Ford has given the facelift treatment to two of its bread and butter European MPVs and this piece of news is particularly interesting as we were told that the S-MAX would be launched in Malaysia sometime in 2010 at the Ford Mondeo launch not too long ago.

The Ford S-MAX is essentially an MPV based on the Ford EUCD platform, which also underpins the Mondeo. It has a long wheelbase of 2,850mm which pretty much puts it in the same league as the JDM Honda Odyssey (2,830mm). I’d expect a Malaysian introduction to carry a price tag close to the RM200k point though Sime Darby is always welcome to surprise us! ;) Ford will also have a smaller 7-seater MPV based on the smaller Focus platform called the 2nd generation C-MAX which will essentially be a Ford equivalent to the Mazda 5.

I would say the most interesting part of the new S-MAX facelift is the new Ford EcoBoost SCTi engine, which uses an all-aluminium construction, direct injection, twin-independent variable cam timing and a turbocharger. Peak power is 203 PS at 5,500rpm while peak torque is 300Nm from as low as 1,750rpm all the way to 4,500rpm – lots of shove for a people carrier’s needs. 0 to 100km/h takes 8.5 seconds.

I won’t be surprised if this new engine will replace the 5-pot turbo in the next generation Focus ST, leaving the Volvo-derived 5-potter for the RS. This engine is mated to an oil-bathed 6-speed twin clutch automatic.

There’s just no escaping this new automotive styling trend – the Titaium and Titanium X Sport trim levels come with LED daytime running lights at the front. Pretty soon everyone will sport this look save for BMW which will surely stick to their corona rings.

As for the interior, the second and third row of the S-MAX (and the Galaxy) can be folded completely flat for a nice luggage area – Ford calls this the Ford FoldFlatSystem. Some Volvo tech has trickled down to these Fords as well – they have a Blind Sport Information System function which uses radar to warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spot area.

GALLERY: Ford S-MAX Facelift


GALLERY: Ford Galaxy Facelift