Ford C-Max: Not-So-US-Bound

Illustration for article titled Ford C-Max: Not-So-US-Bound

Unlike the 2012 Grand C-Max, its smaller brother, the new five-passenger Ford Focus-based C-Max has no plans for storming the US market. This one does however look cooler, especially when dressed in this fashionable shade of Ford Fiesta green.

Everything we told you about the 2012 Ford Grand C-Max? It pretty much applies to the five passenger version, well, except the additional third row of seating. And because it's rowically-challenged, there's no need for that fancy flip-folding-universe-inverting center row center seat section that disappears under the right side seat. That said, what you will get is a C-segment taller-Focus with a ton of functionality, great style and a wide selection of engines. The main difference, as of this writing, is if you live in the US there are no plans to sell it to you.


There are worse things in life than missing out on the C-Max. Consider for a moment Ford's current compact car lineup: 2-door Focus, 4-door Focus. That's it, and neither of those are exactly setting the world on fire unless there's a $4,500 government incentive to buy 'em. As of 2011, we'll be inundated with Ford small cars. There will be the new Focus, in sedan and five door hatch flavors, the Fiesta as a sedan and four door hatch, (and two door sport coupe from what we hear) along with the Grand C-Max, and Battery Electric Focus. That's a helluva a leap in product in just a little over two years.

Now, nobody's saying the US won't get the five-pass C-max, but when pressed on the question of "Why no five door in the US?" at a product briefing, vice president of global product development Derrick Kuzak only offered the statement "We're here to talk about the seven passenger," now, that could mean any number of things, but it's not a no. That said, Ford's setting themselves up to play bloody knuckles with Japanese and Korean manufacturers on the small-car front in the US, we'll see how things go.


Dearborn, Mich., Sept. 15, 2009 – Ford Motor Company's reveal of the all-new C-MAX range at the Frankfurt Motor Show today marks the launch of a new generation of global C-cars, including the next-generation Ford Focus set to debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.

Ford's new C-vehicle family is the result of an unprecedented global development program that will deliver for customers an array of available advanced technologies aimed at enhancing their convenience, comfort, safety and overall driving experience.

"Under our One Ford philosophy, we have been able to harness the talents of our Global Product Development team in designing and developing vehicles for all markets," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development.

"With the efficiency and time-to-market speed of our Global Product Development system, Ford's global team is bringing to our customers a worldwide family of vehicles that are truly exciting in design and packed with an unexpected level of features and technologies," he added.

Currently, Ford Motor Company uses three distinct vehicle platforms for its global C-car lineup. In 2008, combined sales of the three platforms were approximately 1 million vehicles in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.

Moving forward, models built from Ford's new global C-car platform will be sold in all regions, and total sales are expected to exceed 2 million units annually by 2012, with a variety of body styles fulfilling the demands of C-car customers worldwide. The new platform is expected to ultimately underpin up to 10 unique models.

"Ford's new C-sized family will be the strongest demonstration yet of how we're harnessing the company's global resources to deliver real customer benefits," Kuzak said.

New C-MAX is first
The first members of the family to break cover are the 5-seat and 7-seat versions of the new
C-MAX. With a bold and dynamic redesign aligned with Ford's acclaimed "kinetic design" language, C-MAX will bring new levels of style and desirability to the compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV) market.

Both versions of C-MAX – which will be built for Europe at Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain – will be available in major European markets by late 2010. The 7-seat model is scheduled to launch in North America in late 2011 and is the promised "whitespace" entry.

The 5-seat C-MAX departs from usual MAV thinking in Europe by adopting a sportier feel with a stylish passenger-car look, while the larger 7-seat C-MAX features twin sliding doors and innovative seat design to provide outstanding space and flexibility.

Most of the new technologies and features introduced with the C-MAX, plus further innovations, will cascade into future members of the new C-car family, including the all-new Ford Focus that debuts in Europe and North America in late 2010 and soon after in the Asia Pacific region.

"The Focus is very special to Ford. When it was revealed in 1998, it represented a huge step forward for us in terms of style and desirability over its predecessor," said Kuzak. "It truly changed the perception of Ford for many people, and we're hoping to win even more new customers when the new Focus is introduced next year."

Ford EcoBoost advanced powertrains
In many markets, the new C-car family will be offered with versions of Ford's new EcoBoost engines. EcoBoost combines direct petrol injection, turbocharging and dual variable valve timing to maximize efficiency, resulting in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 20 percent compared with conventional gasoline engines with a similar power output.

The initial Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder lineup will comprise 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter engines. The engines will be available globally, with versions launching in Europe and North America in 2010, and the first rear-wheel-drive application in the Ford Falcon in Australia in 2011. By 2013, nearly 80 percent of Ford global nameplates will have an available EcoBoost option.

"The fundamental shift in our business model already has been demonstrated by the global reach of the Ford Fiesta and Transit Connect. The next generation of C-cars and the EcoBoost engine range are further evidence of our determination to make One Ford a reality," said Kuzak. "We recognize that the quality, innovation and desirability of our products are what matter most, and we intend to use our worldwide strength to deliver real benefits to our customers."

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What? No 3 door Focus? This is the one I want!