An all-new, two-model Ford C-MAX range makes its global debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. The exciting new C-MAX family brings new levels of style and value to the compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV) market, with a striking and vibrant new aspect which spreads Ford's acclaimed "kinetic design" language.
For the first time, Ford's MAV customers will have the choice of a five-seat C-MAX or the new seven-seat Grand C-MAX, which highlights twin sliding doors and innovative seat design to accommodate excellent space and adaptability.
The all-new Ford C-MAX range introduces whole new technologies to the compact MAV class focused on enhanced comfort, safety, and sustainability, including the availability of new and powerful low-CO 2 Ford EcoBoost petrol engines.
The new C-MAX models are also the first products to be launched from Ford's new, global C-segment vehicle platform, and are previewed at Frankfurt in pre-production form prior to their European sales launch in late 2010.
Additionally, Ford is confirming that the Grand C-MAX model will be introduced in North America in late 2011, joining the new Fiesta, the Transit Connect commercial van and the next-generation Ford Focus as one of six European-designed models promised by the company under its "One Ford" strategy.
“Following the tremendous popularity of the S-MAX and Galaxy duo, we plan to extend that opportunity to compact MAV customers with our new expanded C-MAX line-up,” said John Fleming, Chairman & CEO, Ford of Europe. “The spacious seven-seat Grand C-MAX is a brand new entry for us, and combined with the sporty, five-seat model allows us to deliver a class-leading choice of two dynamic and highly-capable family vehicles.
"The significance of the new C-MAX models cannot be overstated as they signal the impending arrival of up to two million vehicles a year in a variety of bodystyles, all based on our new global C-segment platform," Fleming added.
New C-MAX Preview
Expressive, Dynamic Design
The new Ford C-MAX range demonstrates that compact MAVs can be stylish and desirable while still delivering outstanding space and functionality.
“Like the 2009 iosis MAX concept car, the two C-MAX models bring more emotive, dynamic design to the MAV segment,” explained Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Design Director. “We believe we have created two distinctive vehicles which customers will choose for the way they look and drive, and not just because they are practical and versatile.”
Bold exterior and interior designs have been created using the latest evolution of Ford's kinetic design form language, building on the themes established in recent product introductions like the hugely successful Fiesta, Kuga and Mondeo ranges.
Striking kinetic design elements applied to the new models include the dynamic rising belt-line, full sculptured surfaces, bold wheel lips, strong athletic shoulders supported by a prominent undercut line, and the distinctive kick-up of the window graphic at the C-pillar.
Two Distinct Characters
The C-MAX and Grand C-MAX have been deliberately designed with two distinct characters, reflecting the differing priorities of the typical customers for each model.
The five-seat C-MAX departs from usual MAV thinking by adopting a sportier feel with a stylish passenger-car look. It features a coupé-like, sweeping roofline which falls off to the rear, yet still retains the traditional C-MAX virtues of roominess and practicality.
Its window graphic follows the bold form of the Fiesta and Kuga, with a strong kick-up at the C-pillar. At the rear, the tailgate design has echoes of the larger S-MAX, with its sportier treatment of the rear window.
Equally dynamic in character, the seven-seat Grand C-MAX presents a more functional appearance which highlights the extra space and versatility provided by the car. With a longer wheelbase, the seven-seat model features a higher roofline and thinner pillars which emphasize the generous room and visibility on offer within the cabin.
The twin sliding doors are neatly integrated, with the rail cleverly concealed by the undercut line on the shoulder of the vehicle. The large tailgate design ensures a low loading height, while the stylish intersection between the tail lamps and rear glass gives a family resemblance to the Galaxy, Ford's largest people mover.
Stylish and Modern Interior
The new C-MAX interior applies the same kinetic design philosophy used to shape the body, ensuring that the dynamic and modern character of the exterior is reflected in the style of the cabin.
The main design themes are an evolution of those developed for the latest Fiesta, with muscular, expressive shapes and very bold graphics which are inspired by the stunning forms seen on the iosis MAX concept car.
Key design features include the taut, wing-like section of the upper instrument panel (IP), which reaches out to the sides of the interior. A dramatic bull horn shape sweeps down from the lower IP, emphasizing the smooth flow from the IP into the center console.
The cockpit – which is common to both C-MAX models – provides a commanding, raised driving position with high mounted gearshift and center console.
The central control area builds on the much-acclaimed layout in the new Fiesta, with lower series models using the same ergonomic control design, while high series vehicles use next-generation Sony head units with a gloss black finish.
Carefully designed storage areas are located throughout the cabin, including generous door pockets, a large glove box, and additional compartments and cupholders in the center console.
Ingenious seven-seat layout
The new seven-seat Grand C-MAX provides spacious accommodation for up to seven passengers within compact exterior dimensions, with the extra convenience offered by sliding rear doors on both sides of the car – ideal for parents helping young children in child seats, or for easy access in narrow parking bays.
To maximize the versatility of the seven-seat layout, Ford engineers have developed an ingenious new seat folding mechanism for the three second-row seats. This mechanism allows the center seat to fold quickly and easily under one of the two outboard seats, creating a handy walk-through space between them.
This allows passengers to access the third row without having to disturb the two outer seats, which is particularly helpful when those positions are occupied by child seats or booster cushions. Owners thus have the option of using the convenient 2+2+2 seating layout or switching to a full seven-seater when required.
The second- and third-row seats have been cleverly engineered so that they can be folded to create a flat load floor, irrespective of how many seats remain in use. All of the folding mechanisms are designed so that they require just one hand to operate.
The five-seat C-MAX retains the popular seating arrangement from the current model with three individual 40/20/40 folding seats, and the option of the Comfort system which allows the outer seats to slide diagonally backward and inwards to create a spacious 2+2 layout.
The C-MAX range introduces a number of advanced new vehicle and powertrain technologies to the compact MAV class to enhance comfort, safety, and sustainability.
In addition to upgraded versions of Ford's highly acclaimed TDCi diesel engines, the new C-MAX line-up will also feature a choice of petrol engines, including Ford's
1.6-litre four-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine, to be built at the company's Bridgend plant in Wales.
Ford's new global family of EcoBoost four-cylinder engines has been developed by Ford powertrain engineers based in the U.K. and is being progressively introduced to the European product range starting in 2010. EcoBoost combines turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions reduced by up to 20 percent compared to conventional larger displacement petrol engines with similar power output.
Ford EcoBoost technology is more affordable than equivalent hybrid or diesel engine designs and builds on existing petrol engine knowledge to provide customers with a way to improve fuel economy and emissions significantly without compromising driving performance.
The combination of direct fuel injection, advanced turbocharging, and variable valve timing creates a much more efficient combustion process. This enables Ford EcoBoost technology to deliver the strong low-end torque and responsive performance of a large capacity engine, but with the size, weight and fuel economy of a much smaller unit.
The new C-MAX will also feature the option of Ford's latest high-efficiency PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is proving an increasingly popular choice on the current model.
Among the new technologies being introduced to Ford of Europe in the C-MAX range are a host of features which will enhance practicality and safety for family users. These innovations include semi-automatic parallel parking, blind spot detection, seat belt warning lights for rear seat passengers, power-activated child locks and power operation for the tailgate.
Further details of these features and the full technical story for the new C-MAX will be revealed closer to launch in 2010.
New Generation of Global Ford C Cars
The C-MAX is the first of a new generation of global C cars scheduled for introduction by Ford over the next few years. This series of exciting new models will include the launch globally of the all-new, next-generation model of the best-selling Ford Focus from the end of 2010.
The new C car family is the result of an unprecedented global development programme and is loaded with an impressive array of advanced vehicle technologies which will enhance safety, convenience, comfort, and driver satisfaction. Up to two million vehicles per year based on this platform will be sold by Ford around the world when all of the models are launched.
“By concentrating resources on a global family of new C cars, Ford is going to be able to bring its customers some truly exciting designs that are packed with the very latest vehicle technologies,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford's Global C Car Vehicle Line Director. “We can't wait to reveal more details as the vehicles are rolled out!”