The Iosis Max became the third European Ford concept car to carry the Iosis name at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. And just as the original concept became the Mondeo and the Iosis X became the Kuga multi-activity vehicle (MAV, or compact SUV) last year, the Iosis Max concept gave a glimpse of how Ford could develop its kinetic design language for a possible C-segment MAV.
It was about more than design, too. The concept was also a showcase for Ford’s Global EcoBoost gasoline engine family, scheduled to appear next year. An automatic stop/start system with regenerative charging is perhaps inevitable for any future product with an internal-combustion engine, and Iosis Max had that too, as well as Ford’s Powershift dual-clutch automated transmission, already an offer in the current Focus and C-Max model lines.
Ford reckons on fuel consumption reductions of 5-15% for the automatic stop/start inclusion and a further 1-2% for the regenerative braking system.
The chosen EcoBoost engine for the concept is Ford’s 1.6-L 180-PS (132-kW) four-cylinder gasoline engine. By using turbocharging and direct injection, Ford says it can deliver a 20% reduction in fuel consumption compared with a larger capacity gasoline engine of the same output. Other features will include variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust cams, also part of the efficiency-improvement package.
The concept showed new features including sliding rear doors, which meet with frameless front doors without a B-pillar. The car features the trapezoidal lower grille that has become part of the Ford kinetic design language. For the Iosis Max, it includes three horizontal chrome-rimmed bars to distinguish it from current Ford models.
The C-pillars, which Ford describes as a “flying buttress” design, act as spoilers channeling airflow across the tailgate glass to improve aerodynamic flow. Crowning the tailgate glass is a full-width spoiler. The tailgate itself is a two-piece design, not to provide a choice of sedan trunk or hatchback rear access but to ensure that the tailgate can be opened in confined spaces.
The interior adopts a four-seat layout following the trend for a center console that runs the length of the cabin. In the case of the Iosis Max, the console is a structural element supporting all four seats, giving them the appearance of floating in the interior. The seat construction consists of a lightweight carbon-fiber skeleton with nylon mesh insert panels.
The dashboard center panel is finished with a smooth Plexiglas surface, which acts as a touch screen display similar to those of the latest mobile phones.
Apart from the aerodynamic design, the Iosis Max uses lightweight materials to reduce weight, active cooling ducts which are closed when not required, and narrow tires to help improve efficiency.