Frankfurt preview: Ford S-MAX concept

The S-Max previews a Europe-bound seven-seater MPV.

Ford has lifted the veil off of the S-MAX concept that will greet the public for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The S-MAX accurately previews a production-bound seven-seater MPV that will go on sale in Europe over the next year.

Visually, the S-MAX concept falls in line with other members of the Ford lineup thanks to a trapezoidal radiator grille with chromed horizontal slats, sleek headlights and a rippled hood. The back end features angular tail lamps that draw inspiration from the upcoming Mondeo, a four-door sedan sold as the Fusion in the United States.

The S-MAX concept's dashboard is clean and simple. The instrument cluster is replaced by a configurable screen and the center stack is dominated by a high-resolution color touch screen that runs the latest generation of Ford's SYNC infotainment SYNC groups the MPV's connectivity, navigation and entertainment functions into a single easy-to-use unit.

Interestingly, SYNC also keeps an eye on the occupant's health. Using sensors mounted in the seats, it can monitor the driver's heart rate in order to deliver long-term heart activity data and alert medical experts if it detects a cardiac anomaly. The same sensors can also monitor glucose levels and warn parents if a child sleeping in the back seat suffers from a life-threatening diabetic episode.

The S-MAX Concept is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost gas-burning engine that sends 178 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque. When the people-mover lands in showrooms, it will also be offered with a host of diesel-burning four-cylinder mills.

The production variant of the S-MAX concept will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next year and go on sale in Europe shortly after. Ford does not plan on selling the van in the United States.

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