Teased earlier this week, the restyled Ford C-Max crossover and its larger, 7-passenger Grand C-Max sibling have been shown in European trim prior to heading to the Paris Auto Show. The automaker still has no official word on the U.S.-spec 2016 C-Max - which is currently offered here only in Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid configurations. But expect a good deal of the visual changes and a fair bit of the upgraded technology from these freshened vehicles to find their way to America.

Smarter appearance 

Key exterior revisions to the new C-Max are found in the fascias. Up front, a sleeker, inverted trapezoid grille that recalls the Focus is now flanked by slimmer and more chiseled headlamps teamed with bolder, rectangular fog lamps. Euro versions will be available with bi-xenon headlights that offer Ford's auto-correcting/corner-following Adaptive Front Lighting System. Out back, the tailgate features a more refined "one-piece" appearance and benefits from recast rear lamps and will offer a hands-free "kick-gesture" power liftgate culled from the current Ford Escape SUV.   

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Inside, the roomy C-Max cabin gets a Focus-style remake that combines upgraded materials and trim choices with cleaner, more user-friendly controls. On a more practical level, the redesigned center console and glove box offer greater capacity and utility. In-vehicle connectivity and telematics take a major step forward with Ford's latest Sync system that can be had with voice-activated 3D navigation and an 8.0-inch high-res touchscreen as well as a 10-speaker Sony premium audio package. 

Greater refinement  

Enhanced noise-abatement efforts -- from thicker side glass and redesigned alloy wheels to added underhood damping materials and a retuned dual-mass flywheel -- help keep the passenger compartment on this Ford people mover quieter and more serene at any speed. According to Joel Piaskowski, director, Design, Ford of Europe, the comprehensive changes will see the new C-Max deliver "the best driving experience in its segment."

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While European versions of the C-Max will offer a selection of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines - including the 123-horsepower/1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder, there's every reason to believe the 2016 U.S. C-Max set will continue on here in Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid configurations. It's possible Ford may share more details about the upcoming American C-Max next January at the Detroit Auto Show

More Hybrids and Plug-ins...

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