Motor Co. will unveil two new production models at the upcoming Geneva auto show, both multipurpose vehicles.
The 7-seatGalaxy is the auto maker’s best-selling fullsize MPV.
The next-generation Galaxy offers 30% more luggage space and Ford’s FoldFlatSystem (FFS), which allows individual second and third row seats to be folded completely to create a flat loading space.
In total, some 32 different seating configurations are possible with FFS, Ford says.
The Galaxy is 7.0 ins. (18 cm) longer and 2.4 ins. (6 cm) wider than the previous model, and the height drops 0.6 ins. (1.4 cm).
Ford of Europe says the new Galaxy is the first production model to feature its “kinetic design” language, giving it an “elegant, contemporary silhouette with bold surfaces.” The design element was first shown on the Ford SAV Concept unveiled in Geneva last year.
One of the vehicle’s most-prominent design cues is the optional Panorama Roof, a single piece of glass that on the interior is divided into four sections, two each over the first and second rows.
An overhead console runs down the center of the vehicle, from front to rear, and has a child-watch mirror and up to five storage boxes, Ford says.
Consumers have the choice of five engines, all turbodiesels, ranging in size from a 1.8L making 99 hp to a 2.0L making 143 hp. Safety is improved with the addition of a driver’s knee airbag to the Intelligent Protection System.
Optional is a new Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control active suspension system, which includes continuously controlled damping.
Other available safety features include hill-launch assist, which prevents the vehicle from rolling backward as the driver changes from the brake pedal to the accelerator, and a new tire-pressure monitoring system.
Additionally, adaptive cruise control is offered, along with forward alert and collision mitigation by braking, all three of which use radar distance-control systems.
The Galaxy’s sister model, the S-Max MPV, also makes its debut at Geneva. The S-Max is an all-new model for Ford of Europe, positioned between the Mondeo and Galaxy.
While it shares many of the Galaxy’s features, including FFS, the S-Max is more performance-oriented. It boasts five engine choices (two gasoline, three turbodiesel), including the same 2.5L 5-cyl. gasoline engine that makes 217 hp and powers the Focus ST.
The S-Max suspension is tuned for a sportier feel, giving the vehicle a slightly lower center of gravity, unique damper tuning and spring travel of slightly less than 0.8 ins. (2.0 cm), Ford says.
The S-Max offers the Galaxy’s active suspension system as an option.
Ford’s “kinetic design” language also is reflected in the S-Max styling, including the front end’s angled nose. Fog lamps are placed inbound and ride high on the front bumper for a sporty look, Ford says.
Ford’s signature slim upper grille with a large inverted trapezoid below the plate area also is featured on S-Max’s face. In profile, wheel arches with trailing-edge vents add to the vehicle’s sporty look.
As with the Galaxy, a glass Panorama roof is optional. The interior boasts a “cockpit-feel” better suited to driving enthusiasts than a typical MPV interior, Ford says, offering 1.1 ins. (2.8 cm) more shoulder space than the original Galaxy.
The S-Max provides 18% more luggage space than the original Galaxy, and buyers can specify a sliding cargo platform in lieu of a third-row seat, Ford says. The platform allows for easier loading and pulls out 18.9 ins. (48.0 cm) with the tailgate open. A drawer-type motion is used to place it back in the vehicle.
The S-Max is 5.0 ins. (13 cm) longer and 2.4 ins. (6.1 cm) wider than the original Galaxy. The height is 3.3 ins. (8.4 cm) lower, however, to achieve a sporty profile.
The Galaxy and S-Max were designed in Europe and are being built at Ford’s Genk, Belgium, plant.