The new Ford S-Max has been spotted testing ahead of an expected European launch later this year.
The new car was previewed at the Frankfurt motor show last autumn, with the concept making clear Ford's intentions not to stray far from the format that made the original model such as success.

The S-Max is based on Ford’s global C/D platform, which underpins the new Fusion and Mondeo models. It should be available with the company’s new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine along with today’s familiar larger capacity diesel and petrol options when it goes on sale early in 2015.

The S-Max has always been what Ford design boss Martin Smith describes as a “white space” car, one which occupies a previously unidentified market sector.

“We invented the sporty MPV,” he says, “and it brought new customers to Ford – the sort of people who won't drive a Galaxy or an estate car. Customers have described the current S-Max as sporting and dynamic, with a "dart-like" profile, so we've set about building more of that into the next generation.

“With this concept, we want to tell the world we've understood the market. It retains the distinctive shape of the rear window glass, but it has the new face of Ford and more pronounced rear shoulders.”

The S-Max has captured buyers from other premium brands in the market, with up to 70 per cent of S-Max owners opting for top-end Titanium trim. The concept exploited this with a theme of "modern luxury", something that should be carried through to the production model.

It’s expected that Ford will also launch a super-luxury Vignale version of the S-Max. The new sub-brand was previewed by a prototype Vignale version of the next-generation Mondeo last year.

Thanks to: Autocar