Here’s another one that’ll probably go straight into the “not bound for United States shores” file: the Ford S-Max concept, which will make its grand debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show. Ford says the S-Max previews a “future sport activity vehicle,” which may, in fact, be contemporary PR-speak for “mini-minivan.”
Look beyond the carbon-fiber interior detailing (and add some door handles) and you’ll see a vehicle that looks more or less production-ready.
The S-Max concept isn’t too wildly sculpted, sharing styling cues with current Fords (including the Fiesta, Escape/Kuga, C-Max and Fusion/Mondeo) — from the creases on the hood to the high, hexagonal grille to the stainless steel trim surrounding the greenhouse. Its overall proportions are in line with those of other European MPVs like the Citroën C4 Picasso.
What’s under the S-Max’s pleasing skin is likely to be far more relevant to North American shoppers than the concept vehicle itself. The concept is laden with advanced technology: Some of it, like pre-collision assist braking safety systems and park assist, is meant to help with driving; other systems, like built-in ECD heart rate monitoring and glucose level monitoring (meant to warn parents if a child enters diabetic shock) are intended to aid vehicle occupants.
Further, the S-Max gets Ford’s new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The turbocharged gasoline powerplant will reach our dealer lots under the hoods of 2014 Fusions, where it will replace the current (and slightly less efficient) 1.6-liter EcoBoost without sacrificing output.