He wants to see the return of crazy concept cars.
When you think of beautiful cars, Ford isn't the first brand that comes to mind. That's not to say the Dearborn-based brand doesn't have some stunning designs in its lineup; the Bronco is a retro-styled masterpiece and, while it's long-in-the-tooth, the Mustang is still a striking muscle car. A new model is on the way, though, and judging by the design, it will be an equally big hit.
As electrification draws near, styling will become more important than ever before. The Blue Oval's new head of design, Anthony Lo, seems to agree. The former Renault designer is hoping to exhibit more concept vehicles ahead of the electric era, describing this as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to rethink how a vehicle should look."
The designer told Automotive News that a concept car is more than just a striking sculpture. "It's a platform for us to test experiences and think, ultimately, how the brand design language should evolve," he said.
Our first look at Lo's design direction isn't far off; Lincoln recently teased an electric vehicle concept and plans to reveal the luxury EV on April 20. The design guru didn't share any details on the Lincoln concept but did tell the publication that more Ford concept cars could drum up plenty of excitement from Ford customers.
Lo added, "This is the best way to understand whether this new direction we've decided to take is acceptable and if people will fall in love with them." A stint behind the wheel of a Bronco was all he needed to realize there's lots of love for the brand. His concern is how to take these iconic nameplates into the future.
He notes that the advent of the EV has changed car design - the interior is starting to take preference. "Because of the [number] of features within the vehicle that you can control as a user, the user interface becomes more and more important. The design process is turning upside down."
The 57-year-old will manage both the Ford Blue and Model e divisions and noted that designers will work across both parts of the business. The Mustang Mach-E drew plenty of praise from Lo, particularly for the way it pays tribute to the muscle car's design while keeping an eye on the future. He did admit that this may not work on other vehicles, though.
"The nameplates are our equity - very, very precious and valuable, but I think some change is necessary. We're going to do our best to preserve what makes them special and mix that up with the best digital and physical experiences," he added.
The Blue Oval's head designer hasn't shared any other details, but we can expect future Ford concept cars to be hugely exciting. Will we see an electrified GT successor in the coming months? Who knows, but if the upcoming Lincoln is a design hit, we have plenty to look forward to.