10 March 2004

The next generation of Fords will have a new styling theme that gives a stronger identity to each model. The new look is still at least three years from production and likely to be seen first on the Mondeo replacement.

‘We want to intensify the face of the vehicle,’ said Europe design boss Chris Bird. ‘We have the freedom to change everything, but will have to make sure that people still recognise the cars as Fords.’ This is likely to mean key design features such as headlights, grille and body surfacing will be tailored to each vehicle — and an end to the ‘oval arc’ grille, which takes its shape from Ford’s blue oval badge. The 427 concept (pictured) has one possible treatment. This autumn’s Focus replacement will be the last with the current look. Bird will oversee the new styling theme under the watchful eye of new executive design director Martin Smith, who has been poached from GM Europe.

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