The new Ford S-Max Hybrid is set to go on sale in Ireland in May. Ford describes it as the only sports activity vehicle to offer seven seats and the refinement, efficiency and convenience of a full hybrid powertrain. Prices and specifications have yet to be confirmed.
It adds that it features innovative engineering to incorporate a fuel-efficient, petrol-electric powertrain into the sleek and versatile S-Max body without compromising space or flexibility. It also boasts that it delivers a uniquely sporty driving experience, and claims that the new S-Max Hybrid reduces CO2 emissions by more than 10 per cent (WLTP) when compared with the equivalent EcoBlue diesel powertrain.
The S-Max has a combination of 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery, electric motor and the latest generation of Ford’s power-split transmission. The blue oval brand claims that this enables an effortless driving and ownership experience that can help active families to reduce their CO2 emissions while enjoy more relaxing journeys. It adds that electric power is intelligently deployed to support petrol engine fuel efficiency or deliver silent, pure-electric driving for short periods depending on the scenario.
It says that that the battery charge is automatically replenished by the petrol engine and by using regenerative charging technology when coasting or braking. With no need for owners to plug into an external power source.
The stylish S-Max Hybrid continues to blend sporty exterior styling with the practicality and flexibility of a people-mover. Easily configurable seating and load space combinations deliver up to 2,020 litres of load capacity behind the first row of seats. Towing capacity from 1,560 kg (S-Max) to 1,510 kg (Galaxy) depending on variant can support leisure activities.
Ford is also offering for the first time a full hybrid variant of the Galaxy seven-seat people mover. The new Galaxy Hybrid utilises the same sophisticated petrol-electric powertrain as S-Max Hybrid for diesel-rivalling fuel efficiency and optimised driving refinement.
The new S-Max Hybrid can continue to offer all the space and flexibility of existing S-Max models by integrating its 60-cell lithium-ion battery within a crash absorbent, waterproof structure beneath the floor of the rear luggage space. This allows for greater space efficiency.
The configuration enables S-Max Hybrid to accept loads up to almost 1 metre tall and more than 1 metre wide between the rear wheel houses. Even with all seven seats in place there is 285 litres of luggage space available.
Electric power helps deliver the most refined S-Max driving experience yet. Regenerative braking technology captures up to 90 per cent of the energy normally lost during braking to help charge the battery. Power is sent to an electric motor that can drive the front wheels on its own to pull away silently from a standstill. The motor can also deliver pure-electric driving for short periods, for ultimate refinement and zero-emission driving particularly in urban environments.
The battery’s liquid cooling system eliminates the need for a cooling fan, helping further reduce noise levels inside the cabin.
In addition, Ford claims the electric motor works alongside the petrol engine, and claiming to deliver 6.4 l/100 km (or 36.7 mpg) fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions from 147-148g/km WLTP, making S-Max Hybrid a compelling alternative to it’s EcoBlue diesel powertrains.
It also says that smooth, linear acceleration complements S-Max’s inherently sporty character and is supported by a redesigned motor-generator controller that it claims seamlessly switches between pure-electric, hybrid and petrol power.
Ford adds that the full hybrid model’s Ford-developed power-split transmission also features a simulated gear-shift function to further heighten the sporty driving experience. The system automatically adjusts engine rpm as the vehicle’s speed changes for greater driver engagement.
It says that gear selection is controlled using a stylish and ergonomic rotary gear shift dial that features an additional mode for maximising engine braking when towing or descending steep slopes, for more comfortable driving and maximum energy recuperation. The advanced powertrain also enables towing capacity of 1,560 kg for the seven-seat variant.
It tells us that intuitive features help drivers monitor and improve their fuel and energy efficiency using interfaces for the available 10-inch digital instrument display. Brake Coach encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery, and EV Coach helps drivers understand when they are using electric or hybrid power.
Each S-Max Hybrid occupant can enjoy connectivity on the move via the standard FordPass Connect modem that provides WiFi for up to 10 devices, and allows drivers to plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system.
In addition, FordPass Connect enables remote features including Door Lock Unlock, Vehicle Status and Vehicle Locator via the FordPass mobile app, as well as Ford’s sophisticated Local Hazard Information. The technology can inform drivers of a hazardous situation on the road ahead, even if the incident is not visible due to a bend in the road or other vehicles.
All three second-row seats feature Isofix points for securely fitting child safety seats, and Easy Fold Seats for the second and third rows make it simple to maximise load space by individually folding them flat using a push-button control panel in the boot space.