First Look: 2012 Ford C-Max

We first laid eyes on Ford's Focus-based C-Max multi-activity vehicle as a concept at Frankfurt, and it now makes its production debut at the Geneva motor show.

Ford first teased the C-Max with the iosis MAX concept unveiled at the Geneva show earlier this year. It employs Martin Smith's "kinetic" design that will rule the look of virtually all global Fords from midsize on down in the coming years. This will be the first time we get to see the C-Max's interior, production or otherwise.

Competitors in North America will include the Mazda5 and the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando. Its entry into the U.S. market also reflects Ford's belief that the C-segment, or compact size, will overtake the C/D/midsize (Fusion) segment as the predominant car size here in the coming decade. General Motors concurs with Ford on this point.

The C-Max, along with the Mondeo, also marks the debut of Ford's first EcoBoost four-cylinder production engine, a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection unit. Other C-Max features will include semi-automatic parallel parking (as introduced in the Ford Flex/Lincoln MKT) and a blind-spot detection system.

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