Clearly not the sexiest concept car at 2005 NAIAS, the Ford SYNus seems more military vehicle/bank vault/bomb shelter than around-town runabout. Ford must have had a collective head cold when they came up with the name for this one. Officially, though, the SYNus gets its name from being the synthesis of an urban sanctuary, and it does contain some interesting details for living in the “rough and tumble of life in the big city” of the future.
Smaller than a Focus and based on the architecture of the European-market Ford Fiesta, the SYNUS looks like an armored Honda Element and has horizontal gun-slot-like rear side windows. There is no rear window. Combination locks open the doors, and a vault-like spinner grants access through the back of the interior hideout.
As unwelcoming as the exterior looks, the interior is filled with “warm” touches for the vehicle’s passengers, including comfy shapes and colors and front seats that can be adapted to face rearward, designed to encourage conversation with rear seat passengers.
A gigantic LCD screen that nearly fills the interior side of the tailgate is a prominent feature inside. Conceived uses include Internet surfing and surveilling what’s going on outside of the vehicle. When in motion, the screen effectively serves as the vehicle’s rear window.
The concept is powered by the 2.0-liter, 134-hp, 236 lb-ft diesel four-cylinder from the European Mondeo.