The Ford C-Max combines the look and feel of a hatchback with the people and cargo-hauling capability of a crossover. And did we mention that Ford is striving for best-in-class fuel economy at the same time? That's a formula sure to intrigue buyers, but there are some who will want all that utility with the added bonus of even better efficiency.
The first step up the efficiency ladder is the C-Max Hybrid. Ford promises efficiency above and beyond that of the Fusion hybrid, which means more than 41 miles per gallon in the city and an EV-only top speed of at least 47 miles per hour – not a big surprise given improvements to Ford's Powersplit technology. The C-Max hybrid will also utilize Ford's 2.0-liter engine running on the Atkinson cycle, which is quite a bit smaller than the 2.5-liter mill motivating the Fusion.
A quantum eleap beyond the C-Max hybrid is the Energi; an extended range people-mover that can be motivated via battery power, gasoline or a mix of the two. Ford isn't ready to spill beans on the Energi's EV-only range, but The Blue Oval is willing to tell us that owners can expect to travel over 500 miles with a full tank and a complete charge. The Energi's battery pack will be built in-house and based on lithium technology, which tells us this green-approved CUV should be able to drive several miles on batteries alone. And Ford will make it easier for smartphone owners to check out battery life with its upcoming MyFord Mobile app.
Both the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energy will be produced at Michigan Assembly Plant starting in 2012. Click on the galleries below to peruse the high-res images.