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201426 Feb

ehab kaoud ford design new figo concept

 

Design plays a very strong role in brand identity. We speak to the man tasked with creating this new brand identity for Ford. Ehab Kaoud shares his thoughts behind the inspired designs we’ve seen from the Blue Oval, like the Ford EcoSport, Ka hatchback and of course the new Figo Concept sedan, which was unveiled at the Auto Expo this year.

 

AJ: Tell us a little more about the Figo Concept’s design. What was the vision you had when you set out to design this car?

EK: It’s a designer’s dream. Of course, it was a challenge for us to make a car in 4,000 mm. But this challenge worked in our favour because we were able to place the wheels at the corner, achieve the right footprint.

As a result, this car (Figo Concept) looks light on its feet…it looks efficient. I mean aerodynamically efficient also.

 

AJ: Since we don’t have any technical details yet, how much similarity is there between the Figo Concept sedan and the Ka Concept hatchback which you previewed in Brazil?

EK: They’re identical to the rear door. They have the same wheelbase.

 

AJ: Is there a fear that Ford may go in the same direction as some other carmakers, whereby all the products look the same and you can’t tell the difference if they pass you on the road…

EK: I don’t think so. We’re beginning to have a face which is identifiable as a Ford. We’re evolving a family look. But each car is different. It is like an uncle, an aunt, a cousin…not always a twin brother or twin sister.

One Ford is an exciting plan. It is not just a corporate plan. It is also a design plan. Our cars have to be identifiable like a Ford in every market in the world.   

It is the same 80-20 principle, but now reversed. Now, our cars are 80 % the same, but with some differences of course in colours and interior trim, seat fabric etc, which is the other 20 %. Earlier, our cars in different markets were 20 % the same and 80 % different.

 

AJ: How important is a device dock in a car today? Is it limited to certain technical platforms only? For example, in the Figo will it only work with Windows devices, considering the strong partnership between Ford and Microsoft?

EK: No, that will not be the case. The device dock provides a useful place to keep your device, it will also charge your device for you.

 

AJ: Will it be limited in dimension or layout? Today there are smartphones, tablets and phablets of varying sizes…

EK: This device dock can accommodate devices of various sizes. We are aware of that.

 

AJ: You’ve chosen only to reveal the exterior design of the car. When can we see what the interiors will look like? How much will the interior of the Figo Concept borrow from the Fiesta or EcoSport.

EK: (Laughs) For that, you must wait some more time. But yes, you will see it soon. It is ready.  

 

AJ: The Figo Concept has received a little criticism for being too bland at the rear. In your opinion, is this design final, or will you tweak it before it goes on sale?

EK: You must remember we don’t do Blue Sky stuff. Our concepts are very close to the production car. But we can always make things better. You’ve seen what we did with Fiesta. (The Fiesta was restyled, with a focus on the rear of the car, which had been criticised).

 

AJ: Finally, do you see Ford making a car which will be smaller than the Ka Concept?

EK: This will be the smallest car that Ford makes.

 

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Ford Car Features


In Conversation With Ehab Kaoud of Ford Design

Design plays a very strong role in brand identity. We speak to the man tasked with creating this new brand identity for Ford. Ehab Kaoud shares his thoughts behind the inspired designs wee seen from the Blue Oval, like the Ford EcoSport, Ka hatchback and of course the new Figo Concept sedan, which was unveiled at the Auto Expo this year.

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