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It's the next Mondeo; Vision of sporty future unveiled.

TAKE a hard look at this bold new concept car from Ford. It includes many design features planned for the next generation of the blue oval's mainstream repmobile, the MondeoJust as the original concept version of the C-Max midi-MPV gave clear clues to the styling of the second generation Focus, so this aggressive-looking sports MPV concept gives the game away for the next Mondeo.

The narrow, sharply angled dual-light headlamps, slim trapezoid grille and inboard fog lamps are all likely to make it through to the next Mondeo, due in two years.

The massive front air intake and imposing side brake cooling ducts will probably be seen on high performance versions.

Huge, flared wheel arches and deep side sills will probably also be reserved for sporting versions, but the heavy sculpting of lower side panels and upward sweeping shoulder line will almost certainly feature on all models.

Called the SAV - sports activity vehicle - the Ford concept was a surprise debutant at the opening of the Geneva motor show and will almost certainly go into production itself.

It will probably be in dealerships before the next Mondeo, following the Focus C-Max which was launched more than a year ahead of the hatch back version of the UK top seller.

Ford is only saying the concept ``provides a glimpse of a new design direction''.

But the intention is clear, in the words of Martin Smith, Ford's executive director ofdesign, who said at the Geneva show: ``This is the beginning of an evolving story and indicative of an exciting future.''

It's likely the production version of the Geneva concept car will be branded the Mondeo S-Max when it hits the showrooms and aimed at the growing executive and business market for MPV-style vehicles.

It will sit between the C-Max and the Galaxyand, although the next Galaxy will use the same platform and running gear, the S-Max will offer a sportier feel and distinctive features to set it apart from the top MPV in the Ford range.

For starters, it will have just five seats - although six could be an option - but flexibility and a host of features including remote controlled power seating and integral stowage system are showcased on the concept car. At the touch of a button, the three individual rear seats can be reconfigured. Using electric motors, the middle seat slides back into a central location. It nestles between luggage trolleys, which provide built-in arm rests for the third-row passenger. The two outer seats then shift inward slightly to provide each occupant with more space and comfort


BOLD MOVE: The Ford SAV concept car provides a glimpse of a new sportier design direction for the Mondeo, says the company
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2005
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