While leaving the Automobile Magazine office yesterday, we spotted something not-quite-right for U.S. roads — a European Ford C-Max. And this mini people-mover was seen just days after Ford announced that it would not be bringing a non-hybrid variant of the C-Max to the U.S.
At first glance, this prototype seems to be the shorter, five-door C-Max (not the longer, seven-seat Grand C-Max we were slated to receive next year) sporting some revised body work to hide a new powertrain. Our first guess was that it was packing the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine, given the presence of the intercooler and a turbocharger boost gauge mounted on the A-pillar.
However, a source close to the program told us that the prototype was not, in fact, for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, but for a non-turbocharged direct-injected I-4, similar to the 2.0-liter I-4 in the 2012 Focus but potentially with a larger displacement.That boost gauge on the A-pillar? Just a stop-gap measure for engineers to monitor injection pressure in the engine.
No matter what powertrain the C-Max was hiding under its masked snout, it was still interesting to see it up close and personal on U.S. soil. It’s a petite MPV — essentially a tall Focus hatchback — and could make for an interesting niche offering in the states. When the C-Max hit our shores late next year, it will be offered only as either hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
What do you think? Should Ford bring over a non-hybrid version of the C-Max? Check out our shots below to see the C-Max prototype in all its glory.