Ford S-Max and Galaxy Hybrid Now On Sale In Europe

These electrified Ford people carriers lands in Europe promising diesel-rivalling efficiency. 

To those in Europe looking for a new hybrid-engined people carrier, the options over there up till now were few and far between (read: zero). Happily however, Ford of Europe has recently addressed this rather large vacant niche in the European auto market with launch of the hybrid variants of its S-Max and Galaxy MPVs over there. 

Before going any further, the term hybrid used to describe these MPVs here is kind of a misnomer as these newly-launched Ford minivan variants are actually mild-hybrids instead. While on the topic of what powers these people movers though, under the hood of both these Blue Ovals are the same mildly electrified heart as in the recently-launched Kuga Hybrid SUV. 

On the petrol side of things is a rather large 2.5 litre naturally aspirated Atkinson cycle petrol four-cylinder. The electrification part of the equation meanwhile comes courtesy of an electric motor that is a rather tiny 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. With drive sent to the front wheels through an 8-speed ‘power-split’ automatic transmission, the combined power output of this hybrid powertrain is rated to be an adequate 190 PS. 

Continuing on the topic of performance, Ford has interestingly also provided 0 – 100 km/h times for these hybrid minivans. Times which are actually reasonably impressive, as the S-Max Hybrid manages the century sprint in a respectable 9.8 seconds, with the Galaxy Hybrid just 0.2 seconds behind that. Hence proving that despite their eco-friendly hybrid personas, these MPVs still have a decent amount of poke on tap. 

Now moving onto the greener side of things, fuel efficiency and WLTP-rated CO2 emissions figures stand at 6.4 l/100 km and 146-147 g/km for the smaller S-Max. The larger Galaxy on the other hand manages just slightly worse on both counts, with 6.4-6.5 l/100 km and 148-149 g/km respectively.  

Regarding the rest of details regarding these hybrid people carriers, they remain fairly identical to their conventionally powered counterparts. Indeed, the only discernible difference without looking at the hybrid badge on the tailgate on either hybrid MPV would perhaps be the rotary gear selector in the centre console and the EV-specific functions like Brake Coach and EV Coach found within the 10-inch central infotainment touchscreen. 

Part of Ford’s ambitious plan to launch 17 electrified vehicles by the end of the year, the S-Max and Galaxy Hybrid are available to order now across Europe. Costing from £36,535 (RM 204,000) and £38,695 (RM 216,000) in the UK, deliveries of these two Spanish-built hybrid Ford minivans will begin in April. 

PRESS RELEASE: The new Ford S-MAX Hybrid sports activity vehicle offering seven seats alongside the refinement, efficiency and convenience of a full hybrid powertrain is now available to order for customers across Europe, Ford today announced.

Using innovative engineering to incorporate a fuel-efficient, petrol-electric powertrain into the sleek and versatile S-MAX body without compromising space, flexibility or the uniquely sporty driving experience, the new S‑MAX Hybrid reduces CO2 emissions by more than 10 per cent (WLTP) when compared with the equivalent EcoBlue diesel powertrain. 

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 enables an effortless driving and ownership experience that can help active families to reduce their CO2 emissions while enjoying more relaxing journeys. Electric power is intelligently deployed to support petrol engine fuel efficiency or deliver silent, pure-electric driving for short periods depending on the scenario.

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, S-MAX Hybrid is designed to seamlessly fit into family life – always ready to deliver an electrified driving experience regardless of unpredictable schedules.

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 2,200 litres of load capacity behind the first row of seats. Towing capacity from 1,560 kg to 1,750 kg depending on variant can support leisure activities. 

“S-MAX is the original sports activity vehicle, and now brings even more appeal for a new generation of customers with pure-electric driving capability for the first time,” said Roelant de Waard, general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “From a sporty, car-like driving experience to seats that fold flat at the push of a button, innovations that fit perfectly into family life have always been a big part of the S-MAX appeal. That makes the efficient and refined new hybrid powertrain a natural addition to the line-up.”

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.  

Electric power without the cables

The new S-MAX Hybrid can continue to offer all the space and flexibility of existing S-MAX models in both five- and seven-seat variants by integrating its 60-cell lithium-ion battery within a crash absorbent, waterproof structure beneath the floor of the rear luggage space.

The 1.1 kWh battery pack uses a liquid cooling system that allows the battery cells to be packaged closely together for greater space efficiency. A specially designed twin-exit exhaust system is routed around the battery to help accommodate its low position for maximum practicality. 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, the electric motor works alongside the petrol engine to deliver from 6.4 l/100 km fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions from 146-147 g/km WLTP, making S-MAX Hybrid a compelling alternative to Ford’s EcoBlue diesel powertrains. 

The 190 PS powertrain delivers 0‑100 km/h acceleration in 9.8 seconds. Smooth, linear acceleration complements S-MAX’s inherently sporty character and is supported by a redesigned motor-generator controller that seamlessly switches between pure-electric, hybrid and petrol power.

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. 

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 up to 1,750 kg for the S-MAX Hybrid five-seat variant and 1,560 kg for the seven-seat variant. 

Technology to take the stress out of driving

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. 

Making long journeys more comfortable for driver and front passenger, 18-way adjustable seats available for Trend and Titanium variants have the seal of approval from the leading spinal health organisation Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (the Campaign for Healthier Backs). The S‑MAX Vignale Hybrid features heated and cooled, 10-way-adjustable, driver and front passenger seats with massage function. 

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. Available hands-free tailgate technology also makes it easy to access the boot space while carrying grocery bags, packages or toddlers.

Galaxy Hybrid offers first class travel

The new Ford Galaxy Hybrid is also now available to order, powered by the same 190 PS petrol-electric powertrain as the S-MAX Hybrid.

Offering first class travel for seven occupants as standard, the Galaxy Hybrid people mover is available as Trend, Titanium and V-Line variants that deliver fuel efficiency from 6.4-6.5 l/100 km, CO2 emissions from 148-149 g/km WLTP, and 0‑100 km/h acceleration in 10.0 seconds. 

Like the S-MAX Hybrid, the spacious Galaxy Hybrid continues to offer the full practicality of the rest of the Galaxy line-up, including more than 1 metre of head room for first- and second-row passengers, 2,339 litres of cargo volume behind the first row of seats and 300 litres cargo volume with all seven seats in place.   

“Our new S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid are just two of 17 electrified vehicles Ford is introducing for customers in Europe by the end of this year,” de Waard said. “We’re offering a range of electrified powertrains from mild hybrid to all-electric, meaning every customer can find the right model to suit their lifestyle.”

S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid and their lithium-ion battery packs are assembled at the company’s manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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