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.
The 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.
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.
Available in both the Ford Galaxy and the S-MAX, this high-performance, 2.0-litre 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.
Ford returns to the world of open-topped motoring with the elegant yet practical Focus Coupé-Cabriolet – making its preview debut at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.
The introduction of the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet has been led by customer response to Ford's Vignale Concept, which was displayed at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The positive reaction prompted Ford to green-light the car for production, and it has been made ready in less than two years.
The new Focus Coupé-Cabriolet has been developed jointly by Ford of Europe and Italy's Pininfarina, which enjoys a worldwide reputation for the design of some of the world's most attractive vehicles. The Focus Coupé-Cabriolet will go into volume production in mid-2006.