Ford today announced the arrival of two all-new interpretations of the modern people carrier. The sporty new Ford S-MAX and the spacious new Ford Galaxy are launched at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and go on sale in June 2006.

While the new generation Ford Galaxy takes the attributes of flexibility, spaciousness, and safe and comfortable driving to new levels, the Ford S-MAX takes Ford into a new market sector.

Both models have been designed and developed in-house by Ford of Europe, and will be built at the company’s Genk Assembly Plant in Belgium. For the Galaxy, this marks a major departure from the previous joint-venture model.

Both vehicles are also significant in being the first to enter volume production with elements of the company’s new ‘kinetic design’ styling. First seen last year in the striking Ford iosis concept car, this creative new form language expresses energy in motion, and this is certainly true for the distinctive shapes in the bold body forms of Ford Galaxy and Ford S-MAX.

While the new Galaxy generation adds a dynamic angle to the vehicle’s space credentials, the crossover S-MAX clearly expresses more sporty ambitions.

The family face of both vehicles shows their obvious relation, yet the only common parts in the S-MAX’s and Galaxy’s external body panels are the head lights and the front bonnet. They really are two distinctly different vehicles – the Ford S-MAX roof height is about one hand width lower than the Galaxy’s (1607mm v 1676mm). All other body panels, as well as doors and glass, are individual. Thus, each vehicle’s distinguished design style expresses its particular character.

New Ford Galaxy and S-MAX feature a wide array of intelligent innovations, many of them new to Ford, and many designed to provide superior levels of passive and active safety.

Both offer a new Active Suspension System with Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert. An all-new driver’s knee airbag also debuts, along with a permanent Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and an active Collision Mitigation System. Also, in keeping with Ford’s no-compromise approach to safety and the evolving EU legislative requirements, measures have been taken to deliver an increased level of pedestrian protection.

New Ford S-MAX and Ford Galaxy are vehicles that take functionality and flexibility to new heights. Both new models feature the Ford FoldFlatSystem (FFS). Easily moving and individually folding second and third row seats bring new levels of flexibility and modularity to the class. All seats remain on board, but can be folded down to form a flat and even load floor almost as big – 2.0 metres by 1.15 metres – as a comfortable bed.

Both cars can be specified with a large panorama glass roof, and the Galaxy also offers an overhead console to enhance the “first-class travel” experience. New Ford S-MAX and Galaxy also offer an optional sliding load floor to help owners take advantage of its spaciousness for an active lifestyle and easy loading.

Ford created the new S-MAX and its Galaxy with recognisable Ford dynamics yet key differences in their driving characteristics. Each features Ford’s signature expertise in ride and handling – now summarised under the new title Ford PrecisionDrive.

Galaxy’s suspension, offering more than 200mm of spring travel, is tuned for a much more relaxed ride. The new S-MAX explores the sporty side of Ford’s driving dynamics, while giving away only 10mm of the Galaxy’s overall available jounce travel.

The sportier S-MAX offers more precise ride and handling, and shows excellent performance and controllable load-change reactions. The new platform’s optimised geometry provides a high level of torsional rigidity, which adds to the car-like dynamic behaviour.

Both models can also be specified with Ford’s optional new active suspension system with Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD). Ford’s new CCD technology effectively provides adaptive damping by rapid damper valve control. This means that each damper valve can be adjusted almost every two tenths of a second to guarantee the best interaction between comfort and road contact. Heave, pitch and roll of the vehicle are controlled by the system, improving handling and stability.

Ford has equipped both all-new models with an array of active and passive safety features. The safety story begins with a solid foundation – an ultra-stiff body structure that reduces the deformation of the passenger safety cell.

New safety systems introduced in the Ford S-MAX and Galaxy include Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control (IVDC), and an all-new active suspension system which integrates:

  • Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) to improve suspension performance and comfort in all road conditions and interact with the vehicle’s ESP for better dynamic vehicle behaviour
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Alert (FA) and Collision Mitigation by Braking – driver aids based on radar distance control
  • Hill-Launch-Assist (HLA), which allows the driver to release the brake pedal and to step on the accelerator pedal without the vehicle rolling backwards
  • Ford’s new Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

For customers looking for performance to match S-MAX’s dynamic looks, the 2.5-litre Duratec petrol high-powered five-cylinder turbo petrol engine offers 220PS and peak torque of 320Nm over a wide range from 1,500 to 4,800rpm. It will be mated to a new Ford Durashift six-speed manual transmission.

The 2.0-litre petrol Duratec HE 16-valve, four-cylinder powerplant is available in both the Galaxy and the S-MAX, offering 145PS and peak torque of 190Nm. The powerful Duratec HE petrol 16-valve engine is lightweight and compact, matched with Ford’s proven MTX-75 Durashift five-speed manual transmission.

The proven Duratorq TDCi 1.8-litre turbo-charged Ford common-rail diesel engine is available for both Galaxy and the S-MAX. It offers 125PS and a steady state peak torque of 320Nm (340Nm under transient overboost). Also available in Galaxy only is a power-reduced 100PS version of the Duratorq TDCi diesel to suit the cost-of-ownership parameters driven by insurance and tax rates in certain markets. Two transmissions will be available on Galaxy, the Durashift MTX75 five-speed manual or the Durashift six-speed manual. The S-MAX will be available with the Durashift six-speed manual.

Available in both the Ford Galaxy and the S-MAX, the high-performance, 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel offers 140PS and a peak torque of 320Nm (340Nm under transient overboost). It comes with Ford’s Durashift six-speed manual transmission as standard.