Being added to Ford's impressive range of family-oriented MPVs is a new seven-seat Grand C-MAX model. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the MPV was revealed alongside a five-seat C-MAX, which will go on sale in autumn 2010.
The Grand C-MAX, which is a long-wheelbase version of the C-MAX, will slot between the C-Max five-seater and the S-Max to rival compact seven-seaters such as the Renault Grand Scenic and VW Touran.
With this new Grand C-Max model, Ford is aiming to get at least as much success as that of the S-Max, which chipped off some of the market share of the leading Renault Espace. Due to the high sales of the S-Max, Ford's UK sales of MPVs doubled. The seven-seat Grand C-Max is based on the next-generation Focus platform and features a 150mm stretch to accommodate a third row of seats.
A first for a Ford passenger car is the model's pair of sliding rear doors. Also available as an option is a powered tailgate.
The central chair of the second row tumble-folds and then stores inside the neighboring seat, opening a central aisle through the cabin. If you´re truly observant, you may notice that this arrangement, including the sliding rear doors, is similar to the set-up on the Mazda 5.
It has not been confirmed yet whether the next-generation Mazda 5 shares its platform with the Ford but it appears likely. Due to the Focus's independent rear suspension, the Grand C-Max is likely to have dynamics to beat its class.
Ford says that the Grand C-Max will build on Ford's reputation for excellent driving. It is believed that the new seven-seat Focus-based MPV will go on sale in America at the end of 2011. It will be mostly unchanged, except for minor tweaks to comply with US regulations.