Ford is boosting its offering of family-oriented MPVs with a new seven-seat Grand C-Max model.
The new MPV was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show today and it is a long-wheelbase version of the five-seat C-Max, which was also launched at Frankfurt and will go on sale in autumn 2010.
The Grand C-Max will slot between the C-Max five-seater and the S-Max to battle compact seven-seaters such as the Renault Grand Scenic and VW Touran. Ford is hoping to score a similar sales success to that of the S-Max, which doubled Ford’s UK sales of MPVs and cut into the share of the market-leading Renault Espace.
Based on the next-generation Focus platform, the seven-seat Grand C-Max features a 150mm stretch to accommodate a third row of seats. It also has a pair of sliding rear doors, a first for a Ford passenger car, and an optional powered tailgate.
In the second row of three seats it has a novel arrangement for the central chair, which tumble-folds and then stores inside the neighbouring seat to open a central aisle through the cabin.
This arrangement, plus the sliding rear doors, are similar to the set-up on the Mazda 5. There’s no word yet on whether the next-generation Mazda 5, on sale late next year, shares its platform with the Ford, but it seems likely.
The Grand C-Max also promises class-beating dynamics thanks to the Focus’s independent rear suspension. “The Grand C-Max will build on Ford’s reputation for excellent driving,” says Ford.
Also new in the C-Max is a light-pressure turbo 1.6-litre petrol engine that promises to blend flexible performance with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.