This forgotten concept stands for a raft of vehicles conceived in a brief time at Ford’s London studio, Ingeni.
Not unreasonably, Ford wanted a studio located somewhere other than the drab environs of Merkenich and Basildon. So J Mays, then chief of design for FoMoCo, selected in 2002 a lovely office in a ritzy bit of London where designers could work hard, inspired by the buzz of city life. There is some good sociological thinking behind this. It didn’t last long, being closed in 2003, the year the Faction was shown.The Faction was designed for urban residents, correctly tapping into the nascent trend for CUVs, and maybe it was a re-take of the poorly received Fusion. “Functional, nimble and fashionable” were the watchwords (Newbury, 2003).
The doors had double-hinges to make opening them easier in tight spaces and the rear hatch had a separate moveable window to allow shopping to be stowed.
More interestingly, is that this car expressed the very technical look that was in vogue at the time. After the lively graphics of the Focus Mk 1 it was very sober and stark. Aspects of it channel VW’s style but Opel were also pursuing this path (the Vectra Mk3, in particular). Within a short time all of that was thrown out and replaced with Kinetic Design which oddly lacks very much individuality, despite the extra surface activity and more fluid graphics.
Inside, the interior is a paragon of industrial design style. When translated into production it did sometimes look inert as per the Ford Fiesta of 2002.
Reference: Newbury, S (2003) The Car Design Yearbook 2. Merrell, London (pp 98-99).