Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA VIA CONCEPT
Zaffiro blue with titanium grey and blue leather trimmed interior
"Ghia's concept of the sports car of the year 2000" is Ghia's description of Via concept's purpose.
The Ghia Via concept is a bundle of innovations, wrapped with the flair and sensitivity for practical aerodynamics that characterizes concepts from Ghia. Heading the list of innovations, "Ghia's concept of the sports car of the year 2000" has four doors. That makes it a very unusual "sports car" indeed, but rethinking established concepts has marked the Ghia approach to design since the Sixties, so a 4-door sports car is not a surprise. The Ghia Via concept's envisioned platform, with a transverse turbocharged V8, all wheel drive and a 6-speed gearbox is by itself enough to put the Ghia Via firmly in the late 20th Century's "sports car" category.
With a short smoothly-sloped nose, arched roof and high tail the Ghia Via concept assumes a posture that communicates its readiness to hit the road. And if its posture is not enough, the twin aircraft-style flush fuel filler caps and ominous 3-piece alloy wheels with black centers and polished rims mounting P225/45VR-17 front tires and P275/40VR-17s at the rear confirm its high speed intent.
The Ghia Via concept includes undercar aerodynamics tuned for high speed downforce and an active spoiler which deploys at speed. In typical Ghia style is the provision for a secondary panel that shuts off the spoiler housing as it deploys to maintain the sleek aerodynamic integrity of the tail. The arched roof has two photosensitive glass panels that darken in sunlight. One of them is removable, giving the Ghia Via concept a convertible aspect that confirms its sports car heritage.
An advanced lighting system, using a single central light source with fiber optic distribution, the first time it was proposed in an automotive application, further distinguishes the Ghia Via. The headlights are placed in small recesses at the base of the windshield for maximum efficiency. Each headlight cluster had nine separate elements which could be programmed to function also as fog or driving lights. An innovative instrument lighting system also was envisioned which "floated" the instrument needles within their binnacle. In keeping with the Ghia Via concept's high speed capability, important driver's controls (including the CD player) are grouped in panels close to the steering wheel where they can be operated without taking the driver's hands off the wheel.
The Ghia Via is a non-operating platform concept with a full interior. The body is constructed of fiberglass. Only the driver's doors (front and rear) operate, but they fit and function well, with even gaps. The front wheels turn by "kick-steering". For show purposes the Ghia Via concept has an operating demonstration system for its innovative fiber optic lighting system powered by a dual voltage 110/220 volt hookup. Paint and interior are in good condition with some minor paint nicks. The driver's seat covering is slightly stretched.
Sports car performance with 4-seat, 4-door accommodations is a long-sought and worthy goal. The Ghia Via concept shows one approach, an approach that, if operating, would see a long line of checkbook-waving prospective customers lined up at Ford's door. It may have been 1990's concept for "the sports car of the year 2000" but it is a concept that still looks good in 2002.
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