2010 Beijing Auto Show: Ford Start Concept

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Ford looks to have the Fiat 500 in its sights with this stylish Start concept that will make its debut at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show.

The Start, with an overall length of 145 inches, is considerably shorter than the 2011 Ford Fiesta but about the same length as a 2010 MINI Cooper. Besides being a 500-fighter, it certainly looks influenced by the Ford Ka, a fashionable subcompact city car that was a hit in Europe in the late '90s especially.

With an arched window line, combined with a roof line that continues back to a rounded rear window, the Start has a unique side profile and should provide a usable backseat and reasonable cargo space. Brushed aluminum brightwork accents the roof arch as well as many of the front and rear details, and LED lighting is used extensively, with turn signals that strobe outward.

The roof panel in the Start can be removed, and custom-color seat inserts can be used to bring a personalized look inside. Overall, it's very cockpit-like, with trim and materials that wrap from the center stack around to the sides.

Topping it off inside is an interface that builds on the MyFord Touch interface that's being introduced this year. Called MyFord Mobile Concept, the system in the Start has a look like that of the screen in the iPhone or iPad but integrates controls for the climate control and vehicle diagnostics, as well as smartphone docking. The system will offer personalized apps as well.

Under the hood of the front-wheel-drive Start is a completely new engine: a 1.0-liter, aluminum-block three-cylinder that's part of the automaker's turbocharged EcoBoost engine family. Ford says that the engine, which will go into production in the near future (think Fiesta, maybe), will "provide the power and drivability comparable to a larger I4 engine while delivering a CO2 rating under 100 g/km."

Recycled composite materials--and aluminum--were used to make the Start concept's body panels, and recycled fibers are used inside. Construction will be high-strength steel and aluminum with an aluminum safety cell, and a rigid structure for the glass and roof houses the side-curtain airbags.

Ford says that the concept demonstrates a weight savings of more than 300 pounds; additional details, such as Michelin Green X low-rolling-resistance tires, help further reduce fuel consumption.

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Comments (9)
  1. Very futuristic looking, but it still reminds me of those tiny remote control racers I had as a kid.

  2. Very cool! Love the roofline and rear view. Front end treatment is bland/weak, though.

  3. Really like the b/c pillar treatment, though wonder how the roof will drain with the windows canted in so far. There is enough room at the back for a shooting brake as well. There should be a turbo I4 option. Well done!

  4. Reminds me of the 30' maybe 40's 2 seater salesmen cars that kids turned into hot rods

  5. Wow, that's a totally cool design! It makes me think of how 1950's/60's artists envisioned the future space-age of America....things that never quite materialized so far, yet things we seem almost on the cusp of right now. I really WISH Ford would shock everyone and put a car out like this NOW!

  6. Aww, it's so cute! I love it! I wonder if the three cylinder and subtle name cue is supposed to give a "Start" to Daimler-Benz?

  7. I don't know why but just looking at this car makes me want to take a baseball bat to someones head. Maybe the guys who designed it. I know I won't be purchasing this egg-in-a-basket-fairy-banging-DFG-looking-sack-in-the-face-piece-of-monkey-poo. I have standards.
    I bet some women might buy it though.
    PS Don't eat the eggs.

  8. People actually like this? There is no creativity at all, it's like they're not even trying anymore. If all concepts start looking like this (and they are) we (humanity) are going to a large migration from "straight" to "Big Nuts, Hairy Butts". Do we really want that? Gay marriage in every state?

  9. Actually, it's an excellent design and shows that the Chris Bangle influence is finally dead. This car is all about the shape and play of light on the shape, not some flame-surfaced junk. It's small, light and got an interesting engine. Good work, Ford.

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