2012 Ford C-MAX: Euro-Sourced Minivan Detailed Ahead of Detroit Show Debut

Ford is returning to the U.S. minivan market with the all-new Focus based and European developed, C-MAX, which will get its debut at the increasingly interesting North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January.

Even though Ford chose to use the C-MAX moniker for the N.A. model, the new compact family vehicle is in fact the alter-ego of the European market Grand C-MAX. The main differences between the EU-spec C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models is that the latter gets a longer wheelbase, sliding rear doors and seating for seven instead of five.

The Detroit-based automaker describes the C-MAX as a 5+2 seater, noting that it can deliver room for up to seven passengers or five occupants with a generous amount of cargo. The second row of seats is equipped with a mechanism that allows the middle seat position to fold quickly under the right-hand seat, creating a walk-through space between the two outer seats so passengers can easily access the third row, as well as two individual, bucket-like seats.

Those not interested in the 5+2 seating arrangement can omit the third row seats as a delete option.

Engine choices for North American buyers will include a base 2.5-liter four-pot and the all-new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, both mated to Ford’s 6F35 automatic six-speed transmission.

Oddly enough, Ford has not said when it plans to sell the C-MAX in the States.