Remember When You Swore In That Web Forum That You Would Buy A Turbocharged, Compact Minivan? We'll Take Your Deposit Now…
Ever wonder what they call Canadian geese in Canada? Me too. I asked a Canadian, but she didn’t speak much English, she was facing away from me during the dance, and I couldn’t hear her over the DJ anyway.
This is the new “Grand C-Max” by Ford. In Europe, the C-Max is a “tall wagon” five-seater that competes with both the “Golf Plus” and the 1987 Honda “Wagovan”. VW sued on that. Said it was too close to the Vanagon. Anyway, there’s a bit of a fetish in Europe for hatchbacks that are just like regular hatchbacks only taller. I have no idea why. They aren’t any more useful. Think of it as our mini-SUV fetish. It’s just that stupid.
Back to this Grand C-Max, which is a small seven-seat minivan. Here in Sarah Palin’s America, there’s no regular C-Max, so the Grand C-Max is now the C-Max. You can have a turbocharged engine with it and a panoramic roof. Remember when you were trying to impress someone else on your favorite web forum and you said that, and I quote, “the only thing keeping me from buying a new car is the COMPLETE LACK of European turbo minivans?” Oops!
It’s 178 inches long on a 109.7 inch wheelbase. The original 1984 Chrysler minivan, to put this in perspective, was 175.9 inches long on a 112-inch wheelbase, and the 2011 Toyota Sienna is 200.2 inches long on a 119.3-inch wheelbase.
The base engine is the 2.5L Duratec we know from the current Focus, and there’s an optional 1.6L EcoBoost turbo. As with the Chevrolet Cruze, the purpose of the turbo is to deliver increased fuel economy at the same power level as the larger, naturally-aspirated mill. Both engines twist the traditional Ford six-speed auto.
The C-Max can park itself and there’s a fun little gadget called a “hands-free liftgate”. Just wave a foot at the bumper with the keyfob in your pocket, and the cargo door will magically open. This is great for young mothers or aging kidnappers. There will be some sort of SYNC/myFordTouch interactivity, and a full-length panorama roof is available.
The press release does not mention AWD, but in this market Ford would be wise to eventually make than an option. We’ll be showing you more on the C-Max when it officially debuts at the Detroit Auto Show in mid-January.
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