As the population shifts from the suburbs back to the cities, Ford created its SYNUS concept to be compact enough to maneuver through congested streets, yet bold enough to run with the big dogs, and at the same time, have all of the security measures of Fort Knox. In fact, the SYNUS (pronounced “sin-you-ehs”)
features design cues inspired by the security of bank vaults and armored cars, including the four-spoke, vault-style handle on the rear hatch.
Powered by a turbocharged, intercooled 2.0-L, four-cylinder Duratorq diesel engine with 134 horsepower and a whopping 236 ft.-lbs. of torque, the SYNUS would have no trouble getting around the city.
And unlike some overhead cam engines with torque arriving somewhere near the top of the tachometer, this Duratorq diesel puts the torque right where it’s needed, at 1,800 rpm. Turbocharged and intercooled diesel employs an advanced common-rail direct-injection system for exceptional efficiency and responsiveness. Sophisticated, electronically controlled injectors are central to the SYNUS concept’s common-rail system. The system delivers fuel at extremely high pressure – up to 20,300 psi (1400 bar) – to the injectors with precision and control that results in greater performance, torque and excellent fuel economy.
Surprisingly, the Duratorq TDCi engine is incredibly quiet and it uses a new noise reduction technology called “accelerometer pilot control.” According to Ford engineers, the TDCi engine “listens” to itself to monitor noise levels and controls the amount of diesel clatter. A ladder frame at the bottom of the engine block improves rigidity and reduces noise and vibration. Plus, the Duratorq uses a smaller, lighter and stronger forged steel crankshaft to further lower noise.
The exterior of the Ford SYNUS concept borrows more than the appearance of secure structures such as vaults and armored cars. It also offers a secure mode that elevates the vehicle’s defenses when it is stationary. I imagine that these security measures are helpful in areas where bullets are flying by like in Gotham City, or for parking the vehicle overnight in unfamiliar territory. Anyway, in secure mode, shutters are deployed to protect the windshield and door glass. Because they use bullet-resistant glazing and are non-opening, the small windows mounted high in the flanks do not require this level of protection.
The Ford SYNUS is built with a combination lock with a dial mounted on the B-pillar to secure the driver’s door, as well as a vault-like, four-handled spinner used to latch, unlatch and lock the tailgate. Just the appearance of this device could serve as a deterrent. And eliminating a piece of glass as large as the back window removes another B & E opportunity.
The vehicle even comes with a 45″ LCD monitor, which is used for both entertainment, as well as a security measure. There are a series of external cameras linked to the LCD monitor that allow occupants to monitor activities on the street – even with the security shutters in place. One camera is even housed in the four-handle spinner on the rear door to assist the driver during backing up maneuvers.
Although you won’t see this tiny armored truck cruising the city streets anytime soon, Ford says that its tough, maneuverable ideas could become realities in urban street vehicles of the future.