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
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
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.