Ford unveiled the Start Concept today at the Beijing International Auto Show. This marks Ford’s first concept car in over three years and its simple design addresses the growing problems we have with fuel efficiency, traffic congestion, and parking space. "Our ambition with the Ford Start Concept was to design a car that goes beyond the practical realities of commuting in these mega cities, to go beyond just dressing the technology. We wanted to design a car you would also love," explained Freeman Thomas, Design Director, Ford Motor Company.
The Start Concept is powered by a 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that delivers the same amount of power and torque as a normally-aspirated I-4 powerplant. This engine is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission which permits gear spacing to deliver performance without sacrificing fuel economy.
The concepts gets a smooth exterior shell constructed with lightweight composite body panels that snap-fit on an aluminum structure. "With the Ford Start Concept, we didn’t set out to design some sort of utilitarian concept to save the world, nor were we interested in following the competitive trend toward an overly noisy design language. What we did set out to do was design a personality driven car that exudes warmth, charm and aspiration…to design a car worth bonding with," said J Mays, Group Vice President Design and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company.
This concept reminds us of a little beetle big, although not of the Volkswagen variety. Simply put, the car can be described as cute which may lead to a hard sell for the more masculine portion of our urban community. It’s not ideal for passengers either. Sorry kids, mommy has to save on gas. All kidding aside, we do think this is a great combination of fuel efficiency and simplistic design. We also see how this attractive car could appeal to the masses. Ford may be on to something and the possibility of this concept’s engine transferring over to Ford’s smaller vehicles like the Fiesta and the Focus, is something we can see happening. We have to wonder what this will do to the likes of Chevrolet. Do we see a slightly modified Chevy Cruze or Eco in our future?