Conventional saloons are a rapidly dying breed, with more buyers opting instead for modular MPVs and SUVs, which invariably offer more flexibility and space. And, gauging by the new ideas displayed in Geneva, manufacturers won't be running out of ideas anytime soon.

Conventional saloons are a rapidly dying breed, with more buyers opting instead for modular MPVs and SUVs, which invariably offer more flexibility and space. And, gauging by the new ideas displayed in Geneva, manufacturers won't be running out of ideas anytime soon.

Company officials have hailed the Ford SAV, or Sport Activity Vehicle concept, with its three-row cabin space, as a new design direction for the company.

The five-seater takes the flexible rear seating arrangement first seen in the C-Max concept one step further, as the individual rear seats can now be reconfigured via remote control. The middle seat slides back and is located between fitted luggage trolleys that also provide armrests for the now third-row passenger. The two outer seats then shift slightly inward.

While sporting the now familiar Ford family face, the SAV draws inspiration from many things ranging from sportswear to motorsport. On the inside, materials are a combination of grained leathers and mesh fabrics, while the seats are sculpted to provide the best levels of comfort for occupants. Similar to the Ford Focus ST also on display at the show, the showcar's interior is splashed with bright orange and brushed aluminium inserts.

The exterior is sleek and minimalistic, yet bold with an imposing front grille, headlight cluster and accentuated airducts in the lower bumper. A strong shoulder line, shadowed by another crease running parallel to it, dominates the profile and runs along the side to meet the rear light cluster. Viciously flared wheel arches house massive 21-inch low-profile tyres with aluminium wheels, which flatter those lines.

Over at the Hyundai stand, the Korean company unveiled the HED-1 MPV, penned by its new European design centre, and said to preview the next Matrix model.

The curvy, burgundy-coloured show-car is said to point to Hyundai’s future smaller MPV for city travel. The harsh white interior, inspired by "urban lounge bars", features a screen on the centre console for the display of information. The independent rear seats are mounted onto a sliding track for variable seating arrangements.

The ill-formed triangular rearlight cluster apart, the styling is neat. There’s no B-pillar, and the doors are opened outwards to provide easier access to the cabin.

Gregory Guillaume, chief designer at Hyundai's European design studio, said: "As our customers demand more flexibility, and ever increasing levels of quality and sophistication, total concept cars such as the HED-1 allow us to prepare for these demands, but also to gauge the reaction of potential future customers."

Former Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti was responsible for the SUV-styled Lancia Kandahar MPV. Not the most beautiful vehicle on display, the Kandahar is significant in that it sports a nifty full-length glass roof and a longer rear section for more luggage space.

Original article from Car