Print 10 comment(s) - last by pachai.. on Jan 10 at 1:13 PM

Ford C-MAX Energi

Ford C-MAX Hybrid
C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi to take on Prius MPV, Chevrolet Volt

Last week, Ford's big announcement at CES was the Focus Electric, which is supposed to get roughly 100 miles on a charge. This week, Ford is kicking off the 2011 Detroit Auto Show with two variants of its upcoming C-MAX minivan

Like the standard C-MAX, these two new models are based on the 2012 Focus. However, unlike the standard C-MAX, both of these models have regular forward opening rear doors and seat five (the standard C-MAX has sliding rear doors and seats seven).

Now, here's where things get interesting -- the first new model is the C-MAX Hybrid. Ford isn't really delving too far into specifics, but we do know that it will use the company's powersplit hybrid architecture along with a lightweight lithium-ion battery pack. This will allow the C-MAX Hybrid to achieve fuel economy ratings even higher than the Fusion Hybrid's already impressive 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway EPA rating. It will also be able to travel at up to 47 mph on battery power alone.

The second new model is the plug-in hybrid C-MAX Energi, which is a range-extender hybrid similar in concept to the Chevrolet Volt. Like the Volt, the C-MAX Energi will be able to travel on battery power alone until the lithium-ion pack is depleted. At that point, an Atkinson-cycle gas engine will take over.

While Ford says that the C-MAX Energi will have a total driving range of over 500 miles, it doesn't stipulate how much of that range will come from the battery pack alone.

Like the Focus Electric, the C-MAX Energy will also be paired with MyFord Mobile technology that allows the driver to monitor vehicle functions through a smartphone app. 

"Although C-MAX Energi owners won't have to plug in, by doing so they'll get the benefits of driving in electric mode for longer distances; that can mean fewer trips to the gas station and less emissions when driving," said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford's hybrid and electric programs. "That's why we'll be providing C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid owners with a user-friendly interface and tools like value charging that will help them get the most out of the vehicle's electric mode capability."

Production of the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi is scheduled to kick off in 2012. 

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RE: rear doors
By Iaiken on 1/10/2011 9:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
This car is aimed firmly at the Mazda 5 and other MPV cars and crossovers just like it.

In case you haven't been paying attention to the market, people are going crazy for MPVs/Crossovers and most of these are only around 24 mpg. So for Ford to drop a 41+ mpg car into the segment is a complete and total game-changer for everyone involved. None of the other competitors for this have announced anything like this, it's safe say that they'll be left scrambling to respond.

The C-MAX is basically the perfect car for someone who wants to seat 5 adults comfortably and still have room for luggage, dogs, or an entire server rack in the back.

Lastly, I have to applaud Ford for their uniform styling language. This thing is in line with the rest of the fleet and you can tell from even a tiny thumbnail that this thing is a Ford. It's easy to see from cars like this (not to mention Fusion, Taurus, Fiesta, and the new Focus) why people are ranking Ford higher than Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Chevrolet.

RE: rear doors
By jah1subs on 1/10/2011 10:28:11 AM , Rating: 2
You are absolutely right. Other targets for this include the late Toyota Matrix / Pontiac Vibe and, even the pre-2008 Ford Focus station wagon and Today's Hyundai Elantra Touring.

I was a Ford salesman when the 2008 Ford Focus was announced to dealerships in June (?) 2007. Of course, it was only released as a sedan and a coupe. The first question from the dealership audience was: when will the station wagon be released. The answer: No station wagon, we are reducing the number of body styles to keep our costs down.

My preferred vehicle is a small station wagon with decent command seating and high gas mileage. Ford's current options are the Escape for personal use (low gas mileage) and the Transit (for commercial use - have not seen one yet as a family vehicle).

RE: rear doors
By Brandon Hill on 1/10/2011 10:38:26 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the Prius MPV which is being unveiled at 1:05PM EST today. The C-MAX Hybrid will be going up directly against it (and we'll of course have coverage).

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