Ford Grand C-MAX

The all-new Ford C-MAX range now offers C-segment MAV customers a choice of two alternative models according to their needs - the sporty five-seat Ford C-MAX or the spacious new seven-seat Ford Grand C-MAX.

With the proportion of compact MAV buyers wanting six or seven-seat capability rising towards 50 per cent, it was decided to expand the C-MAX line-up to include a second model which combined the versatility and driving quality of the original model with the additional capacity required by growing families.

The new Ford C-MAX and the Ford Grand C-MAX were carefully developed around the needs of two different sets of target customers. While the C-MAX appeals to a broader age range, the larger Ford Grand C-MAX is the ideal choice for young families.

To deliver the required extra space, the Ford Grand C-MAX has a 140mm longer wheelbase, and is also 58mm higher than the C-MAX. Within its 4.52m overall length, it offers plenty of room for seven passengers, or for five occupants with a generous amount of luggage.

The five-seat C-MAX has very similar exterior dimensions to the current model, retaining the traditional C-MAX virtues of room and practicality. The new model will reinforce its appeal to customers who value its comfortable accommodation, high seating position, flexibility and compact footprint.

Exterior Design

The new Ford C-MAX range demonstrates that compact MAVs can be stylish and desirable while still delivering outstanding space and functionality.

Bold exterior and interior designs have been created using the latest evolution of Ford's kinetic design form language, building on themes established in recent Ford models like the hugely successful Ford Fiesta, Ford Kuga and Ford Mondeo ranges.

2011 Ford Grand C-MAX Front Angle

Striking 'kinetic design' elements applied to the new models include the dynamic rising belt-line, full sculptured surfaces, bold wheel lips, strong athletic shoulders supported by a prominent undercut line, and the distinctive kick-up of the window graphic at the C-pillar.

The front end design features Ford's signature trapezoidal lower grille - chrome edged on high series models - and the eye-catching new headlamp treatment that was previewed by the Ford iosis MAX Concept.

Distinct Characters

Although the two models are identical up to the B-pillar, the new Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX have very distinct characters, reflecting the differing priorities of the typical customers for each model.

The five-seat C-MAX departs from traditional MAV thinking by adopting a sportier feel with a stylish passenger-car look. It features a coupé-like, sweeping roofline which falls off to the rear, but without compromising the interior comfort and practicality of the vehicle.

Clearly a member of the contemporary Ford family, its window graphic follows the bold form already familiar from the Fiesta and Kuga, with a strong kick-up after the C-pillar. At the rear, the tailgate design has echoes of its larger Ford S-MAX sibling with a sportier treatment of the rear window.

Equally dynamic in character yet signalling its more functional approach, the seven-seat Ford Grand C-MAX also uses bold graphics, yet its overall shape highlights the extra space and versatility provided by the car.

With its longer wheelbase, the seven-seat model features a higher roofline and thin pillars which emphasise the generous room and visibility on offer within the cabin.

Twin sliding rear side doors are seen for the first time on a Ford passenger vehicle in Europe, and are neatly integrated with the rail cleverly concealed by the undercut line on the shoulder of the vehicle. The large tailgate design ensures a low loading height, while the stylish intersection between the tail lamps and rear glass gives the car a family resemblance to the Galaxy, Ford's largest people mover.

The stylish and dynamic appearance of both C-MAX models is combined with very streamlined aerodynamic performance. During the design process, sophisticated computer modelling and detailed wind tunnel testing were used to ensure that aerodynamic efficiency was not compromised, resulting in very competitive Coefficient of Drag (Cd) values of 0.30 for C-MAX and 0.32 for Ford Grand C-MAX to help maximise fuel economy.

Interior Design

Inside the new C-MAX, the same kinetic design philosophy is used to shape the distinctive features and surfaces, ensuring that the dynamic and modern character of the exterior is reflected in the style of the cabin.

The main design themes are an evolution of those developed for the latest generation Ford Fiesta, with muscular, expressive shapes and very bold graphics which are inspired by the stunning forms explored in the 2009 iosis MAX concept car.

Key design features include the taut, wing-like section of the upper instrument panel (IP), which reaches out to the sides of the interior. A dramatic 'bull horn' shape - which is finished in a contrasting metallic colour - sweeps down from the lower IP, emphasising the smooth flow from the IP into the centre console.

The upper IP is a soft-touch, slush-moulded design which is beautifully integrated, wrapping smoothly around the other features on the IP with no visible gaps. Subtle, contrasting colour schemes further enhance the premium, high quality feel.

The cockpit approach - which is common to both C-MAX models - provides a raised 'command bridge' driving position with high mounted gearshift and centre console. The instrument cluster has a stylish, sporty appearance with the main dials beings housed in round, chrome rimmed binnacles.

Colours and Materials

Interior colours and trim materials were carefully designed for the new C-MAX family to reinforce the premium and contemporary feel established by the interior design. The emphasis was on the use of high quality, authentic materials and elegant, harmonious colour combinations.

Customers have a choice of three distinct series options, each with its own unique character highlighted through differing colour contrasts and fabrics:

  •     Ambiente - offers an authentic, inviting cabin with a subtle contrast of dark and mid tones on the two-colour IP, with an elegant dark metallic finish on the 'bull horn' feature.
  •     Trend - displays a more youthful and contemporary feel, with a silver metallic finish on the 'bull horn' creating a stronger contrast to the dark and mid grey tones of the IP; a bolder patterned seat fabric enhances the contemporary appearance.
  •     Titanium - the premium Titanium series has a distinctly modern and technical character, and is available in a choice of two colour schemes. The Dark option contrasts the grey tones of the IP with a bright Sterling Silver finish on the 'bull horn' and centre console, and the seat fabric has a sophisticated pin-stripe pattern. The Light option features a warm grey/brown tone on the upper IP, contrasting with a light stone colour on the lower IP, seat fabric and carpets; the 'bull horn' and centre console have an elegant mica stone metallic finish. Customers can also select a luxurious full-leather seat trim in both Dark and Light colour options.

Throughout the interior, carefully crafted details enhance the high quality feel of the cabin, and are beautiful to look at, and pleasant to touch.

All vehicles feature an authentic satin chrome finish on the door releases, grab handles, instrument binnacles and on the gear lever surround, while the adjustment wheels for the air vents have a bright high-gloss chrome finish.

Titanium models include a number of further special details, including satin chrome highlights on the upper steering wheel spokes, Ford Power engine start/stop button, hand brake lever and the outer air vent surrounds.

Both C-MAX and Grand C-MAX are available in a choice of eleven exterior paint finishes, including two new metallic colours: Midnight Sky, a sophisticated blue grey tone, and Mars Red, a striking bronze red colour.

The C-MAX model is also available in its own unique metallic finish - the stunning yellow gold Limelight tone which was first seen on the 2009 iosis MAX concept car.

Ford Grand C-MAX Seating Concept

The seating concept and door layout for the new seven-seat Ford Grand C-MAX was finalised after detailed research with typical family groups which identified the most popular configurations for a compact MAV vehicle.

Families with young children were invited to sample a choice of MAV vehicles, and to perform a number of common tasks: folding and removing seats; securing infants in their child seats; loading a range of belongings; and gaining access to the second- and third-row seats. Children were even asked where they preferred to sit, and what the easiest route to get there was.

Based on this input, a final design was conceived which allows spacious and versatile accommodation for up to seven passengers within compact exterior dimensions, with class-leading convenience and practicality for family users.

The design was refined using Ford's advanced 3D Computer Aided Virtual Engineering (CAVE) system. The CAVE creates a virtual, full-sized interior of a car, so that issues such as visibility and perceived roominess in the second and third rows could be tested and optimised during the early design stages.

Twin Sliding Rear Doors

Customer research proved that sliding rear side doors were strongly preferred to conventional hinged doors, both for the improved access they provide - such as when helping young children into child seats - and for the added convenience in narrow parking bays.

The Ford Grand C-MAX features twin sliding rear doors which have been designed to provide a generous opening width with an optimised mechanism so that the doors slide smoothly with low operating efforts. To improve safety, an active door stop ensures that the door cannot close unexpectedly, for example when the vehicle is parked on a slope.

Inside the vehicle, a high-mounted 360° grab handle on each door incorporates the release button, so that the doors are simple to open or shut with one hand. The door incorporates a comfortable arm rest, a small holder suitable for a drinks can, power windows (standard on all models), and an optional sun blind.

Ingenious 'Walk-Through' Seating Concept

Customer research proved that the most popular and versatile seating arrangement for seven-seat vehicles allowed passengers - typically younger children - to access the third row directly, without the need to tilt or fold the second row seats.

Ford engineers therefore modified the traditional 2+3+2 seating layout by developing an ingenious new seat folding concept for the second-row seats. This features a mechanism which allows the centre seat to fold quickly and easily under the right-hand seat cushion, creating a handy 'walk-through' space between the two outboard seats.

This allows passengers to access the third row without needing to disturb the two outer seats, which is particularly helpful when these positions are occupied by child seats or booster cushions. Owners thus have the option of deploying a convenient 2+2+2 seating layout, or switching quickly to a full seven-seater when required.

The 'walk-through' concept has been implemented without any compromise to the traditional seating flexibility expected in a MAV vehicle.

The two outer second-row seats can recline and slide independently, and when passengers wish to enter the third row via the conventional route, they tilt and slide forward an extended distance, to provide easier access. The smaller centre seat is linked to the right-hand seat, and the pair recline and slide together.

The second- and third-row seats have also been cleverly engineered so that they can be folded down to create a flat load floor, irrespective of how many seats remain in use. All of the folding mechanisms are designed so that they operate quickly and easily, and require just one hand to operate.

For customers who do not require the additional seating capacity but want the extra space, the Ford Grand C-MAX is also available as a five-seat vehicle, without the two third-row seats.

Panoramic Roof with Electric Blind

The feeling of space and comfort in both Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX cabins can be further enhanced with a fixed panoramic glass roof which covers almost the entire roof area.

Dark tinted to avoid glare, the panoramic roof has a standard 'Solar Reflect' coating to minimise heat intrusion, and an electrically-operated internal blind to provide shade and privacy when required.

LED Interior Lighting

Titanium models feature an advanced ambient lighting system which uses LED technology to provide a contemporary, premium feel to the interior when travelling at night.

The ambient lighting uses a sophisticated red colour, with LEDs providing precise pools of illumination around the overhead console, the door release handles, the door pockets, and along the 'bull horn' trim to the glove box.

Both the standard interior lighting and the cockpit illumination use Ford's new Crystal Blue colour scheme. The dome lamps situated in each row feature bright LED lights, providing superior illumination and giving a harmonised, modern appearance.

Advanced Ventilation and Air Conditioning

The new C-MAX family has a powerful heating and ventilation system which has been carefully developed to maintain a comfortable environment for all passengers, even when the vehicles are fully laden.

The instrument panel has a generous number of air outlets, with the two large outer vents and two vertical vents high on the centre console being complemented by two additional horizontal outlets underneath the audio controls.

Titanium models feature dual-zone automatic climate control, with an additional pair of vents for rear-seat passengers in the centre console unit. On the Ford Grand C-MAX, there are two further vents mounted on the B-pillars.

New C-MAX Driving Quality

The previous C-MAX demonstrated that a multi-activity vehicle (MAV) could still offer enjoyable driving dynamics, without compromising comfort and refinement. In developing the new model, Ford engineers set themselves the target of not only making the car even more fun to drive, but also delivering a major improvement in refinement and noise levels.

Achieving these often conflicting objectives required a major investment in new technologies for the body structure and chassis, along with close attention to detail in optimising the driving dynamics and the levels of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH).

The resulting vehicle sets new standards for driving quality in the compact MAV segment, giving customers a unique combination of responsive, sporty handling, and overall refinement which approaches the levels found in larger luxury vehicles.

2011 Ford Grand C-MAX Interior

Advanced Chassis Systems

The new C-MAX features a stronger, stiffer structure and a comprehensive range of new and updated chassis technologies to ensure that it delivers class-leading driving dynamics and refinement.

Many of the body and chassis features were an integral part of Ford's new global C-car platform, which has been developed with outstanding driving quality as a primary objective.

Optimised Body Structure

The optimised body structure of the new C-MAX range is significantly stiffer than the outgoing model, with a particular focus on the performance of the chassis attachment points. Special attention was given to increasing local stiffnesses in the areas of main importance for vehicle dynamics and NVH, rather than just increasing body stiffness as a whole.

At the front end of the vehicle, the suspension top mounts have been linked together by a sheet metal tower brace, which is integrated with the bulkhead. This bracing delivers a significantly stiffer front-end structure, reducing NVH and contributing to improved steering feel.

At the rear, the shock absorber towers have been stiffened with local strengthening which follows the line of the D-pillar. This additional stiffness reduces body flex, enhancing rear suspension performance and helping to reduce noise in the rear seating area.

The body structures for the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX were optimised separately, to account for the longer wheelbase and increased weight of the larger model.

Front and Rear Suspension

The chassis design of the new C-MAX is an evolution of the innovative concepts used in the current Focus and C-MAX. The suspension systems have been comprehensively updated, with optimised new designs for the 'Control Blade' multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front subframe.

The front suspension is based on the same MacPherson strut arrangement, but with lighter and re-optimised components, and a wider front track (increased by 10 to 15mm depending on wheel specification). The updated specification includes:

  • Lighter, weight-optimised front lower control arms
  • Re-designed, lightweight front sub-frame (saving 2 kg per vehicle)
  • New hollow anti-roll bar (saving 2 kg per vehicle)
  • Revised anti-roll bar mounting to improve roll control
  • Improved damper valve technology for improved ride comfort and road noise while maintaining body control
  • Re-optimised bushes to reduce transmission of road noise and vibration

The rear suspension also has a wider track (increased by 24 to 29mm depending on wheel specification), and features an updated version of the much acclaimed independent 'Control Blade' multilink suspension system. The key elements of the new system include:

  • Re-optimised 'Control Blade' design
  • Increased diameter dampers for improved ride comfort and road noise while maintaining body control
  • Larger hub bearings for increased camber stiffness and handling precision
  • Revised anti-roll bar mounting to improve roll control
  • Individually tuned suspension settings for C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models
  • Re-optimised bushes to reduce transmission of road noise and vibration

Electric Power-Assisted Steering

The new C-MAX range uses a completely new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which plays a key role in delivering the more dynamic driving experience offered by the new model.

The EPAS system is the latest rack-mounted design, which is capable of delivering precise steering with a natural and confident feel. The system has been carefully tuned with sophisticated speed mapping to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking manoeuvres.

Compared to the outgoing model, the steering ratio on the new C-MAX has been reduced from 16:1 to 14.7:1, creating a more responsive and direct feel.

In addition to supporting the introduction of the Active Park Assist semi-automatic parking feature, the EPAS system also features Pull-Drift Compensation, which minimises the annoying holding effort when driving along roads with a heavy camber, or with a constant side wind.

Because the EPAS steering system only provides power assistance when required, it also reduces fuel consumption by approximately 3 per cent compared to a conventional hydraulic power steering system.

Standard Torque Vectoring Control

The all-new C-MAX is also unique in its class by standardising an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system to further improve cornering stability and agility. The Torque Vectoring Control system, which is more typically found on high-performance cars, will also be available on the next-generation Ford Focus.

Torque Vectoring Control uses the car's braking system to imitate the effect of a torque vectoring differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the two front wheels to suit driving conditions and road surface.

In particular, when accelerating through tight corners, the system applies braking to the front inside wheel so more of the engine torque goes to the outside wheel, which provides more grip and better handling. The system is designed not only to delight experienced and enthusiastic drivers, but also to provide less experienced drivers with confidence and control, especially in difficult driving conditions.

Class-Leading Vehicle Dynamics

In developing the new C-MAX, Ford's dynamics specialists wanted to give the vehicle a more agile and sporty feel, while also achieving significantly improved levels of comfort and refinement.

To provide the required increase in agility, the primary focus was on optimising the all-new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system to deliver the kind of precise, natural feel which is an important characteristic in all of the latest Ford models.

"We tried EPAS systems on our C cars before, but the technology was not mature enough to provide the steering feel we wanted," explains Norbert Kessing, Vehicle Dynamics Manager. "When developing the new global C platform, however, we were able to identify an EPAS system which delivered the accuracy and responses we were looking for."

Having selected a suitable EPAS system, Ford engineers conducted an exhaustive analysis using a unique test rig to help identify the optimum way to configure the steering control system to achieve the precision and feel they wanted.

This was followed by a massive tuning effort in prototype vehicles, adjusting the EPAS control system until the steering provided a natural, confident feel and delivered exactly the required vehicle responses.

The EPAS system helped the new C-MAX achieve a level of agility and precision which is unique in the MAV segment.

"Just because you choose to drive a MAV, it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy an agile and responsive vehicle," says Kessing. "The new C-MAX steering sets new standards for an EPAS system."

Ford's Vehicle Dynamics team also gave a high priority to the meticulous tuning of springs, dampers and suspension bushes to ensure that the responsive handling was matched by a high level of comfort and refinement.

Particular attention was given to achieving a well controlled ride without any harsh vertical movements, enabling the C-MAX to offer the kind of refined, smooth ride that is more typical of larger saloon.

Reduced Noise, Vibration and Harshness

Achieving class-leading levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) was a primary goal for the new C-MAX range, with a major effort to create a balanced and harmonious sound character by reducing the individual contributions of powertrain noise, wind noise and road noise along with any unwanted vibrations, squeaks or rattles.

Particular attention has also been given to reducing all operational noises within the vehicle, to help emphasise the perception of quality for occupants.

The result is a vehicle which approaches the standards of refinement and comfort more typically found in larger luxury vehicles.

Powertrain NVH

Efforts to reduce powertrain NVH focused on detailed optimisation of engines, transmissions and exhaust systems, eliminating unwanted noises at source and enhancing the natural behaviour of the powertrains to create a more refined, yet powerful, sound character. Additional sound insulation and absorption materials within the vehicle have also been used in an effort to optimise and reduce the noise transfer into the cabin.

Particularly significant improvements have been made with both the 2.0- and 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engines. New fuel injection systems - capable of multiple injections per cycle - and an optimised calibration strategy have significantly reduced combustion noise and impulsiveness. Engine radiated noise has been reduced by a new acoustic top cover, and by a re-engineered engine structure with a two-piece bottom end on the 2.0-litre unit which improves structural rigidity.

Other unwanted noises have also been minimised through a series of measures in the injection system, turbo assembly and base engine, including common rail inlet orifices, air induction inlet guide vanes (2.0-litre TDCi only) and intake system dampers as well as with an optimised primary drive system.

With the addition of these new features, the diesel engines have been engineered to achieve class-leading noise levels and refinement throughout the engine operating range.

Wind Noise

To help reduce wind noise, the C-MAX adopts the same door structure and sealing concept as used on the latest S-MAX and Galaxy, including a three-lip continuous glass run design and an optimised exterior mirror shape and sealing.

The C-MAX windscreen incorporates a special acoustic layer, which significantly reduces noise transmission in a frequency range critical for wind noise and other high frequency noises.

Compared to the previous model, increased glass thicknesses have been used in the side glass and tailgate area, combined with an additional focus on achieving class-leading levels of body sealing.

All these changes result in a significant noise reduction, a more consistent sound level distribution within the cabin and overall wind noise performance which is comparable to larger luxury cars.

Road NVH

The C-MAX's improved body structure, with increased torsional rigidity, stiffened front and rear subframes and selective application of dynamic absorbers, plays a major role in reducing road-induced noise and vibration.

The local body stiffnesses at the attachment points of the chassis components have also been significantly increased. For example, the rear top mount stiffness has been improved by 60 per cent using advanced methods of structural optimisation.

The effectiveness of these enhancements has been maximised through rigorous attention to detail in tuning the stiffness and compliance of suspension bushes, application of sound deadening material on certain body panels, and in optimising tyre performance with the suppliers.

Particular attention has also been given to providing additional noise insulation materials for the rear cabin, so that noise levels are minimised whatever seating configuration is being used.

A new type of foam-backed heavy layer carpet gives highly effective insulation across the whole floor area, while the optimised application of self expanding foams in specific body cavities, an acoustically optimised dash isolation concept and additional sealing efforts on trim parts all contribute to higher levels of isolation.

The result of this comprehensive approach is a reduction in overall road noise levels over the outgoing model in the range of 2 db(A), representing class-leading levels of refinement.

Source: Ford

Gallery: Ford Grand C-MAX (2011)