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FRANKFURT SHOW: Grand plans for new Ford C-max

Date: 15 September 2009

Ford has confirmed that its new C-max will come in both five- and seven-seat forms, following the lead of rivals such as Renault and Citroen and meeting one of the main criticisms of the current model.

The seven-seat Grand C-max comes with twin sliding doors to aid access to the rear of the cabin, though the regular five-seat sibling sticks with traditional hinged doors.

As Citroen has done with its C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso model, the five-seat version is designed as a sleeker and more sporty model to accompany the Grand C-max's more flexible and utilitarian approach. The joint models replace the five-seat-only first-generation C-max.

Both models will arrive in the UK late next year, and the range will feature the company's new Ecoboost petrol engines, smaller capacity turbocharged units that offer the same power but with less emissions and better economy.

The Grand C-max features clever seat packaging that means the central seat in the middle row can be folded underneath one of the outer ones to create a walk-through gap for access to the rear row. Ford claims the seat mechanisms have been designed so they can fold flat into the floor in a one-handed operation, leaving a van-like flat load area with the rear five seats stowed.

The C-max will be joined late next year by the new Ford Focus hatchback.