New Ford seven seater revealed

Declan Colley

Since we first saw it in 2006, the Ford S-Max has been a favourite in the MPV segment, what with its seamless blend of style and practicality. The second generation has just been revealed and will arrive here in September.

Ford says the new car is a stylish and innovative reinvention of the trend-setting seven-seat sports activity vehicle and offers a range of more than 20 new technologies, including Glare-Free Highbeam and Ford Adaptive Steering. All-new S-MAX will also be available with Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (iAWD).

The new model will also come with what the company call an Intelligent Speed Limiter, a new technology that scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits and avoid fines.

According to John Manning, marketing Director Ford Ireland, the all-new S-MAX defies the notion that a versatile seven-seat family car cannot also be stylish, rewarding to drive and technologically advanced.

“Intelligent Speed Limiter is one of those technologies that people will wonder how they did without — not just because they avoid speeding fines but because driving becomes that much less stressful,” he added.

The system combines the functionality of two Ford technologies, the Adjustable Speed Limiter (which enables drivers to manually set a maximum vehicle speed) and Traffic Sign Recognition (which provides drivers with the latest detected speed limit, cancellation signs and overtaking restrictions via the instrument cluster display).

It allows drivers to set a speed tolerance of up to 10 kph above the detected speed limit. The system does not apply the brakes but smoothly controls engine torque by electronically adjusting the amount of fuel delivered. If the SMAX overruns the set maximum speed because of a downhill gradient, an alarm is sounded. Drivers can temporarily override the system by pressing firmly on the accelerator.

The first-generation S-MAX was European Car of the Year in 2007 and more than 400,000 were sold. The Ford design team has evolved the fresh and distinctive exterior of the original SMAX for an even more dynamic and upscale impression.

The sleeker styling makes economical use of graphic design features to avoid what’s called ‘visual noise’. The front pillar is moved further back to create a longer, sculpted bonnet for a more premium appearance. A raised chrome trapezoidal grille and slim headlight design give a technical and cutting-edge look.

The charismatic all-new S-MAX silhouette and distinctive window-line is complemented by signature day time running lights and technically styled rear LED taillights that add visual width. A rear diffuser separates integrated exhaust pipes for a modern, sporty feel.

In Ireland, all-new S-MAX will be offered in two series: Zetec and Titanium.

The powertrains will include Ford’s improved 2.0 litre TDCi 120, 150 (AWD option) and 180 bhp units and the new fuel efficient 1.5 litre 160 bhp EcoBoost petrol engine. All of the engines deliver improved CO2 and fuel efficiency : e.g. the lead-in 2.0 litre 120PS TDCi engine has an improved CO2 performance over the previous lead-in 1.6 litre 115PS TDCi engine, dropping from 139g/km to 129g/km.

Prices will start from €33,860 and we’re looking forward to driving it.


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