11 March 2005

Ford is on a mission to ‘put more emotion into its products’, and this crossover vehicle, the SAV, is the first move towards that goal. A production version will arrive during the middle of next year, looking much as you see it here but with seven seats rather than the show car’s six. Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe’s boss, said: ‘We’re fantastic at logical reasons to buy our cars, but not the emotional ones.’ The SAV’s exterior is sculpted for a sporty, dynamic look and its orange highlighted interior is a lot more inviting than the usual monochrome cabins in which Ford has specialised for the past 10 years.

It’s the first Ford to have been designed under the guidance of ex-GM design chief Martin Smith, who has been using it to explore a new design language for the marque. Smith was briefed by his bosses to achieve ‘nothing less than design leadership’ for Ford. Smith described the SAV as ‘a monospace, but it’s unusually low with a sleek profile. The shared technologies (called C1 plus, and derived from the Focus family) have allowed the base of the windscreen to be dropped, creating a lower belt-line to produce new proportions that are less austere’. This is the look that will distinguish future Fords. The production SAV will lose the 21in wheels, some of the alloy detailing and the orange nose, but most of the show car’s features could return. ‘To emphasis the fact that it’s a sports-activity vehicle, we could do an ST version,’ said Smith.

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