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by Alex Gibson

The Ford S-Max concept has been revealed ahead of its formal unveiling at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

The concept previews the replacement for Ford’s current S-Max seven-seater, a seven-year-old model that has been highly successful in European markets.

The S-Max concept – a ‘sport activity vehicle’ in Ford-speak – applies the car maker’s latest design themes to a family-friendly shape. The concept features the brand’s Aston Martin-style grille, along with swept back headlights, bonnet strakes and a rakish, athletic profile.

Ford says the S-Max concept’s character line running rearward from behind the front wheels “delivers an impression of length and speed”.

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Inside, the Ford S-Max presents an interior that looks similarly production ready, and borrows cues from the latest Mondeo and US-market Taurus. Even the extra-large windshield, which Ford says contributes to an airy environment, is viable for production.

The S-Max concept runs Ford’s latest Sync and MyFord Touch infotainment systems, offering wireless internet, voice control and smartphone synchronisation. Perhaps more interesting is Sync’s heart-rate and glucose-level monitor, which stores data about driver and passenger health, ready to be sent to medical experts if any irregularities are detected.

The concept is also able to ‘talk’ to other cars, so the S-Max will know about any obstacles well before the driver and provide them with useful alerts.

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Other technologies include a pedestrian collision prevention system, and active park assist, the latter already available on Ford production models and capable of autonomously steering the car into a parking space. The car’s main infotainment screen also features a dual-view function, allowing the driver and passenger to see different images simultaneously on the same screen.

Powering the Ford S-Max concept is a new 1.5-litre turbocharged ‘EcoBoost’ petrol engine – the same powerplant that will feature in the new Mondeo that is coming to Australian shores in roughly 12 months’ time.

Ford Australia has announced no plans to offer the next-generation S-Max in our market at this stage, though the people-mover is a chance to be one of the 11 global models the company plans to sell locally by 2017.




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