Ford to showcase Start Concept at Beijing Motor Show

by Ron Grant

Burgeoning. That is the term used by many to describe how Ford is approaching the segment of urban rides and as it brings the Start concept to the auto show in Beijing.

The Ford study is aimed at making cheaper, smaller cars using lesser raw materials. The structure of the concept combines high elements of steels and aluminum to keep the car lightweight but without compromising its safety. The panels of the Start concept are made from composites which are recyclable. The panels also have the paint molded in so painting will also be scrapped of the production line.

The Start features simple and clean cut design lines but you can say it is a bit not so interesting compared to the kinetic designs used for other new Ford vehicles like the 2011 Focus. The simpler shape makes production costs cheaper compared to the other vehicles of Ford lineup.

The strategy to keep things simple extends to the insides of the Start Concept. The MyFord Mobile technology is being introduced with this vehicle. It iteration makes use of smartphones to provide the functionality features of the MyFord Touch without the need for installation of extra hardware.

The designers of the car actually brought in a Zagato SZ from Alfa Romeo and a 356 Speedster by Porsche to their studio to learn about attributes of these cars that magnets people toward them.

Ford clarifies though that there is no production plan yet for the Start Concept. The EcoBoost engine, Ford’s newest creation, will be in the pipeline though. Ford executives have hinted before about a smaller EcoBoost with three cylinders. The Start Concept is fitted with a 1.0L turbocharged engine with direct injection and this will be the kind of powerplants we will see in future Ford vehicles.

The specifics about the Ford Start Concept have not been disclosed yet but according to insiders the 1.0 engine will have the same output of the naturally aspirated inline four 1.6L engine. If that is the case, we can expect around 105 to 110 horsepower. Carbon dioxide emissions could be in the area of 100 grams for every kilometer which is comparable to hybrid and diesel vehicles today.

Even the tires of the Start Concept are green. The small car is fitted with Green X Mchelin tires which are very lightweight and features lower roll resistance.
The Start Concept is the first vehicle which purely makes use of the car makers approach coined One Ford.

Images of Mazda LM55 Vision GranTurismo

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