Click above for image gallery of the Ford Iosis Max concept

Take note North Americans: The Ford iosis MAX concept that will debut tomorrow at the Geneva Motor Show features the evolution of Ford Europe's Kinetic styling language that will be featured on the next-gen Focus. Why should you care? Because Ford has officially stated that North America and Europe will once again be sold the same Focus when the next model debuts. While the front is all Focus, the rear of the iosis MAX, including the trick two-piece rear hatch, is supposedly previewing the next C-Max, a Euro-only MPV that could also be sold in the States sometime in the near future. The interior, meanwhile, features many elements not suitable for production like floating seats upholstered in see-through netting, but the general shape of the dash could be close to production form if past Ford concepts are anything to go by. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the iosis MAX concept is its engine: a 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder that's turbocharged and features direct injection to produce an impressive 178bhp. Mated to a dual-clutch transmission that's tuned for green driving, the powerplant is said to be 20% more efficient than a similarly sized gas engine. This engine will likely debut in the next-gen Focus and may be the second EcoBoost powerplant to join the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 here in the U.S. We'll bring you live shots of the iosis MAX from the floor of the Geneva Motor Show as soon as Ford pulls off the covers, so stay tuned.

UPDATE: Official press release and complete gallery of official high-res images added.

Related GalleryFord iosis MAX Concept

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE

FORD IOSIS MAX CONCEPT COMBINES STYLE, INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

1 Introduction and Highlights

Third in the series of exciting iosis 'kinetic design' concept cars is unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show
New iosis MAX is a vision for Ford's next generation compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), and hints at the design direction of Ford's next global C-cars

  • Concept combines bold, dynamic styling with new levels of efficiency and flexibility
  • Striking exterior design based on a fresh interpretation of Ford's kinetic design form language
  • Coupé-like side profile, with bold new window line graphic and highly original 'flying buttress' C-pillar design
  • Distinctive new design treatments for lower trapezoidal grille and front / rear lights
  • Interior presents a bold evolution of the exterior design language, incorporating dynamic shapes and advanced materials
  • Slim, muscular instrument panel flows into innovative centre console with three-dimensional touch-screen surface
  • Lightweight seats supported on spine-like bridge, so that occupants are 'floating on air'
  • Unique two-piece tailgate design allows full opening even in restricted spaces
  • B-Pillarless construction and new door kinematics provides optimised side loading
  • Environmental sustainability enhanced by innovative powertrain technologies, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight construction techniques
  • iosis MAX previews Ford of Europe's high efficiency EcoBoost engine family with a 1.6-litre 180 PS unit designed to deliver improved fuel economy and lower emissions
  • 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine is coupled to a new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system and Ford's advanced PowerShift transmission showcasing future possibilities for lean, clean and efficient petrol powertrains

1.1 Introduction by John Fleming

"The new iosis MAX concept car marks another important step in the renaissance of Ford of Europe's product design under the leadership of Martin Smith.

The two previous iosis concepts were significant milestones in that process. They helped to introduce our new design strategy, and to show how kinetic design would play a key role in transforming our future product line.

The fantastic reception given to our latest models – from the Mondeo and Kuga, through to the Fiesta and Ka – suggests that we've been getting our strategy right.

The iosis MAX is an exciting third addition to the iosis concept car series.

While it is a bespoke concept and doesn't preview a specific production model,
iosis MAX does provide a tempting glimpse into the design direction and efficient powertrain technologies being adopted for the next generation of Ford's global medium car range.

Presenting such a bold concept car during the current economic climate highlights the confidence within Ford of Europe about the company's design philosophy and the strength of our current – and future – product line-up.

The iosis MAX sends a powerful signal that there are more stylish and desirable Ford products just around the corner.

John Fleming, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe
March 2009

1.2 iosis MAX highlights

Ford is unveiling the third in its series of exciting iosis 'kinetic design' bespoke concept cars at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. iosis MAX is a concept study for the next generation of Ford's compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV) as well as a glimpse at the design direction Martin Smith and his team are taking for the company's next generation global C-car family.

The iosis MAX features striking exterior and interior designs based on a fresh interpretation of Ford's kinetic design form language. It is a dynamic MAV and showcases new levels of efficiency and flexibility.

The car's dramatic looks are complemented by innovative solutions which enhance its practicality and environmental performance. These include new door opening concepts, lightweight materials, advanced aerodynamics, and a preview of the European development of Ford's global EcoBoost petrol engine technology coming in 2010.

Coupled to this clean and lean engine are the recently introduced and acclaimed Ford PowerShift transmission, plus a new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system due for production
in 2010.

"The iosis MAX marks the next stage in the evolution of kinetic design, and showcases a number of affordable petrol engine technologies that will make a difference to the environment and our customers' pockets," says Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Design Director.

"Our designers have stretched themselves beyond the two previous iosis concepts, and have applied kinetic design form language to a MAV format vehicle," adds Smith. "The iosis MAX proves that cars in the compact MAV class can have emotive, dynamic styling without sacrificing their traditional virtues of practicality or efficiency – something that the larger and revolutionary S-MAX has already demonstrated."

"Although the iosis MAX isn't a forerunner to a specific production vehicle, it clearly highlights how kinetic design is evolving and can be applied with stunning results to all vehicles in the Ford portfolio."

Exciting, dynamic design
Like all kinetic design vehicles, the exciting shape of the iosis MAX conveys 'energy in motion' through its athletic stance and muscular surfacing.

The design team also sought to create a strong impression of lightness and efficiency. This was achieved through the concept's sleek, sporting and aerodynamic profile, which provides a clear contrast to the more boxy approach adopted by many vehicles in the compact MAV segment.

The feeling of lightness is reinforced by the extensive use of glass in the vehicle, with the steeply raked front screen flowing back in one piece to the tailgate, revealing the skeletal roof structure underneath.

The visual excitement of the concept's exterior is also transferred to its interior design. The cabin extends some of the kinetic design themes with complex shapes and graphic forms which complement the expressive style used on the outside of the vehicle.

Advanced materials are combined with innovative solutions like the 'floating' seat design to create an overwhelming feeling of space and lightness for the occupants.

New style for Compact MAVs
The primary objective for the iosis MAX exterior design team was to create an exciting new style for compact MAV format vehicles by applying kinetic design principles.

"We were convinced that we could use our kinetic design form language to develop a C-segment MAV that was sporty, dynamic and desirable," explains Stefan Lamm, Ford of Europe's chief exterior designer. "The iosis MAX takes the core kinetic design elements and extends them to a new level, with a totally fresh execution which is not only stylish and innovative, but functional too."

The front of the iosis MAX is dominated by the bold trapezoidal lower grille, which is now a key part of the Ford brand identity. For the first time, however, the grille features a distinctive new treatment with three horizontal chrome-rimmed bars, giving the vehicle's face a more dynamic and imposing feel.

The dynamic character of the design is reinforced by the coupé-like side profile, with its striking new window line shape – the daylight opening graphic – and rakish C-pillar design.

The C-pillars, with their highly original 'flying buttress' design, also deliver significant functional benefits. The pillars act as spoilers, channelling airflow as close as possible to the tailgate glass for optimum aerodynamic efficiency.

The pillars work in combination with the dramatic looking aerodynamic spoiler which is centrally mounted at the rear of the roof structure, with its wings cantilevered above the tailgate glass.

Imaginative details catch the eye all around the vehicle, including the striking new graphics for the front and rear lamps, stylish LED lighting strips in the rocker panels, and stunning 19-inch alloy wheels with a lightweight two-piece construction.

Dramatic interior environment
The iosis MAX interior presents a bold evolution of the kinetic design language used on the exterior, incorporating dynamic shapes and advanced materials to create a dramatic interior environment which is light, spacious and expressive.

"The iosis MAX shows how affordable family vehicles can have interiors which are practical and comfortable, yet still highly desirable," says Ernst Reim, Ford of Europe's chief interior designer. "Our vision looks beyond normal automotive processes, taking inspiration from modernist architecture, lightweight construction technologies and even the sporting world."

The cabin design features strong dynamic lines, very expressive surfaces and an inherent sense of lightness. The instrument panel is a key element, having a slim, muscular shape which 'reaches out' to the body sides, suspended above the floor like a gymnast gripping rings.

At each end of the panel, grab handles spiral down into the doors, creating the impression of a vortex spinning from an aircraft wing tip.

The innovative use of shapes and materials is also reflected in the centre console, which has a smooth plexiglass surface which rolls down from the instrument panel like a ribbon and flows through to the rear of the passenger compartment.

The whole of the console surface acts as a touch-screen display to control the vehicle's infotainment systems, similar to the approach used on the latest mobile phones.

The lower console is supported on a spine-like bridge which runs the full length of the interior from the bulkhead through to the load area. The four individual seats are also cantilevered from the bridge, allowing for a completely uninterrupted floor and giving occupants the sensation that they are 'floating on air'.

To reinforce the impression of space and lightness the seats themselves are constructed from a stylish lightweight carbon fibre skeleton, with inner panels constructed from nylon mesh inserts.

Warm luminous colour palette
Warm luminous grey hues were selected for the iosis MAX interior, complementing the striking pearlescent 'Limelight' colour of the exterior, while at the same time creating a spacious and airy ambience. However, small details are picked out in bright cadmium yellow to add visual impact and stress the dynamic character of the shapes and graphics.

Although the interior has advanced lightweight materials, imaginative use of textures and surface finishes allows many of the parts to combine a technical feel with more sensual natural characteristics.

"For the iosis MAX we wanted to achieve a more futuristic interpretation of kinetic design through a creative blend of lightweight materials and sophisticated textures and colours," says Ruth Pauli, chief designer for colour and materials, Ford of Europe. "The contrast between different materials and the use of subtle three-dimensional effects help to create a unique interior environment."

An example of the original approach used in the iosis MAX is the special geometric surface texture used to emphasise the taut, muscular shape of the instrument panel. The geometric elements are stretched and distorted to reflect the panel's complex form, highlighting the tension in the design.

Innovation delivers increased practicality
The iosis MAX also explores innovative solutions which could provide future MAV vehicles with increased practicality and flexibility.

These ideas were conceived by a team led by Patrick Verhée, Ford of Europe design innovation and show-car manager, who oversaw the development of the concept vehicle.

To help overcome common problems faced by owners when loading or unloading the vehicle in a confined space, such as a congested multi-storey car park, the concept features a unique two piece tailgate design. This allows the tailgate to be fully opened, even when there is restricted space behind or above the vehicle.
To provide even greater loading flexibility the iosis MAX utilises a B-pillarless construction, providing a wide, unobstructed load aperture when both front and rear side doors are open. In combination with the 'floating' seat design, this enables awkward, bulky items – such as flat pack furniture – to be slid easily onto the floor of the cabin or the folded seat backs.

The stylish LED lighting strip in the rocker panels provides additional illumination to assist safe entry to and exit from the side of the vehicle.

New opening kinematics are also utilised in the dual-function hood design, which incorporates an active hood system for improved pedestrian protection in combination with greatly enhanced access to the engine compartment.

Responsive yet environmentally friendly
The innovation featured in the iosis MAX extends to its powertrain, which showcases efficient technologies coming in future Ford vehicles to demonstrate how reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be achieved without compromising dynamic performance.

Power is provided by a 1.6-litre 180 PS 4-cylinder petrol engine from Ford's new EcoBoost engine family. Ford EcoBoost engines feature turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver fuel economy up to 20 per cent better than conventional petrol engines with a similar power output.

EcoBoost engines will be progressively introduced to Ford's European product range from early 2010.

The 1.6-litre EcoBoost unit in the iosis MAX is further optimised through the use of a new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, intelligent alternator and six-speed Ford PowerShift double-clutch automated manual gearbox with ratios tailored to deliver maximum fuel efficiency. Simulations predict that the concept vehicle could achieve CO2 emissions of 125 g/km.

The concept's environmental sustainability is enhanced by the use of lightweight materials and through careful attention to its aerodynamic design; the body's optimised shape and details including the 'flying buttress' rear door pillars, advanced rear wing design, rear diffuser, narrow tyres and active front cooling ducts which are blanked off when not required.

"We're eager to hear reaction to the iosis MAX as the design team has worked hard to incorporate so many interesting ideas, features and materials that could find their way into future Ford vehicles," says John Fleming, Ford of Europe's Chairman and CEO. "The car also signals the arrival of an exciting new range of environmentally friendly Ford EcoBoost petrol engines which use the same efficient principles already making an impact on our larger North American models.

"The next eighteen months will see some exciting new models with clean and affordable technologies arriving in the Ford of Europe range," Fleming adds. "When we say 'Feel the Difference', our European customers will know we mean it!"

1.3 The iosis story

The first iosis concept car was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005, its name hinting at how a dynamic new form language, called 'kinetic design' would define the design direction for all future Ford of Europe products.

The iosis was an exciting four-seat saloon with a muscular coupé profile. It hinted at the styling of what was to become the new Mondeo in 2007.

A year later, Ford revealed the stunning iosis X concept vehicle at the Paris Motor Show in September 2006. The iosis X was a five-door sports-crossover concept, which showed how kinetic design could be applied to different niche segments.

The dramatic iosis X prepared the public for the launch in 2008 of the Ford Kuga crossover vehicle, which has seen considerable success in the market since its introduction, attracting a high proportion of new customers to the brand.

The iosis MAX is the third concept in the iosis series, and makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009. This concept marks the next stage in the evolution of kinetic design, providing an exciting concept study for a new generation of compact multi-activity vehicles and an indication of the design language being adopted for Ford's future range of global C-segment vehicles.

Construction of the iosis MAX Concept was executed in partnership with the specialist coachbuilder Coggiola in Turin.

2 Exterior Design

  • Striking exterior design based on a fresh interpretation of Ford's kinetic design form language
  • Exciting new style for compact MAV format vehicles, combining a stylish dynamic look with a strong impression of lightness and efficiency
  • Coupé-like side profile, with bold new window line shape and highly original 'flying buttress' C-pillar design
  • Innovative use of glazing, with one-piece windscreen / roof and three-dimensional wraparound tailgate
  • Application of classic kinetic design elements creates dynamic, cohesive design with clear relationship to previous iosis concepts
  • Distinctive new design treatments for lower trapezoidal grille and front / rear lights


2.1 Exterior concept

The iosis MAX features a striking exterior design based on a fresh interpretation of Ford's kinetic design form language.

Like all kinetic design vehicles, the iosis MAX conveys 'energy in motion' through its athletic stance and muscular surfacing. The concept has a sleek, sporting and aerodynamic profile, which provides a clear contrast to the more boxy approach adopted by many vehicles in the compact MAV segment.

Coupé-like side profile
The dynamic character of the design is reinforced by the coupé-like side profile, with its striking new window line shape – the daylight opening (DLO) graphic – and rakish C-pillar design. The bold shape of the DLO graphic is framed by a chrome rim, helping to create a clear visual separation between the passenger compartment and the cargo area.

The C-pillars themselves have a highly original 'flying buttress' design, enabling them to act as spoilers to channel airflow as close as possible to the tailgate glass for optimum aerodynamic efficiency.

"Using the rear door frame as a form of 'aero-blade' helps us create a unique style, while also giving important functional benefits," says Stefan Lamm. "Details like this enable us to demonstrate that MAV vehicles can be more emotional and dynamic without losing their functional qualities."

The C-pillars work in combination with the aerodynamic spoiler that is centrally mounted at the rear of the roof structure. This spoiler has wings that are cantilevered above the tailgate, creating a sharp aerodynamic cut-off point without disturbing the panoramic effect of the wraparound glass tailgate.

Innovative use of glazing
The innovative use of glazing is a key theme in the iosis MAX, helping to reinforce the feeling of lightness and efficiency.

The concept has a steeply raked front screen which flows back in one piece to the tailgate. The glass reveals the dynamic shape of the skeletal roof structure underneath its surface.

There is an uninterrupted flow of glass at the sides of the vehicle too, as the rear windows continue into the tailgate beneath the 'floating' door pillar. The tailgate glass is made in one piece, and has a complex three-dimensional wraparound shape.

The emphasis on transparent or translucent materials in the vehicle exterior and interior highlights the concept's constructional lightness, while the colouring of transparent materials reflects the icy shades found in polar regions.

The striking 'Limelight' exterior colour is complemented by the frosted translucent whites and transparent greens of the glass and lamp housings, giving the vehicle an airy and technical personality.

Bold trapezoidal grille
The front of the iosis MAX is dominated by the bold trapezoidal lower grille, which is now a key signature element in Ford's brand identity.

The concept, however, is the first vehicle to feature a distinctive new grille treatment with three horizontal chrome-rimmed bars, giving the vehicle's face a more dynamic and imposing feel.

The lower grille also has a subtle three dimensional effect, as the sculptured, athletic lines of the bonnet flow down into the grille to create a stylish V shape.

Another interesting feature is found in the upper grille, where the dark grille insert carrying the Ford oval is actually created by a continuation of the engine's 'beauty cover'.

Style with function
At the rear of the vehicle, the designers wanted to preserve the coupé-like design but without compromising its functionality and practicality.

To maintain the attractive appearance, the shut lines for the tailgate were moved out to the corners of the vehicle, resulting in a clean tailgate design with a broad opening aperture. The height of the loading shelf was chosen to provide convenient access, while maintaining the sporting stance of the vehicle.

Beneath the bumper, there is a small aerodynamic diffuser which sits below the exhaust outlet. The outlet is mounted in a broad chrome-rimmed aperture that mimics the chrome grille elements at the front of the vehicle, while emphasising the width of the car.

2.2 Imaginative details

The iosis MAX features a host of eye-catching and imaginative design details, which enhance the concept's functionality and visual appeal.

The striking new shape of the headlamps is complemented by a number of stylish technical features designed to heighten their visual impact. Emphasis is drawn to the powerful main LED projector lights by a thin reflective frame which 'floats' within the body of the lamp. The iosis MAX logo is also picked out on the bezel of the lamp, adding to the optical effects.

Daytime running lights are provided by a series of angular transparent sections mounted within the light housing. These sections, which have a translucent light blue tint, create the impression of eyelashes that surround the bright LED 'eyes'.

Additional illumination is provided by thin LED fog lamps which are mounted at each end of the front spoiler. The line of the lights follows the sculptured cut-outs in the lower spoiler, emphasising the feeling of width and adding to the dynamic feel of the front end.

Rather than using bulky wing mirrors, the iosis MAX employs rear view cameras that are mounted in stylish aerodynamic housings.

Innovation is also found in the LED lighting strips which are housed in the rocker panels. As well as highlighting the form of the distinctive wide rocker panels, the LED strips provide additional illumination for extra safety when occupants are using the side doors.

The iosis MAX features stunning lightweight 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, with bold trapezoidal shapes and a striking two-colour finish.

3 Interior Design

  • Interior presents a bold evolution of the exterior design language, incorporating dynamic shapes and advanced materials
  • Slim, muscular instrument panel flows into innovative centre console with three-dimensional touch-screen surface
  • Four individual lightweight seats supported on spine-like bridge, so that occupants are 'floating on air'


The iosis MAX interior presents a bold evolution of the kinetic design language used on the exterior, incorporating dynamic shapes and advanced materials to create a dramatic interior environment which is light, spacious and expressive.

"We wanted to transfer the visual excitement of the iosis MAX exterior into the interior design," explains Ernst Reim, Ford of Europe's chief interior designer. "At the same time, we wanted to demonstrate that a practical, spacious environment can still be stimulating and fun."

In developing their vision, the team looked beyond normal automotive conventions, and took inspiration from a range of sources including modernist architecture, lightweight construction technologies and even the sporting world.

Slim, muscular instrument panel
The instrument panel is a key element, having a slim, muscular form which 'reaches out' to the body sides, suspended above the floor like a gymnast gripping rings. Its taut, wing-like shape extends out into the 'wing mirrors', enhancing the feeling of space in the vehicle.

At each end of the panel, grab handles spiral down into the doors, creating the impression of a vortex spinning from an aircraft wing tip. The dynamic shape gives a new dimension to the kinetic design theme of 'energy in motion', and is repeated in other areas of the interior.

A compact instrument binnacle 'floats' independently above the instrument panel and is supported by a cantilever arm mounted on the steering column. The cantilever design was inspired by the asymmetric rear swing arm used by many sports motorbikes.

The unique mounting arrangement means that the binnacle moves fore and aft together with the steering wheel, maintaining an optimum view of the instruments through the wheel.

Innovative centre console
The innovative use of shapes and materials is also reflected in the centre console, which has a smooth plexiglass surface that rolls down from the instrument panel like a ribbon and flows through to the rear of the passenger compartment.

The whole of the console surface acts as a touch-screen display to control the vehicle's infotainment systems, like a three-dimensional version of the approach used on the latest touch-screen mobile phones.

Information – such as sat-nav instructions or details of an incoming phone call – is displayed on the console when required using projectors mounted beneath the surface.

A rotary control at the bottom of the console allows the driver to switch between primary functions, while a mouse-like controller in front of the central armrest provides a swift and accurate way to navigate within menus as an alternative to using the touch screens.

Images from the rear-view camera system are presented in a colour display in a separate binnacle at the top of the console.

The concept vision anticipates that minor controls such as indicators or wipers are activated by voice control. An important exception – retained to deliver maximum driver satisfaction – is the manual control paddles for the Ford PowerShift transmission system mounted on the front of the steering wheel.

Spine-like bridge
A key part of the iosis MAX interior concept is the spine-like bridge which runs the full length of the interior from the bulkhead through to the rear load area.

The bridge supports the centre console, and provides a mounting point for the four individual seats and central armrests. The seats are cantilevered from the bridge, allowing for an uninterrupted floor space and giving occupants the sensation that they are 'floating on air'.

Lightweight carbon seats
To reinforce the impression of space and lightness the four seats themselves are constructed from a stylish lightweight carbon fibre frame, with inner panels constructed from nylon mesh inserts.

Inspired by the protective back supports worn by freestyle skiers, the seats are like lightweight exoskeletons, fitting closely around the body to offer maximum protection with minimum intrusion into the cabin. The seat frames feature the same twisting forms that are found in the door grab handles.

The seat backs are designed to fold forward to create a flat load platform for bulky objects, which is supplemented by the generous flat load area found underneath the seats.

The cabin can also be configured to carry different loads of all shapes and sizes. The seat assemblies can be removed and replaced with specialised fitments such as bicycle carriers, while the generous door pockets are designed to accept a range of flexible storage modules.

4 Colour and Material Design

  • Warm neutral shades contrast with high intensity colours for maximum visual impact
  • Imaginative use of textures and surface finishes combine a technical feel with sensuous natural characteristics
  • Innovative material concepts and applications
  • Visible structures and lightweight technologies create impression of lightness, space and efficiency

"We took a more radical approach to the iosis MAX, taking kinetic design to a new level through the creative use of quality high-technology materials and a more sensual execution – both for the exterior and the interior of the vehicle," says chief designer for colour and material design, Ruth Pauli. "The final concept has a unique, futuristic style which combines advanced lightweight materials with sophisticated textures, colours and three-dimensional effects."

The colours selected for the interior were chosen to complement the striking
'Limelight' of the exterior, while at the same time creating a spacious, airy and sophisticated ambience.

Different tones of luminous natural greys feature on most interior surfaces. Small details are picked out in a bright acidic yellow to add visual impact and stress the dynamic, sculptural character of the shapes and graphics.

Imaginative textures
Visual depth provides a key element of a material's textural language. Although the interior features advanced lightweight materials, imaginative use of three-dimensional textures and surface finishes allows many of the parts to combine a technical feel with more sensuous natural characteristics.

An example of the original approach used in the iosis MAX is the special geometric surface texture used to emphasise the taut, muscular shape of the instrument panel. The geometric elements are stretched and distorted to reflect the panel's complex form and underlying structure, highlighting the sculptural tension in the design.

A similar texture is used on the cabin floor, where it is covered by a thick layer of polar green silicon to create a unique three-dimensional effect. The polar green translucent silicon creates a visual distortion of the floor surface, giving the impression of 'puddles' of translucent colour across the floor.

Lightweight seat materials
The lightweight seats with their striking skeletal structure and bold graphics provide a key focal point within the interior. The choice of materials, including the mesh inserts, was inspired by the delicate, technical structures and minimalistic design of paragliders and racing catamarans.

The visual impact of the seats is maximised by the extreme textural contrasts in materials, textures and colours: the futuristic chalk white weave of the carbon fibre frame; the smooth dolphin grey leather on the seat panels; the acidic yellow rubber infill sections; the mesh in the seat inserts; and the brushed aluminium of the handle on the seat base.

Visible structure
The use of lightweight materials and technologies in the iosis MAX is also communicated through the visible structure which is revealed in both the roof and the cabin floor.

The visible structure creates an impression of lightness and efficiency similar to lightweight sports cars and state-of-the-art architecture.

5 Features and Technologies

  • iosis MAX concept explores innovative solutions to provide future MAV vehicles with increased practicality and flexibility
  • Unique two-piece tailgate design allows full opening even in restricted spaces
  • B-pillarless construction and new door kinematics provide optimised side loading
  • Environmental sustainability enhanced by innovative powertrain technologies, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight construction techniques
  • High efficiency Ford EcoBoost engines deliver improved fuel consumption and lower emissions
  • Ford PowerShift transmission and new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system maximise powertrain efficiency


5.1 Practicality and versatility

The iosis MAX concept explores a range of innovative solutions which could provide future MAV vehicles with increased practicality and flexibility.

"We gave particular attention to developing new door opening concepts for
iosis MAX," explains Patrick Verhée, Ford of Europe design innovation and show-car manager. "We wanted to demonstrate how MAV owners could benefit from more flexible carrying capacity in their vehicles, without encountering any frustrating obstacles."

Versatile tailgate design
Vehicles with large tailgates often face difficulties when loading or unloading in a confined space, such as a congested multi-storey car park, because of the extra space required to open the tailgate fully. The iosis MAX overcomes this problem by adopting a unique two piece tailgate design, which allows the tailgate to be opened completely, even when there is restricted space behind or above the vehicle.

Opening the tailgate involves a simple two-stage process: the lower section, which operates using a special double parallelogram linkage, swings up and locks onto the upper tailgate; the combined assembly then opens normally, revealing a generous loading aperture.

The upper tailgate can also be opened independently, to allow small items to be loaded quickly and conveniently.

Optimised side loading
To provide even greater loading flexibility, the iosis MAX utilises a B-pillarless construction. In combination with clever hinge mechanisms on the front and rear side doors, this creates a wide, unobstructed aperture for optimised side loading.

Further flexibility is added by the innovative 'floating' seats, which can be folded down to provide a flat load platform on the seat backs. This enables owners to place long, large loads on top of the folded seats. Alternatively, awkward, bulky items – such as flat pack furniture – can be easily slid under the seats onto the flat, unobstructed floor surface.

The hinge mechanisms ensure that both side doors can be opened, even when there is restricted width available. The front doors have a double hinge design which moves the door both forward and away from the body; the rear doors slide neatly backwards on a hidden pantograph bracket.

Dual hood function
New opening kinematics are also utilised in the hood mechanism, which has an innovative dual function design. The hood is mounted using a special pantograph mechanism, which enables the panel to open parallel to the front of the vehicle so that its sits close to the surface of the windscreen.

The hood design incorporates an active hood system, to deliver improved pedestrian protection. At the same time, the opening mechanism gives much better access to the engine compartment, so that maintenance and checks can be carried out without any obstruction from the hood panel.

Superior package efficiency
The innovative design solutions employed on the iosis MAX ensure that it demonstrates superior package efficiency, with a spacious, flexible and attractive interior within compact overall dimensions.

Ingenious door opening concepts and the novel seating design mean that maximum benefit can be realised from the available interior space, even when the vehicle is being used in confined spaces.

5.2 Environmental sustainability

Improved environmental sustainability was an important element in the iosis MAX concept, particularly in the area of operating efficiency.

Advanced aerodynamics, lightweight construction techniques and innovative powertrain – using technologies from future Ford models – have been employed to ensure that the vehicle delivers low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, without any compromise to the responsive performance demanded by modern motorists.

EcoBoost engine technology
The iosis MAX is powered by a 1.6-litre 180 PS 4-cylinder petrol engine from Ford's new EcoBoost engine family which will be launched in Europe in 2010. Ford EcoBoost engines feature turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver fuel economy up to 20 per cent better than conventional larger displacement petrol engines with a similar power output.

EcoBoost technology is more affordable than equivalent hybrid or diesel engine designs, and builds on existing petrol engine knowledge to provide customers with a way to improve fuel economy and emissions significantly without compromising driving performance.

The combination of direct fuel injection, advanced turbocharging and variable valve timing create a much more efficient combustion process. This enables Ford EcoBoost technology to deliver the strong low-end torque and responsive performance of a large capacity engine, but with the size, weight and fuel economy of a much smaller unit.

EcoBoost engines will be progressively introduced to Ford's European product range from 2010.

Optimised fuel efficiency
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine in the iosis MAX is further optimised through the use of additional smart technologies to minimise fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

A new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, intelligent alternator and electric power steering all ensure that power is only drawn from the engine when it is required, reducing unnecessary fuel consumption.

The Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, which will be introduced in 2010, automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle – at a stop light, for example – and restarts the engine when the driver wants to move off, saving the fuel wasted while the vehicle is stationary.

Once the brake pedal is released, or the accelerator or clutch pedal is pressed, the engine starts quickly and quietly. The process is almost imperceptible, and happens long before gear selection is completed.

The EcoBoost engine is partnered by Ford's latest PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, already available in the Ford Focus and Ford C-MAX models. Here, the gearbox ratios are optimised to suit the power characteristics of the EcoBoost engine to deliver maximum fuel efficiency under all driving conditions.

Simulations calculate that the iosis MAX could achieve CO2 emissions of 125 g/km.

Advanced aerodynamics
The concept's environmental sustainability is enhanced by the extensive use of lightweight construction materials in the body structure and interior features, and through careful attention to its aerodynamic design.

Key aerodynamic features include: the 'flying buttress' rear door pillars; the advanced rear wing design; a diffuser under the rear bumper; reduced tyre width; and active front cooling ducts in the main lower trapezoidal grille, which are blanked off when not required.