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Ford debuts new C-Max in Frankfurt, Grand C-Max coming to North America

September 15, 2009 |  3:35 pm


Ford is going practical at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, debuting not supercars, but rather superminis. Well, superminis in the plus-sized, butter-not-margarine North American market, at least. To Europeans, such cars are average-sized.

The new C-Max made its debut today in Frankfurt, Ford's minivan-esque hatch that slots neatly between the Focus and Mondeo in the automaker's European lineup.

The new C-Max will be available across the pond in two flavors -- the standard five-door hatch and longer wheelbase, sliding door-equipped Grand C-Max. So far, only the Grand C-Max has been confirmed for the North American market, arriving sometime in late 2011,according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development.

Expect the Grand C-Max to be powered by one of Ford's new Ecoboost four-cylinder turbocharged powerplants, which are being developed in 1.6- and 2.0-liter capacities. Look for the 2.0 to replace Ford's naturally aspirated V6 units in the next few years, while the 1.6 will take the place of current large capacity 1.4 engines. Ford is reporting fuel economy improvements of up to 20%.

Minivans have recently declined in popularity (implying that they were once popular) thanks to the rise of the crossover, but it's worth noting that the Mazda5 sold in huge numbers under Cash for Clunkers, driving availability down to its lowest point since the three-row hauler's debut. It would seem Ford wants a piece of the pie.

--Brian Alexander is a staff writer at

Photo: Ford Grand C-Max. Credit: Ford