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New-generation Ford Galaxy
On top of a bigger MPV family in Europe

2nd generation Ford Galaxy: the bigger brother of the new S-max MPV.

APN,
13th March 2006.

The launch of the second generation Ford Galaxy MPV at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show (2-12 march) was much more than a new model for the European arm of the Ford Motor Company.

First, the new Galaxy is launched on a common platform with the next generation Mondeo (expected for next year), just like the other new Ford S-Max MPV is also derived from the same architecture, but with smaller dimensions.

Secondly, since Ford and VW decided not to renew the joint-venture of their first generation Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan (sold also as SEAT Alhambra), the new Galaxy MPV will not be shared with another automotive group.

Like the S-Max and new Mondeo, the new Galaxy will be built at Ford's Genk plant in Belgium. The first generation was produced at Autoeuropa (Portugal), which was a 50/50 joint venture between Ford and VW (VW owns the plant since 1999).

Third, by this summer, Ford's European MPV lineup will offer three models: Galaxy, followed by the S-Max and the Focus-based lower-medium C-Max MPV.

The new Galaxy comes 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). Overall height was reduced slightly by 14mm (1,676mm vs. 1,690mm).

Leather-wrapped steering wheel with toggle switches for the HMI.

The new Galaxy new dimensions offer a bigger 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 Fold Flat System offers better flexibility.

Compared to its first generation model , the new Galaxy gets a significant increase in luggage volume of around one-third, even with all seven seats in place. The capacity is 435 litres (vs. 335 litres) to the seatback and with the third row of seats in their forward-most position.

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.

Unlike its smaller S-Max brother (5+2), the new Galaxy is a full seven-seater. It is equipped with the innovative new Ford Fold Flat System 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 second and third row seats offer 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.

Ford Galaxy MPV: back side view.

The Panorama Roof is one piece externally, but with 4 sections inside.

Galaxy offers up to 31 different stowage compartments, with a total capacity of up to 110 litres (up to 90 litres in S-Max). 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.

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.

The new Galaxy ergonomics are enhanced with the new instrument cluster and the leather-wrapped steering wheel with toggle switches for the Human Machine Interface. Two sets of 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. Ford describes this system which is standard on all Galaxy models as 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.

Like for the S-Max, air conditioning is standard equipment on all new Galaxy models, but for better interior climate control, dual Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) is available as an option, with separate temperature controls for the driver, the front passenger and the second row passengers.

New Galaxy can be specified with a variety of high-quality audio and communications systems. 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.

In safety terms, 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 as an option. 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.

Like the new S-Max, Galaxy's other new safety and comfort features include:
- 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.

The new Galaxy engine lineup includes, for the diesel options, the 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 (diesel particulates filter), 2.0 litre Duratorq TDCi 140 PS (103 kW) with or without DPF, and the petrol 2.0 litre Duratec 145 PS (107 kW).

Prices will be announced nearer to market launch dates before this summer.

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