Ford isn’t willing to sell you an old-fashioned three-box sedan anymore. But if you live in China, it’ll give you something that vaguely resembles one, called the Evos.
The Evos was revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show yesterday, alongside a few other China-only models (including a revision of the Escort — the name lives on!) The Evos was developed for China, will debut in China and the Blue Oval has no plans to bring it to the U.S. or Europe. But while we won’t be getting this particular elongated notchback in our neck of the woods, we should still recognise the Evos as a taste of what’s to come. Because this is about as close to that forsaken body style as Ford is willing to go anymore.
In profile, the Evos is the most crossovery crossover I think I’ve ever laid eyes on because it doesn’t fit neatly into any one category. While it shares many cues with the Mustang Mach-E, the Evos is not an electric vehicle, so it sports longer front and rear overhangs with a more pronounced hood and disproportionately short cabin. Outwardly, the design doesn’t appear to be particularly space-efficient, though it’s somewhat hard to judge from images.
If the Evos was lower and dropped the hatch, it’d be a sedan. Conversely, if the roofline extended a bit further before trailing off, it’d be a wagon. But as it is, the Evos is neither here nor there, perfectly suiting it for the crossover label. It’s “alternative rock” in automotive form.
Ford says the Evos is its “first vehicle developed largely by a China-based team,” courtesy of a new joint venture with Chinese firm Changan Automobile. Like the Mach-E, it’s built on Ford’s Fully Networked Vehicle E/E system offering over-the-air updates and BlueCruise Level 2 technology for hands-free driving on “prequalified sections of divided highways.” C-V2X vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication is included as well, which will be particularly crucial in advancing autonomy in China’s urban centres.
The focus on tech carries through to the inside with a massive slab of glass stretching across two displays, consisting of a 12.3-inch panel for the digital instrument cluster and a 27-inch 4K touchscreen for everything else. They’re separated by a border, but the overall effect is reminiscent of the end-to-end display Byton was going to offer in its cars. (And may still — anyone heard from Byton lately?)
Ford says this infotainment system, based on Sync+ 2.0, leverages Baidu’s work in artificial intelligence — capitalising on a partnership between the two that’s been years in the making. Reading between the lines, it’s clear the Evos is the product of lots of collaboration with Chinese manufacturing and tech firms, designed exclusively to capitalise on that market. It’s no surprise the car isn’t destined for the West.
That said, don’t be surprised to see a Ford that looks very similar to the Evos in your local showroom in the next few years. Sightings of what is purported to be the upcoming Ford Mondeo over in Europe suggest that sedan will be reincarnated as a crossover in its next life, and there have been rumblings Ford may very well do the same with the Fusion in North America. Welcome to the sedan of the future.