• Feb 28, 2006


Autoblog's man in Geneva, Alberto, sent us pics and specs for Ford Europe's new S-Max MPV, a sister ship to the Ford Galaxy cruise liner.

Unlike the larger Galaxy, which is billed as having full seven-passenger seating, the S-Max is described as a 5 2. As with the Galaxy, Ford has done a very nice job on the interior design of the S-Max, which has a very roomy feel despite the lower profile of the S-Max compared to the Galaxy. The orange trim on the show car might take a bit of getting used to, though.

The real mission of the S-Max is to provide a sportier and more involving driving experience than the Galaxy, and to that end the S-Max is available with the same engine as the Ford Focus ST. Much more after the jump.



Press Release: Ford S-Max

THE NEW FORD S-MAX: SPORT, STYLE AND SPACE

•    All-new model for Ford portfolio, sits between Mondeo and Galaxy
•    Introduces elements of Ford 'kinetic design' language, expressing energy in motion
•    Stylish, spacious and flexible with sporty design
•    Demands to be driven – sporty, athletic lines with Ford's acclaimed driving quality
•    220PS 2.5-litre turbo performance unit tops range of engines
•    S-MAX features Ford's unique FoldFlatSystem (FFS), which keeps all seats on board as well as providing impressive luggage space
•    Interior provides 26 thoughtfully designed stowage compartments
•    New user friendly technologies include Human Machine Interface (HMI)
•    Ford Intelligent Protection System provides latest driver assistance and occupant protection technologies, including a new driver’s knee airbag
•    Optional sliding load floor available for five-seat S-MAX
•    New S-MAX fully developed in-house and exclusively built at Ford’s Genk plant in Belgium

The all-new S-MAX is an exciting new addition to Ford of Europe's product portfolio. It shares many of the convenience, dynamic and safety features with its sister car, the new Ford Galaxy, but is a distinctly different vehicle.
The new Ford S-MAX  offers 5 2 seating and distinctive styling, while the availability of a 220PS Duratec 5-cylinder turbo engine from the Focus ST, signals its sporty character. A range of new driver-focused technologies plus innovative approaches to seating, stowage and flexibility make the S-MAX one of the most exciting new Ford cars ever.
S-MAX Features:
Exterior Design: The new Ford S-MAX is the company's first production model to include elements of its 'Kinetic Design' form language.  These distinctive lines were first previewed in the Ford SAV Concept vehicle at Geneva 2005.
The front end of the new Ford S-MAX is characterised by its distinctively angled nose and dynamic headlamps which give it a purposeful appearance. Fog lamps are placed inbound and high on the front bumper, giving the vehicle a sporty look.  The slim upper grille is complemented by a large inverted trapezoid below the number plate area. This is a Ford signature, and adds a touch of aggression to the frontal appearance.

To each side of the lower grille area, distinctive "gills" which resemble cooling ducts give the vehicle its unique identity. 

The athletic side profile of the new Ford S-MAX makes it easy to see what Ford’s kinetic design is about:  the fast roof line arching into the bonnet, the pronounced wheel arches with trailing-edge vents and the distinctive kick-up to the rear of the window glass area all help to indicate that this is a dynamic vehicle. An optional Panorama Roof gives occupants a view to the sky, and allows additional daylight into the vehicle interior.

Ford S-MAX is 69mm lower (1,607mm vs. 1,676mm) and more than 50mm shorter in overall length (4,768mm vs. 4,820mm) than its sibling, the new Galaxy.

Interior Design: Just as individual exterior styling reflects the different characters of the        S-MAX and new Galaxy even though they share a common architecture, the interiors of the two cars are also distinctly different.
A new seating system and a host of other innovative touches give the S-MAX interior a unique sense of flexibility.
 
Flexibility with all seats on board: Ford FoldFlatSystem (FFS): A new-to-the-segment feature is the Ford FoldFlatSystem. Second-row seats and the optional third-row seats don’t have to be removed from the car to free up additional luggage space. The seats fold away individually to form a flat floor, giving up to 32 possible seating combinations, all attainable with ease. In S-MAX, an optional third seat row is available, making it a 5 2 seater. The S-MAX’s third seating row has been designed to accommodate passengers with a height of up to 1.8 metres.
Cockpit feel: In S-MAX, the driver enjoys more of a 'cockpit-feel' driving position than in a traditional MPV.  This naturally feels more involving, and is complemented by a flow-through console and sports seats.

In creating the S-MAX interior, designers had 127mm more length to work with than in the original Ford Galaxy (4,768mm vs. 4,641mm).  An overall width increase of 60mm (1,854mm vs. 1,794mm) is another ingredient in the recipe for a more passenger- and stowage-friendly vehicle. Designers also provided ample headroom while achieving an 83mm reduction in overall vehicle height (1,607mm vs. 1,692mm) for the sporty silhouette of the new S-MAX. Shoulder room now is best-in-class with 1,531mm.

Supportive and comfortable seating: Matching the cockpit feel, Ford S-MAX offers an 8-way power adjustable sport seat for the driver. It provides separate adjustments for fore/aft, seating height, cushion angle and seat-back recline. There is an extensive amount of seat travel (319mm) to accommodate occupants within a body height range of 97.5 percent, ensuring that almost everyone will find a comfortable seating position. S-MAX also offers a manual seat with 6-way adjustment and lumbar support, depending on series.

Roominess and comfort for second-row passengers: Compared with the original Galaxy, Ford S-MAX offers second-row passengers a seating height elevated by 64mm, 60mm more legroom up to a class-leading 1,062mm, and more shoulder room (1,535mm vs. 1,523mm). In addition, each of the three individual seats can be adjusted independently. For an even more relaxed posture during long trips, the second-row seats feature a refined recline system with a lower pivot point. When reclining the backrest of the seat, the cushion will adjust by automatically inclining down.

Advanced ventilation and air-conditioning: Air conditioning is standard equipment on all new S-MAX 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.
Human Machine Interface (HMI): 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 Human Machine Interface. HMI is standard on all Ford S-MAX models. It is simple and intuitive to operate, and optimises the interaction of the driver with the comfort and entertainment systems. 

Outstanding versatility: In addition to the Ford FoldFlatSystem, several tie-down points are located across the floor and up the sides of the vehicle, helping secure items placed in the rear compartment. When specified as a seven seater and with all seats raised in position, S-MAX offers a luggage volume of 285 litres. Without the third row of seats, S-MAX offers 854 litres of volume behind the seatbacks of the second row. Maximum luggage capacity is an impressive 2,000 litres (all rear seats down, loaded to roof).  With all rear seats folded flat, the load floor offers a space 2m deep and 1.15m wide.

Sliding load floor for easy cargo loading: In lieu of the third seat row, customers can specify an optional sliding cargo platform on the new S-MAX.  This convenience feature allows the loading of shopping goods or travel bags with ease.  With the tailgate open, the platform can be pulled out by 48 cm.  It then slides back into the vehicle with a drawer-type motion once loading has finished.

Stowage for life’s necessities: New S-MAX provides ample and sensibly-proportioned space with 26 different stowage compartments. Ford not only wanted to meet basic expectations for stowage. Its target was to provide added functionality and high-quality execution. In total, S-MAX’s stowage capacity adds up to a possible 90 litres of volume.
Audio and Communications: The Ford S-MAX 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.  A DVD Multi-media system is also available, featuring LCD screens in the rear of the front seat headrests.

Outstanding safety: Ford has equipped the S-MAX with an impressive array of active safety features. The solid foundation for these features is the car's ultra-stiff body structure, which reduces the deformation of the passenger safety cell.  S-MAX also features an enhanced version of Ford's Intelligent Protection System including a new airbag for the driver's knee area.

New safety systems introduced for S-MAX include Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking. These driver aids are based on radar distance control technology.  S-MAX also introduces Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control, Ford's all-new active suspension system which integrates:
-    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
-    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

Strong and economical powertrains: The S-MAX engine line-up features two Duratec petrol and three latest-generation Duratorq TDCi diesels. Top of the range is the 220PS (162 kW), Duratec 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbo engine, also used in the acclaimed Focus ST. This engine perfectly matches the sporty character of Ford S-MAX. 
The successful 2.0 litre Duratec 145 PS (107 kW) engine plus clean and efficient diesels round out the range: 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.

Ford PrecisionDrive : The new S-MAX explores the sporty side of Ford’s driving style, and Galaxy’s suspension is tuned to a considerably more relaxed ride. Ford is now signalling its acclaimed driving quality attributes to customers under the Ford PrecisionDrive banner.

Compared with Galaxy, S-MAX's slightly lower centre of gravity, unique damper tuning and spring travel of slightly less than 200mm offers precision ride and handling designed to reward the enthusiastic driver. Ford's optional new IVDC active suspension with Continuously Controlled Damping provides even better handling, comfort and stability, plus shorter braking distances.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago

      Ford has tried to sell their European designs here before, many times.
      Problem is we won`t pay a premium price for a small car. We view small cars as economy cars. In Europe they pay what we would for a much larger vehicle. We equate price with size. We say we want these cars but in the past they didn`t sell.

      Merkur, Capri, Contour, fiesta. I`m sure theres more.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a very good vehicle...
      it will sell anywhere you market this..
      and it will be loved for without doubts..it seems a luxury car from lots of points..
      and I don't believe Ford will make money out of this..
      this will only create revenues I think..and actually that is not Ford is actually looking for to survive..it needs profits desperately..
      • 8 Years Ago
      This looks great....maybe Ford wouldn't be in the shitter if it tried selling some of their European products here in the States.

      Send me a bill for my consulting fee, Ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why can't Ford of North America be more like Ford of Europe? And update the damn Focus while you're at it, Ford! Pretty please ;D
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sounds like everything I'd hoped the Mazda5 would be. Power, handling, room for three in the second row, and two more seats in a pinch. Probably too pricey to sell here as a Ford. So redo it as a Volvo and ship it over!

      http://www.truedelta.com
      Pete Floege
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice cars,but fords problems here are not models per say,though the max concept sure would be interesting,their problem here is marketing(they assume like GM et al,that all american buyers are idiots,you price a car at 15990,then sell it for 12450;what message is that giving the buyer? It says if you're an idiot we will take 15950,if you're smart we'll take 12450 or whatever we can screw you for.Start playing the game straight and maybe the financial problems will go away.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford sells plenty of European designs here--as Volvos, Jaguars, etc.

      Which is why I initially suggested they might have to sell this as a Volvo. But then they'd have to make it a true Volvo, and then I wouldn't like it as much.

      It's quite a pickle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can you see Mercury's heartbeat in these European Fords?

      www.I'm not advertising my own blog.stop it.com
      • 8 Years Ago
      So who picke dthe Halloween interior?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why are'nt these Mercury's in the US?? At least that would give Mercury a purpose, upscale european cars. Wake up Ford
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here's another great one we don't get. They wonder why they can't sell 20 year old Windstars with new headlights, but they can design the S-Max. How dumb are these people????????
      • 8 Years Ago
      The US dollar is weak against the Euro and the GBP, so there's no reason to sell a better vehicle in a less profitable market, especially in a market where the classes all shift approximately one size larger. The vehicles we consider compacts are closer to midsize in Europe... The vehicles we consider midsizers are frequently either known as large family cars or executive saloons. The Camry is a notoriously weak seller because of its gargantuan size in Europe.

      If you sell a standard European car seen as a midsizer in the compact class here, you'll either have to:

      A) Decontent it or use an older design with fully paid R&D (Ford Focus)
      B) Use Japanese designs and construction (Mazda3)
      C) Sell it for a premium (Volkswagen Jetta, Volvo S40)

      Of course, this model uses the EuCD chassis, which is a lengthened C1/P1 chassis from the Mazda3, so think of it as a supersized Mazda5.
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