The Best Ford Concepts That Never Were
Ford Concepts that Never Were
Ford GT90 (1995)
The Ford GT90 is pretty polarising. Depending who you ask, it’s either a stunning supercar or what Batman would drive if he retired from crime fighting to sell Mary Kay. Either way, you can’t deny that it’s edgy. And it had the power to back up its looks.
Billed as “the world’s mightiest supercar,” the GT90 emerged in 1995 at the Detroit Auto Show sporting a criminally insane 720-horsepower V12. As you might expect, the revolutionary engine made it the most powerful supercar of its day. Just like the new GT, the GT 90 was built as a secret project by a few select designers and engineers. They wanted to pay tribute to the legendary GT40 of the 1960s.
Unfortunately, it was a flawed successor. First, the Ford GT90 was never scheduled for production, a fact about which Ford was initially dishonest to increase excitement. Second, it could never have competed at Le Mans like a true GT – it simply wasn’t built for racing. Regardless, it remains one of the most inspired Ford concept vehicles of all time. And, it played a small part in paving the way for the incredible 2017 Ford GT, so who cares?
Among Ford concepts, the Evos is one of the most stylish. Alas, it was never destined to hit the showroom floor. But, with its sharp lines, narrow headlights, and four (four!) gullwing doors, it’s hard not to love. The design is really only let down by the obnoxiously large wheels. Without those, it could still pass for a modern-looking EV… or a Ford Fusion.
Yes, the Ford Evos clearly inspired the design language with which the new Fusion was created. The headlights, grille, and chamfered hood are nearly identical. They even share a hybrid powertrain. So, while the Evos was never for sale, it certainly set an ambitious but realistic benchmark for the new generation of Ford vehicles.
Part Toy Story fantasy, part Kitchenaid mixer with wheels, the Ford 021C is not for all tastes. Sure, its charm and wonderment abound, but the fact that it was displayed in an auto show, then a furniture show, then a contemporary art gallery should provide enough evidence that it could never have found commercial success among mainstream consumers.
But none of this was a surprise to designer Marc Newson, who usually designs luxury furniture and fashion accessories. His carbon fiber joy box (I hope that’s not a euphemism for anything untoward) was only ever a design exercise. But someone needs to tell Toyota, whose Daihatsu DN Compagno is at least a distant relative…
The Ford SYNus, pronounced “sin-you-ehs,” is one of the least conventional Ford Concepts. Okay, maybe its name is worse than the Nissan Qashqai. And Ford was maybe naïve to use bank vaults and the name “Ford Knox” as design inspiration. Hell, you could even say it looks like a mail delivery truck from a straight-to-television sequel to Robocop 2. And I’ll be the first to admit the interior looks like half-digested creamsicle. Oh, did you think I was going to explain that, in spite of its myriad faults, the SYNus is ultimately redeemable? Well, I’m not going to do that. Some Ford concepts just suck.
This last Ford concept should get that awful taste out of your mouth. The Ford Interceptor is a modern (to 2007) interpretation of a classic muscle car. Per Ford, the Interceptor is “…much like a Marine in dress uniform. He looks smart and elegant but you can see the raw power that lies beneath.” That feels like an excerpt from the “Adult” section of Amazon books, but you get the picture.
While the Ford Interceptor, along with it’s 600-hp, 5.0L engine; never made it to production, its influence on the Ford lineup is clear. The most obvious beneficiary is the Ford Taurus, which shares a few notable design elements (like the entire rear). But the front fascia, with it’s two-bar grille, also resembles the Ford Flex. The Ford Interceptor even shares a spirit with the new Lincoln Continental, but don’t say that too loudly around a Lincoln driver.