Is Car Design Dead?

  “We set out to create a design with clean, futuristic lines and with a real sense of occasion.” That’s Paul Campbell.

 

“We set out to create a design with clean, futuristic lines and with a real sense of occasion.”

That’s Paul Campbell. Chief designer. Ford of Europe. Talking about a concept vehicle that will be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

The Ford Tourneo Custom Concept. (No, not Torino, as in “Starsky & Hutch.”)

An exciting, stylish, sexy breakthrough vehicle like the EVOS Concept that Ford revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

F

The Ford EVOS Concept.  Isn’t this “clean” and “futuristic?”

Nope.

A truck. A van. A “people mover.”

T

Well, the C-pillar is disguised.

“One look at the Tourneo Custom Concept is enough to tell you that it will inject an exciting new spirit into the personal use segment. Our forthcoming new range gives us the opportunity to appeal to new customers with a fresh new direction, and we have seized that opportunity with both hands,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

Let’s get this straight. “Sense of occasion.” “Fresh new direction.”

Huh?

T

While this is said to be a vehicle for individuals, it is also the look at what the forthcoming commercial vehicles for the Euro market during 2012 will look like. Although this is based on a global platform, and although Ford is going to be replacing its E-Series in the U.S. with the European Transit vehicle, the new people movers and one-tonne (2,205-lb.) vans are, said Ford, not coming to America.

To be sure, the van, be it a people mover or a commercial vehicle, is something that vehicle manufacturers shouldn’t overlook, given Ford’s forward momentum in design (think only of the production Fusion revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit),

2

2013 Ford Fusion

the Toureno Custom Concept certainly isn’t the exotic-sounding thing that it is made out to be.

T

Celebration of geometry?

While Geneva seems to be a place of the exotic, the Toureno Custom Concept smacks of the pragmatic.