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 |  Oct 01 2010, 7:47 AM

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Ford has just unveiled its new Grand C-Max minivan at the Paris Auto Show, which is set to go on sale in North America in the near future. We’d like to say that when compared to the Windstar the Grand C-Max looks and feels far superior, but that wouldn’t be giving the new van much credit.

The three-row van isn’t actually a replacement for the old exploding transmission/faulty headgasket minivan, as vehicles in the segment have grown to tremendous proportions over the last decade and a half. Based on the new ford Focus architecture, the Grand C-Max will compete with models like the Mazda5.

As a result of the smaller compact car platform, the Grand C-Max will offer excellent fuel economy. It’s not year clear what engines will be offered in the U.S., with a possibility that Ford could offer the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder direct-injection motor from the Focus, while an EcoBoost 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is also a strong possibility.

Normally we’d be apprehensive that the U.S.-spec model would be nothing like the Euro-spec trim, but considering what Ford has done with the Fiesta, we’ll hold out hope.

GALLERY: Ford Grand C-Max

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 |  May 10 2010, 7:51 PM

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After having just announced a C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid for the European market, Ford has now confirmed a seven-seat Grand C-Max for North America. Based off the new Focus platform, the Grand C-Max will compete in an emerging segment currently dominated by the Mazda5.

Ford, which owned the majority of Mazda up until about a year ago has since sold off much of its stake in the Japanese automaker, but realized the potential of the Mazda5 model in offering 4-cylinder fuel economy with most of the functionality of a minivan – including sliding rear doors.

Interestingly, General Motors doesn’t seem to have much faith in the MPV market, announcing recently that it would not bring its Chevy Orlando model to the U.S. (although it will go on sale North of the border in Canada, where the Mazda5 is a hit).

We expect the Grand C-Max to bow in 2011 as a 2012 model, with the choice of either a direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or For’s new EcoBoost 2.0-liter.

GALLERY: Ford Grand C-Max

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Official release after the jump:

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