Ford - Lynx
A recurring theme among the concepts from Ford is the creation of sports or sporty cars from the mechanical systems and platforms of mass market 2- and 4-door sedans. Sedans sell in big volume and big volume supports the massive effort required to develop, engineer, tool and produce them. Once they're on stream, peeling off a small number of chassis to feed a low-volume assembly and finishing operation is a cost-effective expedient that marginally increases volumes but more importantly attracts a new generation of customers who may become loyal long term patrons.
Conceiving and developing sports cars also keeps designers' juices flowing, a welcome change from designing door handles or wheel arch trim, and spawns the kind of new ideas that can spark a breakthrough design. Ford has traditionally rotated its designers through its several design studios, including Ghia where the Ghia Lynx was created.
Gary Braddock, who designed Ghia Lynx, is a good example. An American, he graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art then spent five years at the Ford Design Center in Dearborn before embarking upon a rotation to Ford's European design centers. It was there, in response to a challenge to create a sports concept on the new Fiesta platform, that he came up with Ghia Lynx.
Ghia Lynx, which debuted at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, is built on the new Fiesta vehicle's standard wheelbase of 96.3 inches but its overall length was increased to 160.4 inches giving it sufficient span to develop a sleeker and lower profile. The overall package is still compact, however and is neatly accented with profile features to give it character.
The Ghia Lynx concept's distinguishing characteristic are the two arches which continue from the windshield posts to the rear deck. They form both the side window frames and a track for a folding roof which is designed to retract into a compartment under the rear deck to create a fully open convertible. The arches improve the body-chassis unit strength without requiring extensive, and expensive, chassis reinforcement.
While "Lynx" is an established Ford model name, the profile of Ghia Lynx, with its high rear deck and upswept covered headlights, has more than a little suggestion of its namesake crouching and ready to pounce. Ghia Lynx is a non-operating platform concept built at Ghia in Turin. Its doors do not open and there is neither a folding roof nor side windows. It does have a full interior, trimmed in grey cloth with contrasting grey patterned seat inserts and accented in blue. The front wheels steer enough to facilitate moving the platform for display. It rides on 5-spoke alloy wheels with 215/45-17 tires.
The Ghia Lynx concept's paint is good although there are some scratches on the right side. The interior, as would be expected for a concept with non-operating doors, is pristine.