Mini-MPV concept previews the face of the Focus too
2 March 2009

This dramatic Ford concept, called Iosis Max, shows the look of the next C-Max mini-MPV, due in 2010 - and the next generation of Focus will follow suit in 2011.

The Iosis Max is a four-seat hatchback with a high seating position. It eschews van-like sheet metal in favour of much more “emotional” styling. Chief designer Martin Smith told Autocar, “The Iosis Max is a store of design cues and signature elements that will be evident on the next generation of Focus-family models.”

The Iosis Max gets a more prominent trapezoidal lower grille that’s closer to the gaping mouth that beefs up the face of the Focus RS. There’s also a new upper grille that doubles up as the plinth for the Blue Oval badge.

See more pictures of the Iosis Max

Read Matt Saunders' blog on the Ford Iosis Max

The body detailing is clearly influenced by the new Fiesta, whose strong styling line on the body side also rises aggressively up the belt line.

The Iosis Max also previews a few outlandish details that are unlikely to make production, including twin sliding rear doors and the absence of B-pillars. There’s further experimental tech in the rear hatch; its complex hinges would be a nightmare for production engineers.

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In contrast, the idea of a separate hinged window in the rear hatch is a production reality - it features on several rival models - and it would be useful in practice, allowing owners access to the boot in confined spaces.

Inside, the seats hang off the centre tunnel, creating usable space under the seat squabs. The dashboard is a complex multi-piece design that gives clues about future Ford fascias with more sculptural shapes, rather than today’s simpler surfaces.

The concept is powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Ecoboost engine with 177bhp. When the motor is paired with Ford's Powershift dual-clutch transmission and equipped with stop-start and an intelligent alternator, computer simulations suggest that it will emit 125g/km of CO2, identical to today’s 90bhp 1.6-litre diesel C-Max.

The 1.6 Ecoboost engine is very close to production and is tipped to be introduced late next year in the new C-Max.

Julian Rendell


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Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers, or have its traditional rivals managed to perfect the formula?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week