2003 Ford Faction concept
Ford took an unusual turn in developing the Faction, a “concept SUV for urban lifestyles.” The first vehicle design to roll out of the automaker’s London-based Ingeni studio, it was heavily influenced not by automotive trends, but “by some of Europe’s leading furniture designs,” said Ford’s J Mays. The all-wheel-drive, three-door crossover is designed to take on crowded urban streets, rather than rugged off-road environs. It features doors that are easy to open in tight parking spaces, and City Eye, a camera system for spotting things hidden behind you.
2003 Ford Faction conceptEnlarge Photo
2003 Ford Thunderbird SC conceptEnlarge Photo
Could a high-performance version of the Thunderbird be in the offing? That seemed a strong hint as Ford lifted the covers off the Thunderbird Performance Concept, a 390-horsepower version of the retro roadster. The tricked out ragtop features a supercharged, 3.9-liter V-8 and a lot of added flash, starting with the chromed louvers cut into the production car’s hood. Virtually every panel of the current T-bird was “massaged,” according to Ford design chief J Mays. Will the automaker build it? Stay tuned, but it would be in keeping with earlier pronouncements from Ford that it intends to maintain demand for the 2-seater by regularly rolling out new variants.
FORD GOES GREEN WITH CALIF. FOCUS
Starting in March, all Ford Focus vehicles sold in California – except those wearing the high-performance SVT badge – will get a new, 148-horsepower, 2.3-liter engine. That’s not only 13 percent more powerful than the current, 2.0-liter Focus powerplant, it’s also a lot cleaner, qualifying for California’s incredibly stringent PZEV, or “Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle” standard. The automaker will then beginning rolling out the PZEV model across the U.S. With the Golden State’s emphasis on the environment, Ford officials believe they can boost Focus sales in the state by 10 percent in 2003.
2003 Scion xA
It’s back to the future at Scion, the new, youth-oriented division from Toyota. The automaker’s growing success is closely linked to its popularity with the Baby Boomers. But the challenge will be winning over tomorrow’s young buyers. The division introduced two new products in L.A., which will go on sales when Scion launches this coming June. The xA is a sporty five-door with a “hunkered-down feel.” It’s based on the Ist, a subcompact currently sold in Japan, though it gets bigger tires and a lowered, more sporty suspension for the U.S.
2003 Scion xAEnlarge Photo
2003 Scion xBEnlarge Photo
Scion logoEnlarge Photo