Ford’s new Vertrek concept is making its European debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The Vertrek concept is based on Ford’s global C-segment platform. It represents the vision of the company’s top design and engineering talent on how best to attract and satisfy future SUV customers around the world.
“In markets around the world, consumers are very clear about what they want in a compact SUV – strong design, great driving quality, smart technology and the capability to help get them to places they love to be,” said Frank Davis, Vice President Product Development, Ford of Europe. “And this holds true no matter where they live – in the U.S., Europe, China – these are global trends.”
Importantly, the Vertrek concept showcases the cargo-carrying capability that consumers expect, but adds a level of craftsmanship and quality often lost in compact SUVs.
“This concept supports the idea of a ‘grab your gear and go’ capability, but does it in a very sophisticated way,” added Davis. “It blends capability and great design and craftsmanship.”
Purposeful technology and smarter solutions
A wide suite of customer-focused Ford technologies, including SYNC, Active Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and Intelligent Access with push-button start are featured in the Vertrek concept.
Powertrain technology is also advanced, providing anticipated best-in-class fuel economy with the 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost engine – just one of the possible future powertrain choices. The concept also previews the Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, which contributes further to fuel efficiency and low emissions.
EcoBoost is fundamental to Ford’s strategy to provide technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver uncompromised performance and fuel economy. In addition to turbocharging with direct injection, Ford engineers have enhanced EcoBoost’s technology capabilities by adding variable valve timing and precisely controlling all aspects of the engine. Ford has at least 125 patents on its EcoBoost technology.
Improved highway fuel economy especially important
Ford’s global data show that compact SUV customers increasingly use their vehicles for weekend getaways, making improved highway fuel economy a must. This highlights the importance of the aerodynamic design of the Vertrek concept, and led to the inclusion of an accessible, small-displacement internal combustion engine in the vehicle rather than a hybrid or electric powerplant that might be more attuned to city dwellers.
“Increased fuel economy, especially outstanding highway fuel economy, is what these customers want because they are active on the weekend, taking trips and seeking new experiences,” said Frank Davis. “They want their vehicle to look good, drive well and use less fuel.”