Feb 25, 2003 - Flexibility, space and versatility are usually the enemies of style and innovation. Our target customers tell us they dont want a MAV that looks like a van with windows. Those rather striking words are from Peter Fleet, director of marketing, Ford of Britain. Hes talking about the development of the Focus C-Max, which first saw light as a concept at the 2002 Paris Auto Show. The C-class vehicle received a good reception, so creating the production version of the five-seat car continued apace. The production version is being introduced at the Geneva Show and will be available in the UK in fall 2003.
A goal of the product is to be one that provides space, along with flexibility, car-like driving qualities, and style, attributes which 89% of MAV intenders are said to be interested in obtaining. What they dont want, of course, is the aforementioned van with windows.
The C-MAX builds on the Focus architecture of a high roof and a high belt line. Says Chris Bird, director of Design, Ford of Europe, We designed the Focus C-MAX to look sporty, solid and modern. Its character line, running from bumper to bumper over the side window, gives the vehicle a unique silhouette that signals its Focus dynamic heritage without compromising on premium interior spaciousness. Part of the means by which a sense of sportiness is achieved for what is essentially a people-mover is by the tapering of the side glass, such that at the rear panes the glass draws in toward itself, indicating, in effect, speed. More than just looking solid, the vehicle which is taller, wider, and features a longer wheelbase than the current Focus is engineered to have a 10% better torsional stiffness. Height notwithstanding, it has a coefficient of drag of just 0.29.
The C-MAX rides on wheels that range in diameter from 15-inches to 18-inches when going for the big tires, it is certainly a case of obtaining the look of something more than your traditional midsize four-door family vehicle.
Inside, the rear seats provide notable flexibility: the center rear seat can slide back into the luggage compartment and the two seats flanking it can move forward, backward, and even diagonally toward the center of the vehicle. Ford has concluded that sometimes there are just four people in a vehicle, so the objective here is to maximize the amount of available space for comfort (part of the Max of the vehicles name). Available amenities include a navigation system and Sony audio systems.
The C-MAX will be equipped with the new 2.0-liter 135 PS Duratorque TDCi, a 133hp common-rail diesel. The turbo diesel is mated to an all-new six-speed transmission. A 1.8-liter gasoline engine that provides 118 hp is also available.