Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Ford unveiled today the S-Max Concept, which comes with a new, sleek look and loaded with innovative technology, such as a heart-rate monitoring seat. But if you're heart is set on a minivan sports activity vehicle (SAV) and you live in the States, don't wait for this one - it's a Europe-only product, and we don't expect that to change when the next-gen S-Max is released.
The styling follows Ford's global design language, looking a bit like an overgrown Focus hatchback with the company's signature grille, wraparound headlamps, steeply raked windshield and curved roof line. Ford also implemented details to make the S-Max look longer and faster, such as a feature line on each side of the vehicle and muscular-looking fenders. The engine isn't Ford's most powerful, but the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine should be potent enough with turbocharging and other efficiency related technologies.
Ford says the new interior, which seats up to seven people, features high-quality materials and fine detailing, such as an "ultra-soft" leather wrap for the instrument panel and leather and carbon-fiber details on the seats. Ford's Sync connectivity system with MyFord Touch makes the car a wireless hotspot, and there's a tablet docking station for second-row occupants.
Knowing how the bacon gets made rarely entices us and, in the same vein, the same usually goes for knowing about how new cars get painted. But in both instances, however, quality - or a lack thereof - is instantly obvious. In terms of the latter, Ford is showing off its new paint quality process with 3D Dirt Detection Technology to find imperfections in vehicle paint more easily and more quickly.
This process - being performed on the F-150 SVT Raptor above - uses 16 computer-controlled cameras to create a three-dimensional model (inset) of the vehicle to detect flaws in the paint including dirt particles, which can then be buffed out manually. Ford says this new technology cuts down on time spent looking for paint flaws and gives workers more time to correct those that are discovered.
Currently, Ford only uses its 3D Dirt Detection Technology system at three factories (the Dearborn, MI facility, along with those in Louisville, Kentucky and Valencia, Spain), but it will soon spread to five more plants in North America. Ford has released a video and press release for this innovative and unexpectedly interesting process, both of which are posted below.
Word coming in from across the pond has it that Ford is working on developing the business case to create a new Fiesta RS. The development is encouraged by the extremely positive reception the existing Fiesta ST has garnered to date, and the emergence of the above-pictured Fiesta RS WRC rally car, but it'll take more than goodwill to make a more extreme version a reality.
According to Auto Express, a new roadgoing Fiesta RS would almost certainly be based closely on the ST version, albeit with some vital differences. Its 1.6-liter turbo four would be increased from 180 horsepower to somewhere around 230 hp, and that powertrain would be accompanied by lightweight alloys inside blistered wheel arches, a stripped-out interior and possibly lightweight bodywork.
The vehicle's approval would reportedly require a strong business case in Europe, and not just in the UK where Ford hot hatches traditionally enjoy a strong following. It's unclear whether the Fiesta RS would potentially make the transatlantic voyage to American showrooms, but between it and the larger Focus RS, hopefully the Blue Oval wouldn't leave its home market out of the action altogether.