new S-Max MPV shares platform with new
Galaxy and next Mondeo.
13th March 2006.
Europeans are still fond of minivans,
as they are called in the U.S., or MPVs (multi-purpose
vehicles), or monospace as they are known in (Renault's)
Modus, Scenic and Espace land.
That is why Ford
didn't come to the 2006 Geneva Motor Show with one
European-style minivan, but two: the Ford
S-Max, with its 5- or
7-passenger capabilities (rather 5+2), and the new
generation Ford Galaxy.
Both models are part of Ford of Europe
revival, which was symbolised especially with the new Focus
Coupe Covertible too (more
about the Focus
Coupe / Cabriolet)
Since the Ford
Focus C-Max is a
it is only too logical to see the S-Max, fitting between Mondeo
and Galaxy, the three of
them sharing a common architecture (the next-generation
Mondeo, which is expected for next year).
To be more precise, the new Ford
S-MAX offers 5+2 seating,
which means that the sixth and seventh passenger space are
more for convenience, with limited space compared to the
bigger Galaxy for instance.
The optional third seat row has been
designed to accommodate passengers with a height of less
than 1.8 metres.
S-MAX is 4,768mm long,
1,854mm wide and 1,607mm high.
The new S-MAX features Ford's Fold Flat
System (FFS), which keeps all seats on board as well as
providing good luggage space, with 26 stowage
compartments, new user friendly technologies and Ford
Intelligent Protection System, which provides latest
driver assistance and occupant protection technologies,
including a new driver's knee airbag.
Being smaller than Galaxy allows Ford's
S-Max to afford a more sporty character, highlighted with
the availability of a 220PS Duratec 5-cylinder turbo
engine from the Focus ST .
Outside, the new S-MAX is Ford's first
production model to include elements of its 'Kinetic
Design' form language, first previewed in the Ford SAV
Concept vehicle at Geneva 2005.
The front end is characterised by its
distinctively angled nose and dynamic headlamps, with the
fog lamps placed inbound and high on the front bumper, a
slim upper grille and a large inverted trapezoid below the
number plate area.
gets a new airbag for the driver's knee
On the sides, the roof line stretches
into the bonnet, over pronounced wheel arches and
trailing-edge vents before reaching the kick-up to the
rear of the window glass area. An optional Panorama Roof
is also available.
Compared to the new Galaxy,
Ford S-MAX is 69mm lower (1,607mm vs. 1,676mm) and more
than 50mm shorter in overall length (4,768mm vs. 4,820mm).
With the Ford Fold Flat System (FFS),
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.
Inside, 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 better headroom while achieving an 83mm reduction
in overall vehicle height (1,607mm vs. 1,692mm) for the
sporty silhouette of the new S-MAX.
Matching the sporty 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. An
extensive amount of seat travel (319mm) accommodates
occupants from a very wide body height range. S-MAX will
also offer a manual seat with 6-way adjustment and lumbar
support, depending on series.
Compared with the previous 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
all rear seats down , maximum luggage
capacity reaches 2 m3.
Air conditioning will be standard
equipment on all new S-MAX models, and for even better
interior climate control, dual Electronic Automatic
Temperature Control (EATC) will be available as an option.
The EATC system features separate temperature controls for
the driver, the front passenger and the second row
Two sets of sophisticated steering
wheel-mounted toggle switches in combination with an
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 optimises the
interaction of the driver with the comfort and
In addition to the Ford Fold Flat
System, 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 - over 50% of the boot / trunk of a very large
With all rear seats down and loaded to
roof, maximum luggage capacity reaches 2,000 litres. With
all rear seats folded flat, the load floor offers a space
2m deep and 1.15m wide.
Also, Ford offers the S-Max with an
optional sliding cargo platform, instead of the third seat
row. 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.
on versions, S-Max can be an... express,
The S-MAX can be specified with a
variety of 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.
On the safety side, the S-MAX has been
equipped with an enhanced version of Ford's Intelligent
Protection System including a new airbag for the driver's
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 introduces also Interactive
Vehicle Dynamics Control (IVDC), Ford's 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
- 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.
The S-MAX engine line-up features two
Duratec petrol and three Duratorq TDCi diesels. Top of the
range is the 220PS (162 kW) , Duratec 2.5-litre 5-cylinder
turbo engine, also used in the Focus ST .
The 2.0 litre Duratec 145 PS (107 kW)
engine plus clean 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 (diesel particles filter).
The new S-MAX suspension is more sporty
than the bigger Galaxy, which
is tuned to a considerably more relaxed ride.
Compared with Galaxy, S-MAX's slightly
lower centre of gravity, different damper tuning and
spring travel of slightly less than 200mm offers precision
ride and handling designed for a more enthusiastic driver.
optional new IVDC active suspension with Continuously
Controlled Damping provides even better handling, comfort
and stability, plus shorter braking distances.
Prices will be announced nearer to
market launch before this summer.