Ford is putting a big "X" on the Prius V.
The U.S. automaker said its dealers began taking orders for its 2013 model-year C-Max Hybrid and is pitching the model as a cheaper, more fuel-efficient alternative to the Toyota Prius V wagon.
Ford will start deliveries of the C-Max Hybrid this fall, while a plug-in hybrid version – the C-Max Energi – will be available by year-end. Ford's pricing the C-Max Hybrid at a base of $25,995, or about $500 less than the cheapest Prius V. While Ford didn't specifically give a miles-per-gallon estimate, the company said the C-Max Hybrid would beat the Prius V's 42-mile-per-gallon-combined rating from the EPA.
Last month, Toyota boosted U.S. Prius sales doubled from a year earlier to 25,168 units in part because of the 3,847 Prius V wagons sold.
Ford, which sold just 1,175 hybrids in April, late last month tapped the first 67 West Coast and New York-area dealers that will sell the Ford Focus Electric and published a map indicating where the EV would be rolled out during the rest of the year.
Ford dealers are now taking orders for the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will be more affordable than Toyota Prius v while achieving better fuel economy
Class-exclusive technologies include hands-free liftgate, active park assist for easier parallel parking and next-generation SmartGauge® with EcoGuide to help customers increase their fuel economy
C-MAX will launch this fall as part of Ford's power of choice strategy to deliver leading fuel economy across its lineup while tripling electrified vehicle production capacity by 2013
DEARBORN, Mich., May 17, 2012 – Ford dealers are starting to place orders for America's most affordable and fuel-efficient hybrid utility vehicle – the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid – with innovative technologies such as a hands-free liftgate, spaciousness for five passengers and cargo as well as the fun-to-drive character shared with well-handling cars including Ford Focus.
The C-MAX is a compact hybrid utility vehicle and the company's first dedicated line of hybrids. The 2013 C-MAX Hybrid will be available this fall with a base price of $25,995 – approximately $500 lower than the Toyota Prius v's base price.
The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid will follow later this year with better electric-mode fuel economy and overall driving range than the Prius plug-in hybrid.
"C-MAX Hybrid offers better fuel economy, performance, technology and functionality than Prius v – and C-MAX Hybrid customers will pay less at the dealership and at the pump," said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "Ford is delivering the power of choice for leading fuel economy across its lineup – from EcoBoost to electrified vehicles – because customers increasingly want to save money at the pump, even as gas prices rise over time."
The C-MAX Hybrid blends fuel economy with performance, with projected best-in-class horsepower and torque along with Ford's third-generation powersplit technology that allows for higher speed while in electric mode than Toyota Prius v.
C-MAX Hybrid benefits from 20 years of research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology driving it, with many of Ford's almost 500 hybrid vehicle-related patents contained within.
That means that along with SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, drivers get class-exclusive features like hands-free liftgate (offering hands-free cargo access with a simple kicking motion), SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, regenerative braking and an advanced lithium-ion (li-ion) battery pack that is being used for the first time in a Ford hybrid.
C-MAX Hybrid – being built on Ford's global C-segment platform – also benefits from a proven design and nameplate with more than 156,000 units of the gasoline version sold in Europe since its 2010 launch.
Room to move
C-MAX Hybrid is a compact hybrid utility vehicle jam-packed with features and room for five people and cargo.
The vehicle has a high roofline (63.9 inches) offering ample interior space and flexibility. C-MAX Hybrid offers 99.7 cubic feet of passenger space compared with 97 cubic feet in Prius v. The spacious C-MAX Hybrid also provides greater headroom in both front and rear seats than Prius v (41/39.4 inches vs. 39.6/38.6 inches).
For cargo, C-MAX Hybrid has 60/40 split-fold rear seats that easily fold flat with 54.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row.
C-MAX Hybrid features the company's innovative hands-free liftgate, allowing for quick and easy access to the cargo area without messing with keys. A gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the liftgate when used in combination with a key fob the user keeps in his or her pocket or purse that tells the car it's OK to engage. The same motion can close the liftgate.
The vehicle also features the newest version of MyFord Touch to help inform, enlighten, engage and empower drivers. MyFord Touch offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs.
C-MAX Hybrid also offers the next generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from the C-MAX Hybrid, information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on the left cluster to help drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle's efficiency.
The left cluster also shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the braking system so that driving range can be enhanced through proper braking techniques. In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency – as drivers improve their efficient driving, they are rewarded with more leaves.
Quality and ingenuity
The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is new, but its software and hardware technology have been evolving for nearly two decades.
C-MAX Hybrid is powered through the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Hybrid uses 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 motor of the C-MAX Hybrid is powered by an advanced li-ion battery system designed to maximize use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in Ford's critically acclaimed hybrid vehicles.
C-MAX Hybrid also offers Ford's next-generation powersplit architecture that allows the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency. The engine also can operate independently of vehicle speed, charging the batteries or providing power to the wheels as needed. The motor alone can provide sufficient power to the wheels in low-speed, low-load conditions and work with the engine at higher speeds.
In the C-MAX Hybrid, the li-ion battery pack is recharged when the gasoline engine is in operation. Further, the regenerative braking system can recapture more than 95 percent of the braking energy that would otherwise be lost, and is able to use that power to help charge the battery. C-MAX Hybrid requires no plug-in charging.
Made in U.S.A.
C-MAX Hybrid is being produced at Ford's Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant alongside Focus, Focus Electric and Focus ST. More information about MAP can be found online here.
It is one of five electrified vehicles Ford plans to produce in North America in 2012. In addition to C-MAX Energi, the other vehicles include Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup can also be found online here.
Customers interested in C-MAX Hybrid should visit here. A video featuring C-MAX can be viewed online by clicking here.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.