Anyone out there remember when you could utter the phrase, “I’m just going to put a couple bucks of gas in the tank” and you could scrounge around for those spare bucks in your pockets and pretty much end up with a quarter of a tank or more to work with? Nowadays? Those couple bucks get you one notch above running on fumes! The point is, fuel economy is a priority for many of us today.
That’s why Ford is beyond stoked to talk about its new hybrids, the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, both of which go on sale in the second half of 2012. The C-MAX Energi is expected to deliver a better fuel economy equivalent in charge-depleting mode than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid with a 500-mile overall driving range, more than Chevrolet Volt. The new C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to achieve better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius v. The C-MAX hybrids will be the company’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle line and the first MAV (multi-activity vehicle) line in North America.
And, by the way, you think great fuel economy is important to you? Ford might have you beat with its near-term electrification plan; it intends to triple production capacity of its electrified vehicle range by 2013. The C-MAX vehicles will be built on the company’s global C-segment platform and are two of five electrified vehicles Ford plans to launch in North America in 2012.
C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi get their power through the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the two C-MAX vehicles use the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – a powerful and fuel-efficient engine and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.
The electric motors of the C-MAX hybrids are powered by advanced lithium-ion (li-ion) battery systems designed to maximize use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware. Li-ion battery packs are more efficient than nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries. They also are 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than NiMH batteries used in today’s first-generation hybrid vehicles.
The C-MAX line has plenty of other cool attributes beyond crazy-good fuel economy. For example, there’s the new and innovative hands-free liftgate appearing on some new Ford vehicles, allowing for easy access to the cargo department without the need for keys to open it; a kicking motion under the rear bumper opens and closes the liftgate. The newest version of SYNC® with MyFord Touch® is another feature, as is the next generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, giving instantaneous fuel economy info and tips for optimizing regenerative braking for driving range. For the Energi, there is also MyFord® Mobile, a smartphone app that gives you the ability to monitor charging, receive alerts, find charging stations and more via phone or computer. Other available technology for C-MAX includes active park assist, push-button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio, HD Radio™ and voice-activated Navigation System.
In the safety department, the C-MAX hybrids offer standard technologies such as the MyKey® teen safety feature, SYNC 911 Assist™ and seven airbags. SYNC 911 Assist uses hands-free phone capabilities to connect the driver directly with a local 911 operator through the paired phone should an accident occur in which an airbag deploys. The C-MAX hybrids also have driver-assist technologies, including Curve Control, designed to slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast, and Torque Vectoring Control to help accelerate through a turn when necessary. AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC) and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) also are standard.