Ford of Europe has revealed the new Ford S-MAX Concept, a sport activity vehicle that takes the style-without-compromise ethos of the popular current S-MAX to new levels with a sharper design, advanced technology and premium craftsmanship.
“When Ford unveiled the Sport Activity Vehicle Concept in 2005 it immediately captured the public’s imagination and inspired us to produce today’s S-MAX, a true white space vehicle,” said Barb Samardzich, Product Development vice president, Ford of Europe. “Our new S-MAX Concept takes that unique appeal to the next level with Ford’s latest design and technology innovations for a new generation.”
The new S-MAX Concept employs the latest Ford global design language with a high mounted grille, swept-back headlamps and a unique treatment of the vehicle’s lower fascia incorporating design elements that appear to float within the lower front aperture and above the spoiler.
The characteristic S-MAX profile has been honed with the front bonnet sweeping seamlessly into the sharply raked front screen, which in turn flows into the dynamic arc of the roof to create a unique glass graphic. This sleek silhouette surrounds a spacious and versatile interior that offers anything from four to seven-seat configurations.
“S-MAX drivers are passionate and have high expectations – they see their S-MAX as a one-of-a-kind vehicle,” said Martin Smith, executive design director, Ford of Europe. “Our mission was to exceed their expectations in every area while respecting the core of what they love about the S-MAX.”
Further exterior design cues include a feature line running along the flank to create an impression of length and speed, sculptured muscular shoulders, and distinctive headlamps featuring Organic LEDs – the latest lighting that offers greater flexibility in terms of positioning and design, fast response and colour range.
The S-MAX Concept interior is an expression of cutting-edge design, convenience, connectivity, flexibility and craftsmanship.
The front cabin places the focus firmly on the driver. Dynamic shapes and forms combine in a high-set instrument panel that cuts back in the centre console and creates a feeling of space. The door panels are similarly sculptured and an innovative interior roof design maximises the feeling of spaciousness. High quality materials include an ultra-soft leather wrap for the instrument panel, and leather and carbon fibre detailing for the sculptured seats.
“The fine detailing and visible craftsmanship in areas such as the instrument panel air vents reward the driver,” said Smith. “Each and every element of the interior stands up to close inspection with intricate and thoroughly considered design.”
The Ford SYNC system sits at the heart of the vehicle’s advanced connectivity features. Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch delivers wi-fi for passengers, supported by a tablet docking station that allows second row occupants to integrate personal devices into the vehicle.
SYNC AppLink enables the driver to voice-control smart phone apps from an expanding list of service providers, which include Spotify, Kaliki, Glympse and Aha – bringing additional music, news, personalised information as well as location and navigation options into the vehicle.
SYNC also enables additional features to improve health and well-being:
- Ford’s ECG (Electrocardiogram) Heart Rate Monitoring Seat records the driver’s heart rate, delivering long-term heart activity data that would otherwise need to be recorded at medicalcentres, and offers the potential to connect with Ford SYNC to alert remote medical experts to unusual activity or even trigger active safety systems to take over in case of emergency
- Glucose Level Monitoring devices can be connected with Ford SYNC, for example to warn a parent at the wheel if a sleeping child behind suffers a diabetic attack
Sophisticated communications and sensor systems provide the S-MAX Concept with detailed information about the driving environment, to enhance awareness and safety:
- Ford’s advanced car-to-car communications technology enables the vehicle to “talk” to similarly equipped vehicles, delivering warnings in the event of oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the motorway, or if a vehicle has stopped in a potentially dangerous situation such as a blind bend in the road
- Ford Intelligent Protection System with Pre-Collision Assist identifies pedestrians and automatically applies the brakes if a collision is imminent
- A new generation of Active Park Assist, which steers the vehicle into a parallel parking space, offers perpendicular parking capability, steering the vehicle out of a space and Cross Traffic Alert. This next development in Ford parking technology assists drivers in leaving parking bays and by alerting them to approaching traffic
- Thin Seat Technology is employed in the third row of seats, enabling the seats to be raised and lowered in a single action with minimum effort. The second row’s centre seat folds into the vehicle‘s floor for maximum versatility
- Dual-View Display in the centre console shows different images to the driver and passenger using the same screen, ensuring the driver receives important information without being distracted, while the passenger can enjoy a movie at the same time
Advanced Ford powertrain and chassis technologies ensure that the renowned S-MAX driving appeal is raised to a new level:
- High-efficiency powertrain features the all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine from Bridgend Plant, S Wales, with turbocharging, twin-independent variable camshaft timing and further advanced technologies to enhance power and fuel economy
“The new S-MAX Concept is not only a unique proposition in terms of its uncompromised styling, versatility and driver-focused dynamics, but also through its innovative technologies delivering superior safety, well-being and seamless integrated connectivity,” said Pim van der Jagt, executive technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “With the S-MAX Concept we aimed to demonstrate just how wide a scope of technologies Ford is preparing for future generations of vehicles and customers.”