Frankfurt Motor Show: Fresh Ford C-Max heralds new engine technology

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Autoblog's Will Powell reports from the Frankfurt Motor Show

The covers are off the more stylish, all-new Ford C-Max and seven-seat Grande C-Max, launched at today's Frankfurt motor show. Both are based on the same platform that will underpin next year's all-new Ford Focus and - perhaps even more crucially - both usher in Ford's new EcoBoost engines, technology that will finally stand the Blue Oval in good stead against VW and it's small yet powerful TSI motors.

Ford claims its new 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine offers the performance of a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre with the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of a 1.6. It's got direct injection and is turbocharged, with versions of the 1.6 engine varying in states of tune between 150-180bhp yet able to offer a twenty percent improvement in fuel economy compared with the outgoing units. A 2.0-litre EcoBoost will also be launched with power outputs varying between 210-280bhp , while a small capacity 1.2-litre is expected in the future. These new units will roll out first on the latest C-Max before rapidly being made available elsewhere in Ford's line-up.

Both the five- and seven-seat C-Max have been designed be more visually appealing than the previous model, as Ford attempts to broaden the car's appeal. The previous model was bought mainly by older people and Ford is keen to appeal to a younger family customer with this one.

The larger seven-seat Grande C-Max (which sits between the standard five-seater and the S-Max) has also been conceived with a view to conquering the American market. It's got a longer wheelbase than the standard model and electric sliding doors for ease of access, but in the metal it's styling seems a little bland and unconvincing, even if it is neatly packaged. The funkier five-seat C-Max meanwhile looks on first impressions like it could succeed in expanding the model's appeal.

The new engines and both versions of the C-MAX go on sale at the start of next year.