2010 Ford C-Max Sport Picture

2010 Ford C-Max Sport

Ford’s latest compact people carrier is shaping up nicely. This is the forthcoming new C-MAX, which debuts a fresh look that mixes styling cues from the S-MAX with the recently launched Kuga SUV. But the best news is that it will have seven seats.

The current car has proved extremely popular thanks to its combination of a clever five-seater layout and great dynamics. However, the second-generation model will take that to new heights by featuring an extra rear bench for the first time, allowing it to go head-to-head with Vauxhall’s Zafira. Sitting on a totally new platform from the upcoming third-generation Focus, the C-MAX promises to be the best-handling car in its class. Our spies have already caught engineers testing a prototype, clad in a stretched and widened bodyshell from the current car. Look at our spy shots and you can clearly see the flared wheelarches and extra metalwork around the B-pillar, which gives more rear space.

Inside, the new seven-seater arrangement is modelled on the S-MAX’s set-up, with fold-flat seats and a large boot. As with the car’s stablemate, Ford will probably offer a five-seat version, too, although to cut costs it is unlikely that this will get a separate bodystyle as with the Scenic and Grand Scenic from rival Renault. Cabin quality will take a big leap forward, borrowing its design and materials from the Kuga off-roader.

2010 Ford C-Max

Engines will probably be carried over from the current car, with a range of 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol and diesel units, including a low-emission ECOnetic oil-burner. There’s also the possibility that Ford’s new EcoBoost line-up of small turbocharged petrol powerplants could debut in the new MPV.

Standard transmission will be a five or six-speed manual, with Ford’s new twin-clutch semi-automatic Powershift box available as an option. Expect sales to start in 2010.

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