Ford is taking its world car concept to the next level with the latest version of its C-segment platform, which is expected to be ready by 2020. Under development in Cologne, this will be, according to Ford Europe VP of Quality Gunnar Herrmann, the last conventional components set for Dearborn’s old world arm.
Since the advanced matrix must also eventually be capable enough to accommodate autonomous driving and electric propulsion systems on all five continents, flexibility will be key. (Ford expects BEVs and PHEVs to secure a 30-percent share of the global market between 2025 and 2030.) That’s why classic dimensional constraints no longer apply. The new platform’s extended scalability will enable Ford to more easily bridge different vehicle categories. It’s also being designed to better incorporate elements including battery cooling systems and advanced electronics, and to further optimize overall packaging and crash performance.
Greater freedom allows R&D to create distinctly different proportions and design languages for an extended variety of old and new world vehicles. A side effect of this ‘anything goes’ philosophy is a streamlined production network featuring satellite systems suppliers and adjoining battery production facilities, which may be run in-house rather than by LG, Panasonic, and friends.