UPDATE Feb 20 2012: Read about the official cancellation of the 7-passenger MPV C-Max by clicking here.
Yes, old news...still no less disappointing. The comments say it all, really. Mazda must be happy to hear it, while consumers aren't. And yet, it makes sense - even our family opted for the larger Honda Odyssey and were willing to splurge for the frills that it offered, beyond the space. Ah, well. Guess it will take even higher fuel prices and a worse economy to push people into smaller cars.
Original post follows:
More appropriately: what happened to the late 2011 release of the gas-powered 2012 Ford C-Max with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine?
I've written a couple of times about the Ford C-Max, sold in Europe for a few years now, and similar to the Mazda5 in that it is a 5-door "MPV" (small minivan).
Until recently, Ford has a minisite dedicated to the C-Max on its website, touting the benefits of its advanced technology and, important for American drivers, sliding doors that mimic those of a full size minivan.
Now, for some reason, we only see the Energi and Hybrid models on the site under Future Vehicles - without sliding doors - not the gas-powered 2.0L 4-cylinder which was supposed to launch in late 2011 as a 2012 model. What happened?
I've written some of the PR folks and product managers at Ford with no luck. They'd been responsive up until the late spring, when they told me that we can expect to see the C-Max in showrooms late this year, but that the Energi & Hybrid models weren't going to be out until next year. When I was shopping for a minivan and considering the Mazda5 and C-Max as well, it was nice to know there'd be a tech-loaded MPV by the end of the year to look forward to shopping against other offerings. I've already bought my car, but many of the hits on this site are a result of searching for information on the C-Max and, in particular, the Mazda5 vs. the C-Max, so this is likely confusing and disappointing more folks than just me.
I'd invite others to voice their displeasure to Ford by clicking here and contacting Ford's North American PR team as well as their product managers about this. You'll have to register for the site to contact them but it's not just for media.
Even Ford's own website showing the Energi & Hybrid models, which say "Available Fall 2012" under them, show 5-door vehicles without sliding doors, which contradicts with Ford's own minisite it had up this spring for the 2.0L 4-cylinder model.
Hopefully someone else has better luck than me, or at the very least Ford hears the displeasure of its future C-Max customers and responds with some more info.