Ford has released images of its upcoming seven-seat S-Max concept, bound for an unveiling at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
Expected to make its production debut in the next year, the new people-mover will replace the first-generation S-Max that has been on sale in Europe since 2006.
While the first S-Max had the distinction of being the first model to showcase Ford's 'Kinetic' styling language, this latest concept is just the latest to embrace the look of the 2011 Evos concept.
The new S-Max concept also takes a few cues from its predecessor, with a long tapered roofline, prominent character line through the doors, and a sharply kicked D-pillar design.
Inside, there's a sleek and stylised take on Ford's latest interior styling, dominated by a large dual-view display in the centre stack, sitting above a simplified console.
There's seating for seven in the new S-Max, and Ford promises - at least in the concept - a host of high-quality materials from ultra-soft leather to carbon-fibre details through the cabin. Second-row passengers even get a docking station for tablets.
Headlining the technologies in the S-Max concept is a new heart-rate sensor that can monitor the driver's pulse and act on a medical concern through Ford's SYNC Emergency Assist system.
The S-Max's suite of monitoring system also includes a glucose sensor that can detect a sleeping child suffering a diabetic episode.
Power in the S-Max concept is provided by Ford's new 1.5 litre EcoBoost engine - likely the same 133kW/240Nm unit bound for Australia in the new Mondeo.
As for an Australian debut for the S-Max, that remains to be seen. Ford's ageing Territory offers a seven-seat layout and the carmaker is unlikely to leap on any model that could take sales away from an Australian-made model.
But, with the Territory set to disappear in 2016 with the end of Ford's local manufacturing program, we could see a model like the S-Max - if not another 'proper' SUV from Ford's international catalogue - join the Australian range.
If the second-generation S-Max does come to Australia, it would enter the family below the much larger Everest 4WD.
It's more likely however that Ford's next-generation Edge SUV - also a seven-seater, expected to appear in the coming year, and accidentally revealed during a corporate presentation in February - will be the Territory's replacement.
Watch for the S-Max concept to appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
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