Alberto sent us these photos from Ford's launch of its new Galaxy MPV. One of the first new vehicles launched under the banner of Ford Europe's "Ford PrecisionDrive" campaign, the new Galaxy aims to provide the stability and handling precision of a smaller car, while maintaining high levels of comfort.

According to Alberto, those high levels of comfort probably don't extend to the unlucky passengers in the third row, which is very cramped. Perhaps they should take a leaf from the Lotus APX playbook and call the Galaxy a "5 2."

Otherwise, the Galaxy comes across as a full-featured, well-built ride, with comfortable seats (five of them, anyway) and quality materials and finish. A nice touch for parents of small children is the interior panoramic mirror that allows the driver to keep an eye on the passengers.

More pics and the official launch press release after the jump.

Press Release:

A NEW CONCEPT IN SPACE TRAVEL: THE NEW FORD GALAXY

•    All-new version of Ford’s best-selling “Travel First Class” full-sized MPV
•    New Galaxy features elements of ‘kinetic design’ which gives it an elegant, contemporary silhouette with bold surfaces
•    Inspiring and high quality interior delivers luxury, space and flexibility for up to seven occupants
•    New innovative Ford FoldFlatSystem (FFS) allows 32 possible seating configurations
•    30 per cent more luggage space than the previous model, plus up to 31 stowage compartments
•    New user friendly technologies include Human Machine Interface (HMI), a full length roof console and an optional glass ‘Panorama Roof’
•    Five efficient and powerful engines with impressive fuel economy and clean emissions
•    The MPV that drives like a car - new driver-focused dynamic and safety technologies include Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control with continuously controlled damping
•    Ford Intelligent Protection System provides latest driver assistance and occupant protection technologies, including a new driver’s knee airbag
•    New Galaxy fully developed in-house and built exclusively at Ford’s Genk plant in Belgium

The elegant all-new Ford Galaxy takes the established and highly successful Galaxy concept further into the “Travel First Class” arena and is a worthy new flagship for the Ford of Europe product portfolio.
The new Galaxy is handsome, dynamic and purposeful, featuring elements of Ford's new 'kinetic design' form language.
 
New Galaxy Features:
A Bigger Galaxy: New Galaxy is slightly bigger than the model it replaces, with a wider track ( 59mm front, 81mm rear compared to the previous model). Overall length has increased by 179mm (4,820mm vs. 4,641mm), while vehicle width has increased by 60mm (1,854mm vs. 1,794mm). The overall height was reduced slightly by 14mm (1,676mm vs. 1,690mm).

The inside story: The new Ford Galaxy uses its increased exterior dimensions ingeniously to provide impressive interior space for up to seven adults and their luggage. With its deep glass area and high seating position, the Galaxy offers a "command bridge" feel for occupants. Its standard three-row seating configuration combined with the new Ford FoldFlatSystem offers new levels of flexibility for the Ford Galaxy. Overall, when compared to the original Galaxy, the new model gets a significant increase in luggage volume of around one-third, even with all seven seats in place.  The capacity is an impressive 435 litres (vs. 335 litres) to the seatback and with the third row of seats in their forward-most position. With the second and third row seats folded flat, this luggage volume increases to a massive 2325 litres.

Ford FoldFlatSystem  for modularity and flexibility: The new Ford Galaxy is a full seven-seater and is equipped with the innovative new Ford FoldFlatSystem for the five individual rear seats. FFS enables the 2nd and 3rd row seating areas to be easily transformed into a completely flat load space without having to remove and store the seats.  The spacious second and third row seats offer premium comfort in an individually designed seat, plus an increase in seat adjustment of 50mm for the second row and 60mm for the third row versus the first-generation model.
Panorama Roof and Overhead Console: The optional Panorama Roof is a single piece of glass externally, but inside the vehicle is effectively separated into four sections – two over the front seats, and two over the rear seats, with the overhead centre console running along the centreline of the roof panel from front to rear. The new full-length overhead console includes a child watch mirror and up to five stowage boxes.
 
Room for Luggage plus 31 Stowage Solutions:.  The Galaxy's luggage capacity expands from a minimum of 308 litres (with the third seat row in its rearmost position) up to 2325 litres (filled to the roof) with all rear seats folded flat.  Even with all of the rear seats in use, new Galaxy still offers up to 435 litres of luggage space (to the seatback) when the third seat row is in its forwardmost position. Its flat load floor stretches 2m in length by 1.15m in width. Galaxy offers up to 31 different stowage compartments, with a total capacity of up to 110 litres.  Overhead consoles can be specified in short, medium or full length versions depending on model series.  In full length form, the console stretches along the ceiling from the windscreen to second row.

Human Machine Interface: A new instrument cluster plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel including toggle switches for the Human Machine Interface take Galaxy ergonomics to a new level. Two sets of sophisticated steering wheel-mounted toggle switches in combination with an easy to read instrument cluster centre display form the basis for Ford’s latest-generation HMI. This system – which is standard on all Ford Galaxy models – is astonishingly simple and intuitive to operate, utilising a newly developed chime system. This categorises each warning sound according to their purpose giving the driver greater control over the audio warnings that he receives.

Climate Control: Air conditioning is standard equipment on all new Galaxy models, and for maximum interior climate control, dual Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) is available. The EATC system features separate temperature controls for the driver, the front passenger and the second row passengers.

Audio and Communications: New Galaxy can be specified with a wide variety of high-quality audio and communications systems, and steering-wheel mounted toggle switches for the HMI system provide full driver control.  Depending on market and on series, stereo radio/cassette or stereo radio/CD players can be selected, including a 6-CD autochanger. In addition, Galaxy can be specified with a DVD Multi-media system, which includes twin LCD screens built in to the back of the front seat headrests. 

First class safety features: A major part of the new Galaxy story revolves around the vehicle's active and passive safety systems.  Ford's Intelligent Protection System has been enhanced for Galaxy, and now features a driver's knee airbag in addition to the usual complement of front and side airbags and air curtains. 

A new Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control active suspension system is also available, and is a major contributor to the Galaxy safety package as well as enhancing the vehicle's driving dynamics.  It includes Continuously Controlled Damping to improve suspension performance and comfort in all road conditions and interact with the vehicle’s ESP system for better dynamic vehicle behaviour. Other new safety and comfort features for the Ford Galaxy are:
-    Hill-Launch-Assist, which allows the driver to release the brake pedal and to step on the accelerator pedal without the vehicle rolling backwards
-    Ford’s new Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
-    Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking - driver aids based on radar distance control

Powertrains: New Galaxy features a comprehensive range of powertrains. The engine line up is:1.8 litre Duratorq TDCi 100 PS (74 kW), 1.8 litre Duratorq TDCi 125 PS (92 kW), 2.0 litre Duratorq TDCi 130 PS (96 kW) with DPF, 2.0 litre Duratorq TDCi 140 PS (103 kW) with or without DPF, and 2.0 litre Duratec 145 PS (107 kW).

Ford PrecisionDrive: The new Galaxy stands out in the MPV segment by offering Ford's acclaimed driving quality as standard.  This is now represented under the Ford PrecisionDrive title. Despite its size, the new Galaxy features car-like driving dynamics with real driver appeal. Thanks to the acknowledged Ford expertise of bringing to market suspension systems with high levels of comfort, stability and handling precision for safe driving, new Galaxy drives and handles like a smaller car.

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