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cire

Net Car Show: 2011 Ford C-Max

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I noticed a forum topic about the 2010 Ford Grand C-Max, but I didn't see one about the smaller, short wheelbase C-Max version. I have provided links to NetCarShow concerning this new generation of the C-Max.

Link: 2011 Ford C-Max Main Page (Net Car Show)

Link: 2011 Ford C-Max Front View Wallpaper (Net Car Show)

Link: 2011 Ford C-Max Side View Wallpaper (Net Car Show)

Link: 2011 Ford C-Max Rear View Wallpaper (Net Car Show)

Source: Net Car Show

Edited by cire
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I know this is smaller than the Grand C-Max and only seats up to 5 passengers, but I think it looks cooler than the more minivan-ish Grand C-Max. I like the fact that it has hinged rear passenger doors instead of sliders.

With the Ford brand in line to get the next gen Kuga CUV (which is also based on Ford's C-platform, like the C-Max) as the next gen Escape(?) and Lincoln in line to get a luxury version of the next gen Kuga (hopefully with its own unique exterior/interior design), I would like to see Mercury get this vehicle as the next gen Mariner. I know it will be a departure from the SUV-ish looks of the current Mariner, but it would allow Mercury to have a rather unique (and nice looking) 5-passenger people mover. I would make it a Mercury exclusive.

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Ford is actually in a position to carve out a nice little niche position for Mercury if it allocates some of its future models to the brand as exclusives (which means the Ford and Lincoln brands would not get a version) in the U.S.

A future Mercury lineup could look like this:

* Lynx: Resurrection of Euro Ford Puma. If the attached Auto Express article in the link is true, Mercury could have a sporty 3-door subcompact coupe based on the Ford Fiesta B-platform (Link: Auto Express: Ford's Baby Cat Is Getting Ready To Pounce). The Ford brand could still sell the 3-door Fiesta (as well as the sedan and 5-door) in the U.S., while Mercury could have something a little more stylish and sportier to sell.

* Capri: Resurrection of Euro Ford Capri. If the attached Auto Express article in the link is true (again), Mercury could have a sporty 3-door compact coupe based on the Ford Focus C-platform (Link: Auto Express: Ford Capri Coming At Last). The Ford brand could still sell the next gen 3-door Focus (as well as the sedan and 5-door) in the U.S., while Mercury could have something a little more stylish and sportier to sell.

* Milan: Rumored Ford Mondeo 5-door coupe. If the attached Auto Express article in the link is true (yet again), Mercury could have a sporty 5-door midsize coupe based on the Ford Mondeo EUCD-platform (Link: Auto Express: New Mondeo Coupe Curves Up A Treat). The next gen Ford Fusion would align with the next gen Ford Mondeo sedan while the next gen Milan would align with the Mondeo 5-door coupe, which would give Mercury something more stylish and sportier to sell.

* Villager: Next gen Focus wagon given the "Outback" treatment. Mercury would get the next gen Focus wagon as an U.S. exclusive and it would only be sold in this faux crossover "Outback" type trim. The current Euro Focus wagon is sold in "X Road" trim, so the Villager would essentially be a next gen Ford Focus X Road (Link: Net Car Show: Ford Focus X Road).

* Mountaineer: Next gen Mondeo wagon given the "Outback" treatment. Mercury would get the next gen Mondeo wagon as an U.S. exclusive and it would only be sold in this faux crossover "Outback" type trim. The Mountaineer would no longer be a rebadged Ford Explorer.

* Mariner: 2011 Ford C-Max. Mercury would get the 2011 Ford C-Max as an U.S. exclusive. The next gen Mariner would align with the C-Max while the next gen Escape would align with the Kuga.

* Monterey: Next gen Ford S-Max. Mercury would get the next gen S-Max as an U.S. exclusive. While the regular C-Max only seats up to 5 passengers, the S-Max can seat up to 7 passengers. While the current S-Max still looks a little too minivan-ish for the U.S. market, I would expect the next gen version to utilize Ford's excellent "kinetic" design language and emerge as a much cooler looking MPV (similar to the transformation of the 2011 C-Max). This is what the current S-Max looks like (Link: Net Car Show: 2006 Ford S-Max).

This lineup would give Mercury a series of U.S. exclusives that would set it apart and make it relevant without interfering with the rebuilding or transformation of the Ford or Lincoln brands in the U.S.

The only other product that I would like to see is a resurrection of the Mercury Cougar as a RWD 3-door coupe on the Ford Mustang platform. To keep the Cougar from directly competing with the Mustang, I would take 2 separate design philosophies with these 2 products. The Mustang would continue to feature the iconic retro inspired notchback styling that has worked so well for the current version. The Cougar would feature more modern hatchback styling based on an adaptation of Ford's excellent "kinetic" design language. The base version of the Cougar would share the Duratec 3.7L V6 with the base version of the 2011 Mustang. The sportier version of the Cougar would get the EcoBoost 3.5L V6 while the 2011 Mustang GT would get the 5.0L Coyote V8. Foreign market versions of the Cougar could also be fitted with EcoBoost 4-cylinder engines. The Cougar could be a "world design" that would be sold in Ford's foreign markets while the Mustang could continue to be a North American pony car phenomenon. This strategy would help offset the costs of keeping the Mustang going in the U.S. while also giving Ford a Mercury aligned RWD coupe product it could sell in foreign markets.

Just my thoughts on the matter. I see Mercury as more of a sportier boutique type brand to complement Lincoln's role as a higher volume premium/luxury player. Lincoln's lineup would consist of traditional sedans, CUVs, and retractable hardtop convertibles while Mercury's lineup would feature sporty hatchbacks, faux crossover trimmed wagons, and stylish MPVs. The Ford brand would become the company's super competitive high volume mainstream player in the U.S.

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Lincoln's lineup would look like this:

* MKR: Compact sedan on Ford's C-platform. Styling would be heavily influenced by the MKR Concept.

* MKZ: Midsize sedan. Next gen will be on Ford's EUCD-platform and will feature styling that is totally unique from its Ford Fusion/Mondeo platform mate.

* MKS: Fullsize sedan.

* MK3: Subcompact retractable hardtop roadster on Ford's B-platform.

* MK6: Compact retractable hardtop coupe on Ford's C-platform.

* MK9: Midsize retractable hardtop coupe on Ford's EUCD-platform.

* MKC: Compact CUV on Ford's C-platform. Styling would NOT be significantly influenced by the awkward C Concept. This vehicle will be a platform mate to the next gen Escape/Kuga CUV.

* MKX: Midsize CUV. Next gen will be on Ford's EUCD-platform and will feature styling that is totally unique from its Ford Edge platform mate.

* MKT: Fullsize CUV.

Ford's lineup would look like this:

* Fiesta: Subcompact 3-door, 5-door, and sedan on Ford's B-platform.

* Focus: Compact 3-door, 5-door, and sedan; next gen aligns with the Euro market version on Ford's C-platform.

* Fusion: Midsize sedan. Next gen aligns with next gen Euro market Mondeo on Ford's EUCD platform.

* Taurus: Fullsize sedan.

* Escort: Subcompact CUV. Basically, this will be the next gen Euro market Fusion CUV on Ford's B-platform.

* Escape: Compact CUV. Basically, this will be the next gen Euro market Kuga CUV on Ford's C-platform.

* Edge: Midsize CUV. Next gen moves to Ford's EUCD-platform.

* Flex: Fullsize CUV.

* Aerostar: Compact 7-passenger MPV. Basically, this is the Euro market 2010 Grand C-Max on Ford's C-platform.

* Explorer: Midsize MPV. The next gen Explorer would adopt the SUV-esque styling of the Ford Explorer America Concept as well as adopt the unique sliding rear passenger doors (at least the one featured on the passenger side of the concept) from that concept. This SUV/MPV merger would be built on the Flex's D4-platform and feature seating for up to 7 passengers.

* Mustang: RWD sports car and convertible.

* Ranger: Compact truck. Next gen will be aligned with global version.

* F-150: Fullsize truck.

* Expedition: Fullsize SUV.

* SuperDuty

* Transit Connect

* E-Series

I know I got very carried away with lineup proposals, but I couldn't help it after I saw what Mercury's potential for future relevance could be. I think everything could fit together quite nicely for Ford's U.S. operations. I know most of my posts probably belong in another thread, but I kind of got inspired by the C-Max/next gen Mariner alignment line of thought.

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Cool ideas... I especially like the idea of Mercury getting the sportier European Fords - Capri, for instance - based on mainstream European Fords - Focus, for instance.

VW seems to be doing quite well with both the Scirocco and Golf GTI.

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Cool ideas... I especially like the idea of Mercury getting the sportier European Fords - Capri, for instance - based on mainstream European Fords - Focus, for instance.

VW seems to be doing quite well with both the Scirocco and Golf GTI.

Thanks for the feedback and having the patience to read all that mess! It would just be nice to see Mercury be something distinct and relevant in the market. With Lincoln moving downward sizewise with smaller premium/luxury sedans and CUVs, it seems only natural to take Mercury in a sportier direction. If Euro Ford is going to continue to split out sportier sub-segments like Auto Express has reported, then Ford's U.S. operations should take the opportunity to do something special with Mercury. Now that Ford has pretty much eliminated all their previous distractions (Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and pretty soon Volvo), it should have the time and resources to make their core brands (Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln) stronger and more relevant in the U.S. market.

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