|All-new, 7-seat Ford C-MAX. Click to enlarge.|
Ford will launch the all-new, 7-seat C-MAX, introduced this past week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in North America in late 2011 as a “whitespace” vehicle. (Earlier post.) C-MAX is the first of a new generation of Ford global C-cars scheduled for introduction during the next several years, including the next-generation Ford Focus. The new C-car architecture will underpin more than 2 million vehicles per year worldwide.
In North America, the C-MAX will be one of up to 10 unique models the company will create from an all-new global C-car platform developed under its One Ford strategy. The all-new, next-generation Ford Focus sedan and five-door hatchback models are scheduled to launch late in calendar year 2010 in the United States.
With the market introduction of the 7-seat C-MAX in late 2011, Ford will offer customers in North America three distinct models in the compact segment, which is expected to show continued growth in the coming years. According to Ford analysts, small cars in the B- and C-segments accounted for less than 15% of the US market in 2004. In year-to-date sales through August 2009 however, the small car segment has reached nearly 22% of total industry sales, and further gains are expected.
C-MAX. Ford introduced two pre-production C-MAX models at Frankfurt: the 7-seat Grand C-MAX as well as a 5-seat model. In addition to upgraded versions of Ford’s highly acclaimed TDCi diesel engines, the new C-MAX line-up for Europe will also feature a choice of gasoline engines, including the first application of Ford’s all-new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine, to be built at the company’s Bridgend plant in Wales. (Earlier post.)
Ford’s new global family of EcoBoost 4-cylinder engines have been developed by Ford powertrain engineers based in Europe and are being progressively introduced to the European product range starting in 2010. EcoBoost combines turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 20% compared to conventional larger displacement gasoline engines with a similar power output.
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 number of features to improve practicality and safety for family users. These 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 rear tailgate.
Offering seating for up to seven, the C-MAX destined for North America features a high roofline and thin pillars to emphasize the room and visibility in the cabin. To maximize the versatility of the 7-seat layout, Ford engineers developed a 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 walk-through space allows passengers to access the third row without having to disturb the two outer seats. The second- and third-row seats can be folded to create a flat load floor, regardless of how many seats remain in use. All of the folding mechanisms are designed so they operate with just one hand.
Further details of these features and the full technical story for the new C-MAX will be revealed closer to launch in 2010.