The new Ford S-MAX and Galaxy seven-seaters will be the leading attractions at the Mobility Roadshow 2006, the world’s largest outdoor mobility event for disabled and elderly people, their carers and families.
The exciting new additions to the Ford range will be among no fewer than 21 vehicles exhibited by Ford at Kemble Airfield near Swindon from Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th June.
Ten of the Ford cars will be ready for visitors to try out on the Roadshow test route. They will be fitted with a range of adaptations from Techmobility and ELAP Engineering - as well as the latest hi-tech optional extras from Ford.
Ford Mobility’s own experts, on hand to offer help and advice, will be joined by the well-known MAGIC* Ambassadors - disability rights campaigner Joe Hennessy OBE, diver and wheelchair-access guru Fraser Bathgate, former paralympian Paul Moore and wheelchair athlete Jason Richards.
The celebrities are looking forward to discussing the cars, adaptations and mobility issues with as many visitors as possible.
The focal point, of course, will be the all-new Ford seven-seaters that go on sale this month. The S-MAX is a refreshingly sporty and spacious new concept in MPVs, and is closely related in its ultra-contemporary looks to the more spacious Galaxy.
Important for those needing to combine generous loadspace for wheelchairs with flexibility of passenger accommodation on these latest models is the Ford Fold Flat System. This allows second and third-row seats to be exchanged with ease for a flat floor almost 2m in length. Sliding load floors are optional.
Mobility Roadshow visitors will be among the first to get a close look at the host of innovations, many of them safety-related, that feature on both S-MAX and Galaxy.
These include Ford’s Active Suspension System with Continuously Controlled Damping to improve performance and comfort, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert and Collision Mitigation by Braking - driver aids based on radar distance control.
Hill Launch Assist allows drivers to release the brake pedal and apply the accelerator without fear of the vehicle rolling backwards. Driver's knee airbags are a new idea, as is a permanent Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. Also new to the market is Ford’s Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control safety system.
The S-MAX is powered by a 2.5-litre, 220PS Duratec five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine driving through a new Durashift six-speed manual gearbox. It is also offered with a 2.0-litre, 145PS four-cylinder engine. This is the petrol unit that powers the Galaxy, on which customers can opt for either the six-speed or a five-speed manual transmission.
Both models are also available with Ford’s Duratorq TDCi turbo-diesel engines in 2.0-litre 143PS and 1.8-litre 125PS form, the Galaxy also being offered with a 100PS version of the 1.8.
While the Ford S-MAX and Galaxy are bound to be the eye-catchers at the Mobility Roadshow, much of the Ford line-up will consist of variants of Britain’s favourite car, the Ford Focus.
Waiting to be test-driven will be four Focus 1.6-litre petrol automatics in hatchback, saloon and estate form. Three more Focus cars on the stand include a 1.6 auto estate and 1.8-litre manual three- and five-door hatchbacks.
The popular C-MAX will also be represented, with petrol and diesel five-door versions to test and, on the stand, two Ghia automatics in diesel and 2.0 petrol form.
Also on the stand and on the circuit will be two Ford Fiesta hatchbacks and four five-door Fusions with clutchless and standard manual or automatic gearboxes. And for those seeking maximum load capacity, the impressive Ford show line-up is completed by two Ford Mondeo 2.0 estate cars, a petrol automatic and a manual diesel.
Ford’s 20-vehicle line-up at the Mobility Roadshow provides a good opportunity for visitors to tune into some of the latest Ford hi-tech features designed to boost safety, comfort and convenience.
These include Bluetooth for mobile phones; satellite navigation; Park Assist rear parking sensors; the ESP stability system; headlights both Xenon and adaptive (they follow the steering wheel); DVD entertainment systems and solar reflective windscreens, which keep car interiors cool in summer.
And many of the test cars will offer drivers the chance to try a range of state-of-the-art adaptations, such as Techmobility’s push/pull hand controls and steering ball, twin flip-up throttle pedals and 80kg Techmo-Midi wheelchair hoist.
ELAP adaptations fitted to Ford cars will include a wide range of electronic accelerator and brake hand controls, a 12-way infra-red steering-wheel control system, a 40kg wheelchair hoist and a passenger swivel seat.Published 7 June 2006