Ford concept previews new S-Max
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Ford has unveiled its new S-Max concept, which it is set to publicly debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Despite bearing the Concept name it is essentially what will become the next generation S-Max - a car that has proved to be quite a hit with families since its introduction in 2007. As well as giving a strong indication as to the look of the next S-Max, the show car is also the platform upon which Ford is demonstrating some new in-car technologies that it thinks will become common-place in the future.
Taking what is clearly a big evolutionary step from the current production car, the S-Max Concept wears a sporty body style that is very much in keeping with the Blue Oval's current design language. The large trapezoidal grille is unmistakably Ford while the advanced LED headlight units dominate the appearance of the short bonnet as they stretch from the front bumper almost back to the A-pillar.
One of the more visually striking parts of the S-Max Concept is the panoramic windscreen that continues right the way along the centre of the roof back to the tailgate. The large glass area theme continues through the side profile.
Like most concept cars, the S-Max features a stunning interior that uses the finest quality materials, including soft suede, leather and Alcantara. The seats have carbon fibre inserts and despite looking as comfortable as they do stylish, aren't expected to make it to production. What is likely to carry across to the next generation car is the variety in which the seating can be configured - from four- to seven seats.
The dash features a full-colour LCD screen as opposed to conventional clocks while the centre console is made up of a high-gloss flat surface with touch-sensitive buttons. This marks a big step forward from the current Ford dashboards, which appear 'busy' with numerous clusters of buttons. Perhaps a cleaner interior design will be seen in future models.
As this remains still just a concept the overall mechanicals of it don't take priority, but Ford says it, like a future production version, will be powered by the latest 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. Ford's EcoBoost technology has already won it significant praise around the world for combining fuel efficiency with performance that still manages to give a dynamic feel.
A concept car wouldn't be just that without some kind of look into the future. Ford has showcased some in-car technology which it says could one day be a reality. This includes a Heart Rate Monitoring Seat that uses built-in sensors to monitor the driver's heart rate just like an ECG (electrocardiogram) machine. If the system detects any irregularities it can display a warning. Should the driver experience a more serious emergency the system can trigger the car's on-board safety systems to bring it to a stop while simultaneously alerting the emergency services.
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