sedan-size expectations according to Ford. Broad shoulders and a small instrument panel enable more cabin space and for easier access to rear seats both doors extend deep into the roofline, and the roof itself lifts up and folds inward on either side.

The windscreen, roof and rear screen blend into one element and the "active surfacing" features include a front splitter, rear diffuser and rear spoiler that are only deployed once the vehicle reaches 90kmh. In "comfort" mode, these features are retracted into the body.

Set on 20-inch wheels, two chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, twin air intakes in the front and rear and a narrow chrome-framed grille reveal the Visos' performance potential while the horseshoe-shaped rear lights are inverted in the front and create a distinctive light graphic on the face of the car.

The integrated door cameras rotate out of the door surfaces when the engine is turned on to provide a clearer rear view image and then rotate back in when the car is turned off. A blind spot detection feature also warns the driver of unsafe conditions when changing lanes.

Other stand-out features of the Visos include a sculpted instrument pod mounted to the steering wheel that provides unique access to instrument controls via analogue dials and LCD panels, plus the ability to transform the vehicle - both inside and out - by interchanging between "sport" and "comfort" modes.

As well as activating or deactivating exterior aerodynamic features, the cabin space can is transformed when seats automatically reshape and angle in a more sports car-like position, the steering wheel slides closer, a gear lever is deployed from the center console for shift control and instrument panels alter to provide more performance-oriented information.

The Ford Visos concept is powered by a six-cylinder, double-turbocharged engine and coupled with the six-speed transmission, it produces 345 horsepower and around 295 foot-pounds of torque.

Another innovation is that Visos drivers would have the ability to change damper settings and adjust the rev limiter by connecting a laptop computer to the provided USB port on the LCD monitor mounted to the side of the engine. Preset configurations would be available for download on the web.

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