Concept Car Of The Day: 1989 Ford Via - AllCarIndex

Concept Car Of The Day: 1989 Ford Via

May 18, 2024

In the year 2000, Ghia unveiled their concept of the sports car of the future, the "Via," at the Geneva Salon. This innovative car combined the classic design of a four-seater sports coupe with advanced technology and intelligent aerodynamics. The "Via" was equipped with four-wheel drive, a transverse turbocharged V8 engine, and a 6-speed transmission.

One of the standout features of the "Via" was its fibre optic headlights, which could be programmed to operate as spot or fog lamps. The car also boasted a ground-effects underbody with a computer-controlled aerofoil for improved high-speed stability. Additionally, the "Via" had a detachable photosensitive glass roof designed to filter ultraviolet radiation.

Ghia's Managing Director, Filippo Sapino, led the international team at Ford's Turin Design Studio in creating the "Via." They approached the project with Ford's design philosophy in mind, focusing on maximizing space for occupants while minimizing mechanical components. Sapino believed that the advanced techniques used in the "Via" could potentially lead to production by the mid-1990s.

The intelligent aerodynamics of the "Via" were designed to be both aerodynamic and functional. The rear spoiler would automatically raise to provide downforce at higher speeds, while a panel would shut off the spoiler housing to maintain aerodynamic efficiency. The underbody created a venturi effect for positive downforce, and the rear windows featured a concave section for air extraction from the interior.

One of the most groundbreaking features of the "Via" was its advanced lighting system, utilizing fibre-optic technology for efficient illumination. The headlamps were incredibly thin but provided the same brightness as a halogen system. The car also featured a glass roof with a removable Targa-type center section, photosensitive to protect against UV rays.

Inside, the "Via" offered bucket seats with individually adjustable air conditioning and sound systems for the driver and passengers. The instrument panel used fibre-optic lighting to create a floating effect for the illuminated needles, while the centre console incorporated a Visual Display Unit for the built-in diagnostic computer.

Overall, the "Via" was a truly futuristic sports car with luxury and quality crafted in the long-established tradition of Ghia. The car's dimensions, engineering, and performance all set new standards for sports cars of the future. With its innovative design and advanced technology, the "Via" truly stood out as the Sports Car of the Year 2000.

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