2015 Ford S-Max MPV revealed
This is the 2015 Ford S-Max – or, at least, the version of it that will go on display at the Frankfurt motor show this October.
While some aspects of the car pictured here are unique to this show model, others will make it into production, including the car's wider stance and its lower roofline, which Ford says is a direct result of customer feedback. The S-Max has always appealed to motorists who want MPV practicality without MPV looks, and the new car looks set to appeal to even more of them than before.
The show car also features a windscreen that runs farther back than normal, then narrows into a strip of glass that runs down the centre of the roofline. It's thought that this longer windscreen is likely to make it into production, though it will probably be offered as a cost option.
Inside, the show car's dashboard previews a new approach from Ford, with fewer buttons and a cleaner, more sophisticated design. A large piece of perspex sits proud of the fascia's large central screen; it will be fitted with touch sensitivity so you'll tap the glass, not the display beneath it.
The main infotainment screen will be a 'dual-view' unit, allowing driver and front passenger to watch different material simultaneously. Rear passengers will able to plug in their own multimedia systems and view them on screens mounted at the back of the front headrests.
The show-car has an electronic parking brake and, intriguingly, a gear selector dial. Ford's US brand, Lincoln, has used this set-up in American-marked models, but it's not yet confirmed for the final S-Max.
Regardless of what the production car looks like, the next S-Max will get the latest generation of Ford Sync infotainment system. Ford claims the technology will be able to monitor the driver's heart rate and glucose levels, and use connectivity to alert medical services or even tell the car to bring itself to a halt in an emergency.
The second row of seats has room for three passengers, while its middle seat back folds forwards to allow what Ford describes as 'step-over access' to the third row. The back of this seat also has plastic mouldings so it can act as a side table with built-in cup-holders when it's not in use as a seat.
The third row of seats folds flat into the boot floor, as in the current car, and sources say the rearmost seat space will be "comparable to the current model's". As with the current S-Max, the boot is a good size with just five seats in use, and the load lip is still impressively low, making it easy to lift heavy items into place.
The final production of the S-Max is due to go on show in the autumn of 2014, with sales starting in early 2015.