The MPV revolution has taken a firm hold at Ford’s European operations. Following the announcement that Ford’s sportily styled SAV concept car would form the basis of the second-generation Galaxy, Autocar can exclusively reveal that an even larger and more luxurious vehicle is in the pipeline. The highly versatile car is depicted here in computer-generated form, based on secret inside information.
Known internally as CD340 LMV (luxury multi-purpose vehicle), the big seven-seater has been conceived to crown Ford’s European model line-up. High equipment levels will mean the car is pitched as a successor to the long-discontinued Scorpio when it heads into UK showrooms early next year. Prices are tipped to start at around £20,000 and extend to £30,000.
The LMV, which is expected to make an appearance in concept car guise at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, will join a production version of the SAV and the current C-Max in an aggressive three-pronged MPV assault on the fast-diversifying European market. By offering a seven-seat layout as well as either front- or four-wheel drive depending on the engine, Ford is banking on its new flagship tempting customers out of traditional executive-class estates and 4x4s, as well as providing buyers with a cheaper alternative to new luxury-class MPVs such as the recently unveiled Mercedes R-class.
The basis for the new car is a stretched version of the C1 platform currently underpinning the Ford Focus and Volvo S40. The LMV will receive a lengthened wheelbase along with upgrades to the front and rear ends to improve crash performance.
To keep costs down and ensure optimal production efficiency, the SAV and LMV share the same basic body structure and edgy styling cues, although detailed changes, such as the shape of the head- and tail lamps, should provide the latter with its own distinctive look. The key differences between the two include the front and rear ends and rear side windows.