Ford Grand C-Max - Click above for high-res image gallery
When Ford announced last year that it would build new global C-Segment cars in North America, it mentioned that a compact MPV would join our more traditional Focus models. With the introduction of the new seven-seat Grand C-Max at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Dearborn automaker has confirmed that this larger model will be the first addition to the North American lineup. Ford didn't rule out eventually adding the smaller five-seater, but wouldn't commit to that right now.
The Grand C-Max marks something of a return to the minivan space for Ford after the spectacular commercial failure of the Freestar a few years back. This time around, the Grand C-Max is just slightly larger than the current Mazda 5, which should make it about the same as the original short-wheelbase Chrysler minivans of the Eighties.
The Grand C-Max gets a novel middle row seat with a center section can fold down and collapse into a bundle that slides under the right hand section. This allows it to be transformed from a seven- to a six-seater, giving easy access to the third row. Of course, that third row will only be suitable for small kids and most owners are more likely to simply fold them flat and take advantage of the extra cargo space.
We expect the Grand C-Max to arrive on U.S. shores in late 2011, possibly carrying the "Focus Grand C-Max" title – a moniker which the Blue Oval used in Europe before truncating the name to "C-Max" after the vehicle gained consumer awareness. Check out the high-res image gallery above as well as a couple of videos and the official press release after the jump.
Check out the latest edition of the Autoblog Podcast as Ford's Mark Schirmer and Mark Kaufman join us to discuss the new C-Max, EcoBoost and the rest of the C-Segment vehicles.