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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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