In 2003, in Detroit, Ford presented to the public the conceptual development of the Model U.
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Externally, the three-volume body resembles a sedan, but with an all-terrain bias, which is hinted at by a high “square” silhouette and powerful wheel arches. Body elements are visually separated, for example, body panels are made smooth, and the doors have a matte finish. This is done both for the sake of visual appearance, and for the structural integrity of the concept car. The body structure is made of aluminum, and the front is made of natural composite materials. Model U is characterized by an excellent transformation, which allows you to make a fully closed car - a full pickup. The roof is equipped with electric drives that will help the driver quickly remove it. The rear part is also equipped with electric drives, which are designed not only to open the door, but also to remove the rear window to the floor, thereby preventing it from damage.
The design of the novelty is quite simple, but at the same time quite harmonious. With all its muscularity, the Model U has a pleasant appearance: bulging fenders, a powerful front with a large beautiful headlight unit, a wide grille turning into a no less massive bumper.
The interior design is also interesting, and is made with a claim to originality. It is made in a layered style, it is made for the visual and physical separation of materials from each other. Concept car, relatively speaking, consists of three layers.
The bottom surfaces are the foundation of the car. They are painted in a dark gray color and are intended to emphasize attention to smooth surfaces.
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The middle layer is the floor.
The top layer, which is used in the seats, on the steering wheel, armrests. Painted in orange, it gives a modern look and makes the interior more cozy, homely.
To all of the above, the latest technological solutions are also added. In particular, wireless technologies, for example, the steering wheel, are widely used; they are equipped with two control elements: one is designed for voice control of vehicle functions, and the other is designed as a wheel designed to control basic elements, such as audio, video, etc. . With the help of voice commands, you can dial a phone number, remove the roof, manage the climate control system and much more.
The developers of the Ford Model U have set the goal of "empowering a person." For example, thanks to the video cameras, road markings and signs that are not yet visible to the naked eye will appear on the display.
The car's interior is also subject to transformation, for example, you can remove the second row of seats, or move them forward to increase the space for luggage.
As a power unit used 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, which stands on the Ford Mondeo, Ranger, as well as on several models of Mazda. In the "hydrogen" version, it develops 150 hp. thanks to the mechanical supercharger and increased (12.2: 1) compression ratio. 47 more hp adds a high-voltage (300 V) electric motor integrated into the MHTS system ("Modular Hybrid Transmission").
She replaced the flywheel, starter, alternator and gearbox. Located in the rear of the body lithium-ion batteries provide energy during acceleration and while driving through the city. Under the floor of the cabin are four heavy-duty tanks made of aluminum and fiberglass. They contain 7 kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 690 atm. This reserve is enough for 480 km. It takes one or two minutes to refuel.
Hydrogen internal combustion engine Ford Model U significantly less pollute the environment. The emission of carbon monoxide per kilometer is only 0.6–1.3 g, that is, such an engine emits 50–75% less nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere than a conventional engine.
Environmental issues were put at the forefront when creating the Model U. Many body panels and interior parts are made of soy, widely used corn fiber. In Goodyear tires, instead of soot, biomaterials are also used: soy gum and corn starch. A lubricant for the engine is sunflower oil.
Model U is a concept car that will never be mass-produced, but Ford specialists say that many ideas will be used on future production cars of the concern.
Summing up, let's say that the novelty turned out to be interesting, combines comfort, safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness, that is, it meets all the basic requirements that can be presented to the car today.