[YesAuto Design Decoding] On April 3, Ford China 2.0 strategy was officially released. The concept of “More Ford, More China” is gradually being integrated into domestic Ford products, and Ruiji is the first SUV launched after the launch of the new strategy. . Ruiji is the Chinese model of the overseas Ford Escape. Although the overall styling follows the global design, the details are still improved to cater to local needs, which is an interpretation of the “more Chinese” concept. So what are the characteristics of Ruiji's detailed design? Let's listen to the analysis of Mr. Liu Yuehai, Vice President of Product Innovation of Ford Motor (China) Co., Ltd. today.
● After entering China, global models also have designs with local characteristics.
As a “veteran” brand in the automotive field, Ford has entered the Chinese market for nearly 20 years. As China has become the world's largest single automotive market for many years, it is not only more frequent product iterations, but also more vehicle types. To enrich, and continue to explore and develop market segments. In 2018, Ford Motor gradually reduced the types of sedan products in the North American market and shifted to the best-selling SUV and pickup truck models. Chinese consumers have always maintained a high degree of enthusiasm for SUV models. This is how the new generation of Escape works. The background came into being.
The new generation of Escape design was completed by Ford exterior designer Andrew Bazinski and his team. This young exterior designer has been working for Ford since 2015. Perhaps due to his early work experience in Europe, the new generation of Escape he created tends to be younger and smoother in style, and visually more like a European-style product.
However, considering the differences in culture and aesthetics of users in different regions, a unified model of global products may not fully meet the needs of local markets. Take China as an example. The Chinese private car market has only developed in recent decades. As a high-value family asset, cars not only need to have good functionality, but also need to be as high as possible in terms of styling. In order to meet the needs of the Chinese market, Ford is also preparing to build a China Design Center in China, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
As a global product, does Escape meet the tastes of Chinese users? Perhaps not necessarily, so localization improvement has also become the main task of the Chinese design team. After some improvements, Escape not only has significantly different styles and materials, but it also has a localized name: Ruiji.
● Smooth exterior shape is as smooth as water droplets.
The overall shape of the new-generation Escape has changed dramatically from the previous-generation product (that is, the current Maverick). The exterior shape is based on smooth and undulating shapes, with almost no sharp corrugated lines, and the visual effect is softer. . Designer Bazinski previously revealed in an interview that its design inspiration originated from motorcycles with fairings, low-profile two-door sports cars, etc. The pure and clean streamlined design is as pure as a drop of water, which is the most direct to the Escape shape. to sum up.
The redesigned front face shape is one of the most obvious differences between Ruiji and the overseas version of Escape. Ruiji adopts a dual-front face strategy. The Yuexiang/Jiaxiang models have a larger polygonal air intake grille. The larger size, chrome-plated star dots and horizontal strip decoration make the front of the car look very imposing. Although the front grille of ST-LINE models is still in the shape of a global hexagonal grille, it is still different from overseas models when you look closely. The under-head guard of the same color as the body also plays a certain role in improving the texture of the whole vehicle.
Many detailed designs have also helped to enhance the texture of the shape. The deep blackened LED headlights, the chrome trim around the fog lights, and the bright black grille texture are all exclusive designs of Chinese models. In terms of product positioning, Ruiji will be higher than Changan Ford Escape (third-generation Escape), and the two-generation models will be sold together.
● The curved shape outlines the constantly changing light and shadow shape, which is full of dynamic.
Moving to the side, the original sharp waistline on the Maverick that started from the fender and passed through the two door handles to the taillight disappeared from the sharp edge. There was almost no obvious waistline design on the entire side, only undulating. The curved surface outlines a dynamic undulating shape. The arc on the side of Ruiji Escape is inspired by the Coca-Cola glass bottle, with the purpose of making the side more sexy.
Young is sporty seems to be the primary consideration in Ford’s design. It is also in order to reduce energy consumption. In the design, reducing wind resistance is one of the goals. The shape of the side window between the C-pillar and the D-pillar has risen from the original trend of the previous generation. Changed to sink, at the same time, the rear windshield is more inclined, and the overall shape is more streamlined and sporty. Ruiji's drag coefficient is 0.33Cd, which is lower than the Escape (0.35Cd). Although there is still a certain distance from the car (generally within 0.3Cd), it is already a good result in the SUV field.
● The tail adopts a global uniform shape, which differs only in details.
The tail shape follows the unified design style of the overseas version of Escape, the rear windshield is very inclined, and the tail box cover also has S-shaped undulations, with a distinct sense of hierarchy. Like the front and side skirts, the lower part of the rear bumper of Ruiji still uses the same color as the body, supplemented by silver (Yuexiang/Jiaxiang) or black (ST-LINE) trim strips to enhance the sense of class. Ruiji's two exhaust tail nozzles on both sides are both square and chrome-plated, which is also more advanced than the European round exhaust.
● Exclusive central control styling for the Chinese market, with better materials than the overseas version.
The entire cockpit of Ruiji has undergone major adjustments, and it is significantly different from the overseas version of Escape in terms of styling, materials and configuration. Let’s first talk about the most intuitive shape and configuration. The Yuexiang/Jiaxiang models have two interior colors: cool gray and elegant brown, creating two basic tones of high cold or enthusiasm, large area leather covering and double stitching The line design is also far better than overseas models in terms of texture. ST-LINE's all-black interior is made of leather and suede fabrics, combining sports and luxury.
The flat-bottom sports steering wheel is exclusive to the Chinese version, and the outer ring is thick and suitable for gripping. The 12.3-inch screen is standard for all systems. The SYNC+ system developed based on the Xiaodu car OS has built-in localized functions such as natural voice recognition, non-inductive payment, and Meituan takeaway. Not only the screen size is larger, but the functions are also higher than the SYNC in overseas markets 3 The system is smarter and more suitable for China's local network environment.
● The seat material is superior, and the rear seat posture is higher than the front seat can bring better vision performance.
The Yuexiang/Jiaxiang seat leather fabric comes from the Italian leather brand SUPERIOR. The surface of the seat cushion and backrest has a vertical three-dimensional pattern, and the sides are densely perforated. This design has the effect of highlighting the sense of luxury. ST-LINE uses more common dark suede fabrics on sports cars, which not only has outstanding visual effects, but also suede fabrics can bring better anti-slip properties.
● Article summary:
A large number of appearance and interior adjustments make Ruiji better than overseas models in terms of momentum. The larger air intake grille and more detailed design heighten the image of this car and separate it from the current Mavericks. The gap. Considering that the two generations of models will be sold on the same platform in the future, and will focus on the compact SUV market at different levels, the newer and higher positioning of Ruiji obviously plays a role in enhancing the tone and image of the Ford brand.
The localized styling design allows us to see the difference between Ruiji and the overseas version of Escape. At the same time, through the products, we also see the importance of the Ford brand to the Chinese market. With the construction of the local design center, the Chinese design team will also launch more products that meet the needs of the Chinese market in the future. We will wait and see.