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All-New Ford S-MAX First to Offer Intelligent Speed Limiter Amid Range of Smart Innovations, Available to Order Now

  • All-new Ford S-MAX delivers global debut of Intelligent Speed Limiter that could help drivers avoid exceeding the speed limit as well as incurring costly speeding penalties
  • S-MAX offers more than 20 new technologies and is first Ford with Glare-Free Highbeam, and Ford Adaptive Steering for enhanced visibility and driving dynamics
  • Intelligent All-Wheel Drive offered for the first time alongside new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol and 210 PS 2.0-litre TDCi engines. CO2 emissions reduced by up to 7 per cent
  • Segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection will reduce the severity of some frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, or help drivers avoid some  impacts altogether
  • S-MAX will make negotiating junctions or parking spaces with restricted visibility easier by introducing Front Split View Camera technology to the segment
  • Stylish, well-crafted reinvention of seven-seater offers sleek, sporty exterior; sophisticated and dynamic interior with segment-first Multi-Contour Seats and Easy-Fold rear seats
  • All-new S-MAX is available to order now with deliveries due in the summer

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Cologne, Germany, March 23, 2015 – Ford of Europe today announced that the all-new S-MAX will be the first Ford worldwide to offer Intelligent Speed Limiter, a new technology that scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits and avoid fines.

The all new S-MAX – a stylish and innovative reinvention of the trend-setting seven-seat sports activity vehicle – offers a range of more than 20 new technologies, including global debuts for Glare-Free Highbeam and Ford Adaptive Steering. For the first time, S-MAX will also be available with Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (iAWD).

“All-new S-MAX defies the notion that a versatile seven-seat family car cannot also be stylish, rewarding to drive and technologically advanced,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Intelligent Speed Limiter is one of those technologies that people will wonder how they did without – not just because they avoid speeding fines but because driving becomes that much less stressful.”

The all-new S-MAX is available to order now with deliveries due in the summer. The first-generation S-MAX was European Car of the Year in 2007 and has been sold to more than 400,000 customers across Europe

Intelligent Speed Limiter
Breaking the speed limit can be costly in terms of escalating fines, and driving bans, as well as playing a significant role in some road accidents.  Across Europe there are more than 35,000 safety cameras, and in some countries speed limits are being reduced.

Ford Motor Company is now launching a new technology that could automatically help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits – both when driving in their own country, and while driving abroad.

Intelligent Speed Limiter combines the functionality of two Ford technologies:

  • Adjustable Speed Limiter – enables drivers to manually set a maximum vehicle speed
  • Traffic Sign Recognition – provides drivers with the latest detected speed limit, cancellation signs and overtaking restrictions via the instrument cluster display

Drivers can choose between speed limiting systems in the vehicle menu using the steering wheel controls, and activate them using the speed system controls. Maximum speed for Intelligent Speed Limiter can be set and then raised or lowered in 5 km/h (5 mph) increments. Between 30-200 km/h (20-120 mph) the technology utilises speed limit information from the Traffic Sign Recognition system. In vehicles equipped with onboard navigation, Intelligent Speed Limiter also uses map data for improved accuracy.

Intelligent Speed Limiter allows drivers to set a speed tolerance of up to 10 km/h (5 mph) above the detected speed limit. The system does not apply the brakes but smoothly controls engine torque by electronically adjusting the amount of fuel delivered. If the S‑MAX overruns the set maximum speed because of a downhill gradient, an alarm is sounded. Drivers can temporarily override the system by pressing firmly on the accelerator.

“Speed limiting technology was last year specified on around two-thirds of Ford vehicles for which it was available – proving popular with drivers who want to ensure they avoid incurring speeding fines by unintentionally exceeding the speed limit. Intelligent Speed Limiter makes that even easier,” said Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe.

Glare-Free Highbeam
Fading out light that could dazzle other road users from the headlights, Glare-Free Highbeam retains maximum illumination for other areas. The technology works in conjunction with Ford Dynamic LED headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System, which can adjust the headlight beam angle and intensity to one of seven settings according to speed, ambient light, steering angle, distance to the vehicle in front and windscreen wiper activation.

A windshield-mounted camera detects oncoming vehicles up to 800 metres ahead, and the system uses shutters to block specific paths of light.

Ford Adaptive Steering
Introducing a new generation of steering technology, Ford Adaptive Steering will later this year make it easier to manoeuvre at low speeds and in tight spaces, and provides a more precise and intuitive feel at high speeds. The system continually adjusts the ratio between the steering wheel and the road wheels in the following scenarios:

  • City-driving speeds: an electric motor and gearing system contained within the steering wheel adds to the driver’s inputs so that fewer turns of the wheel are required to park or negotiate tight turns and T-junctions
  • Medium speeds: the system reacts smoothly to steering inputs while retaining nimble response for increased precision and a fun-to-drive, agile feel
  • Highway speeds: the system uses the electric motor to subtly reduce steering sensitivity and deliver smoother high-speed lane-changes and more relaxed cruising

An electronic control unit and steering angle sensor also housed within the steering wheel enable Ford Adaptive Steering to calculate the steering inputs required. System settings can be configured using the instrument cluster and steering wheel controls, and steering weight and response adapt to match the S-MAX’s “comfort,” “normal” and “sport” chassis settings.

Ford Adaptive Steering works in harmony with Electric Power Assisted Steering, which also enables refinement-enhancing features including Torque Vectoring Control, Pull-Drift Compensation, Active Nibble Compensation, and Torque Steer Compensation.

Sophisticated powertrains
The all-new S-MAX will be offered with sophisticated TDCi diesel and EcoBoost petrol engines for quiet, effortless cruising, and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 7 per cent.

Ford’s new bi‑turbo 2.0-litre TDCi engine also will be introduced to S-MAX. Offering 210 PS and 450 Nm of torque, delivered from 2,000 rpm, the new engine is offered with Ford’s six-speed PowerShift automatic gearbox and uses electronically-controlled sequential bi-turbo design for faster engine response. A small, low-inertia turbine responds quickly to initial boost demand, and a larger high-inertia turbo sustains greater boost pressure for peak performance.

Ford’s revised 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with single variable geometry turbocharger technology is offered with 120 PS, 150 PS and 180 PS. Combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, all three variants will offer 5.0-litre 100/km fuel efficiency and 129 g/km CO2 emissions* from a revised engine block, new cylinder-head and fuel injection designs. Ford’s lean NOX trap exhaust after-treatment system helps deliver cleaner emissions.

The 150 PS and 180 PS 2.0-litre TDCi S-MAX models will be offered with Ford’s six-speed PowerShift automatic gearbox and are available with iAWD, for a seamless transition between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive performance to enhance traction and road-holding. The system continually measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds; can adjust power delivery to individual wheels in 100 milliseconds; and can send 100 per cent of available engine torque to the rear wheels.

“Intelligent AWD activates when it is needed, so it can help drivers find grip in wintery conditions and enhance the signature S-MAX sporty driving dynamics with minimal impact on fuel-efficiency and without affecting refinement. With iAWD, S-MAX drivers also can tow up to 2,000 kilograms,” said Ulrich Koesters, vehicle line director, Ford of Europe

S-MAX petrol engine options will include Ford’s new fuel-efficient 160 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost with manual transmission. The engine features integrated exhaust manifold technology that improves efficiency by helping the engine reach optimal temperatures faster, and delivers torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger.

The engine also uses the core EcoBoost technologies of turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel-injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing alongside a new aluminium engine block. A water-cooled intake charge cooler delivers a more efficient feed of air into the engine and the control system has been reprogrammed to offer high levels of refinement.

Ford’s 240 PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost with 6-speed automatic transmission will be offered, and the complete S-MAX engine range meets Euro Stage VI emissions standards with CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency enhanced using:

  • Smart Regenerative Charging, which selectively engages the alternator and charges the battery when the vehicle is coasting and braking to recapture energy
  • Auto-Start-Stop, which automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle and restarts the engine when the driver wants to move off
  • Active Grille Shutter, which improves aerodynamics and optimises airflow for engine cooling

Aerodynamic efficiency has been optimised during 400 hours of wind tunnel testing and with enhanced underbody aerodynamic shielding.

Superior refinement and comfort
Advanced chassis, body structure and technologies enable the all-new S-MAX to deliver leading refinement and comfort for up to seven occupants.

Ford’s new integral link rear suspension helps enhance the signature car-like, sporty driving dynamics with a configuration that features reduced-weight aluminium components. The system significantly improves refinement and ride quality – in particular for rear seat passengers – by enabling rear wheels to travel further rearwards than with traditional systems on contact with road obstacles such as pothole edges. Self-levelling rear suspension maintains optimum ride height regardless of load.

Additional sound-deadening materials and improved door seals contribute to a quieter cabin. Road noise has been reduced by 2.5 decibels in the front and 3 decibels in the rear. Optimised exterior styling has contributed to a reduction in wind noise.

S-MAX also will enhance comfort for front seat occupants using segment-first Ford Multi-Contour Seats with Active Motion massage function. Designed to reduce muscle fatigue particularly during longer journeys and developed with the help of medical doctors, the 8-way adjustable seats also incorporate heating and cooling, and use a system of 11 cushions to deliver an unobtrusive massaging effect for thighs, bottom and lower back.

“S-MAX will reduce muscle fatigue, aches and pains for both the driver and front passenger by keeping muscles and blood vessels stimulated with the unique wave motion,” said Jeroen Lem, research engineer, vehicle interior technology, Ford of Europe. “The advanced system monitors pressure in the individual cushions to feel like a single roller subtly stretching the back, and two intensity settings can be selected from the central touchscreen.”

Front-seat headrests can be adjusted up, down, forward and back, and drivers can tailor their seating position using segment-first power adjustment function for steering column reach and rake, and driver’s seat memory function. A heated steering wheel is offered for the first time.

Contours and firmness of the rear seats have been refined for optimised comfort. Stadium seating for rear passengers offers a more commanding view, while second-row seats also can slide forward and back, and recline individually to fine-tune seating position and legroom. Thinner seat backs provide more legroom.

Rear passengers also can now select their own climate settings with auxiliary controls and a dedicated climate system, in addition to the dual-zone front climate system. A humidity sensor helps prevent windows fogging and the S-MAX features an air quality sensor that can detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels outside and shut down incoming air. As required, it also automatically switches on air recirculation and advanced filtration that blocks 99 per cent of pollen and almost all nitrogen dioxide – a key trigger of asthma.  

The car that watches out for you
For drivers approaching junctions where visibility is reduced, or situations where pedestrians may unexpectedly cross the road, the S-MAX is equipped with new technology that could help.

New-to-segment Front Split View Camera technology displays in the cockpit the 180 degree view from a camera installed within the grille. To ensure the lens remains clear, a high-pressure jet washer extends to clean the camera when the headlight washer is activated.

Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection technology also is first to segment. This system is designed to detect people in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path, and can automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings.

Information collected from the windshield-mounted camera, and radar located in the bumper, is processed and checked against a database of “pedestrian shapes” to help distinguish people from typical roadside scenery and objects. If a pedestrian is detected in front of the car, and a collision becomes imminent, the driver will first receive an audible and visual warning. Should the driver not respond, the system then shortens the time required to apply the brakes by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. If the driver still does not respond the brakes are applied automatically.

“Real world testing was an important part of the development. Pedestrians come in all shapes and sizes, and adopt an infinite number of postures,” said Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer, Ford of Europe. “We covered more than 500,000 kilometres that included an extremely wide range of people and potential situations.”

Pre-Collision Assist scans ahead for vehicles, too, and if an imminent collision is detected it can automatically apply up to full braking force to help the driver mitigate or avoid many types of rear-end collision.

Of course, this technology does not replace the driver and has limitations, including nighttime, harsh lighting, cyclists, vehicles moving in a different direction and harsh weather conditions.

The all-new S-MAX also features technologies that make parking easier:

  • Perpendicular Parking can detect and reverse the car hands-free into spaces alongside other cars in the same way that Active Park Assist helps drivers to parallel park
  • Park-Out Assist helps drivers exit a parallel parking space, the system operating the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
  • Side Parking Aid delivers audible alerts and on-screen distance indicators to obstacles
  • Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them

Further driver assistance technologies offered with all-new S-MAX include Blind Spot Information System, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control and Driver Alert.

Improved active and passive safety
S-MAX has been designed to help protect an occupant in the event of a crash. The body structure uses hydro-formed high strength steel for A‑pillars, B-pillars, and roof rails, enhancing side impact performance while reducing weight.

For the first time, S-MAX offers second-row seat side-airbags, in addition to driver and front-passenger, driver-knee, and first-, second- and third-row curtain airbags. Second-row seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters enhance rear passenger safety. Seatbelt minders feature for all three rows.

MyKey technology will enable owners to programme a key – usually for younger drivers – that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts.

Vehicle stability also is enhanced with Curve Control and Roll Stability Control systems that adjust engine torque and braking to help drivers maintain control.

Features that simplify your life
The traditional instrument cluster makes way for an optional driver-facing 10-inch digital screen with animated analogue-style instrumentation. Users also can customise the display settings and 3D graphics on the digital screen for a personalised and interactive experience.

An 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen in the centre console enables drivers to control Ford SYNC 2 with Voice Control to operate phone, entertainment, climate and navigation systems using simple conversational language. Drivers can even bring up a list of local restaurants by saying: “I’m hungry.”
S-MAX will for the first time be offered with the Hands-Free Liftgate that can be opened or closed using a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. Customers will also be able to specify Ford’s Electric Retractable Tow Bar with Trailer Sway Control.

Practical and stylish interior
The all-new S-MAX interior offers best-in-class storage solutions with 32 seating and load-space combinations, as well as segment-first Easy-Fold second and third row seats. The system enables each rear seat to be folded flat from a push-button control panel. S-MAX now also features Easy-Entry second row seats that provide one touch access to third row seating with a new design that tips and slides the seat forward in one smooth action.

Storage also includes new covered stowage in the instrument panel top, a media storage area incorporated into the centre stack, and concealed under-floor stowage behind the third row.

A mature, sophisticated and dynamic interior feel includes a sculpted centre console that flows from the upper instrument panel; aluminium accent above the glovebox; and soft-touch materials with accent stitching including Salerno leather and miko suede. Extra attention has been paid to ensuring colour match between materials to create greater visual harmony. The open and airy interior benefits from a full-length panoramic glass roof.
“The all-new S-MAX interior offers a dynamic sanctuary. It calms occupants with more storage options to keep clutter at bay and reassures with modern, elegant design and refinement, but at the same time stimulates with padded materials and a driver-focused cockpit,” said Hak Soo Ha, Ford interior design manager.

Materials can resist the wear and tear delivered by active families and feature anti-stain coatings tested against soil and coffee spills. Engineers meticulously simulate the punishment interiors can receive from being snagged by zips and studs. A metal ball with needle-sharp spikes called a mace is used to brush the fabrics 600 times.

Exterior design evolution
The Ford design team evolved the fresh and distinctive exterior styling of the original S‑MAX for an even more dynamic and upscale impression.

The sleeker styling makes economical use of graphic design features to avoid “visual noise”. The front pillar is moved further back to create a longer, sculpted bonnet for a more premium appearance. A raised chrome trapezoidal grille and slim headlight design give a technical and cutting-edge look.

The charismatic S-MAX silhouette and distinctive window-line is complemented by signature LED Day Time Running Lights and technically styled rear LED taillights that add visual width. They are connected by a signature satin chrome strip. A rear diffuser separates integrated exhaust pipes for a modern, sporty feel.

“The sleek and sporty S-MAX profile stands out from the crowd to deliver a unique proposition for customers who appreciate an exclusive appearance – whether for their car, their clothes, and even their home,” said Joel Piaskowski, director, Design, Ford of Europe. “A lower roofline, slim-line lights and muscular haunches around the wheel arches ensure the all-new S-MAX appears wider, sharper, and has an even more distinctive presence than ever.”

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* The declared fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are specified for a vehicle variant and not for a single car. The applied standard test procedure enables comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers. In addition to the fuel efficiency of a car, driving behaviour as well as other non-technical factors play a role in determining a car's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. Results in MPG also correspond to this European drive cycle and are stated in imperial gallons. The results may differ from fuel economy figures in other regions of the world due to the different drive cycles and regulations used in those markets.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit


Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 66,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 23 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 11 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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