Looking at a Ford Focus? These days you can get it as a five-door hatch, a four-door sedan, or... that's all. European buyers don't even get our sedan, but they do get a wagon. And while the three-door hatch, two-door coupe and two-door cabrio have long since ended production, buyers around the world can also get the company's larger C-Max. And now, like the Focus upon which it's based, Ford is preparing to roll out a new version.
Ford C-Max Energi News
The Ford C-Max hatchback looks to be getting a few cosmetic updates, as evidenced in this latest set of spy photos. Like the smaller Focus, which also received a nip/tuck for the 2015 model year, the C-Max appears to be getting a revised front fascia with slimmer headlamps and a more, shall we say, Aston Martin-like grille. Around back, there looks to be a new bumper with redesigned taillamps, as well.
One of the best parts of the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA last week was getting to listen in on thoughts about the state of the plug-in vehicle industry from people who have been involved with it for ages. They bristle when you call them the "Old Guard" (learned that one the hard way), but these are the people who have been through a number of ups and downs with plug-in vehicles, so they've got what we call perspective.
The Ford C-Max is having a rough time. Sales for the five-door hybrid hatchback were down 39.1 percent in March to 2,295 cars, and sales from January through March were down 42.5 percent to 5,566 units. In an interview with The Detroit News, Ford Americas boss Joe Hinrichs places the blame on lowering the model's fuel economy rating.
If we had tried to predict the first video response to the controversial Poolside video for the Cadillac ELR, we would not have thought it would center on compost. But, hey, it's always nice to be reminded that the real world is sometimes better than fiction.
The annual autofest known as the North American International Auto Show previews a plethora of exciting new products that we'll see and drive later in the year, from tiny urban commuters to family sedans and crossovers to hard-working big pickups and SUVs. It's also a once-a-year cornucopia of auto executives and leaders from around the world.
A refreshed Ford Focus is in the works and that means a few details are leaking out. Spy shots from last month indicated the Focus will have a gaping grille just like its "One Ford" global C-segment comrade, the Fiesta. While Ford is being quiet about it, the Focus could also be getting an "Energi" option, joining the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi in Ford's plug-in hybrid family.
Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.
Solar energy might not be enough to power a usable electric vehicle on its own, but that doesn't mean it can't lend a helping hand. And that's what Ford has in store for the Consumer Electronics Show opening next week in Las Vegas.
Ford will be voluntarily recalling 23,830 Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi models equipped with push-button ignition, according to The Detroit News. Why? Because the cars don't make a noise when the driver's door is open, and are therefore in violation of federal regulations. It's not as silly as Honda's badging recall that isn't a recall, but it's close.
In editor-speak, Ford may have buried the lede here. The US automaker, which sells the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids as well as the Ford Focus Electric, was looking to get some press by letting the world know that drivers of its four production plug-in models put on 203,000 miles of electric-only miles a day, or the equivalent of eight trips around the earth.
In a sort of "man bites dog" development for the green-car set, Ford plug-in hybrid drivers are hooking themselves up to charging stations at a greater frequency than drivers of the automaker's pure battery-electric Focus, Green Car Reports says, citing a presentation Ford's Mike Tinskey made in oh-so-green Portland, Oregon.
Herbert Hoover never actually promised "a chicken for every pot, a car in every garage" in his 1928 campaign, but the message is associated with the former US president. Now, 85 years later, KB Home is envisioning a green world where the car in all those garages is a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid connected to the home's "smart" utility functions designed to cut energy usage.
Drivers of Ford's plug-in hybrids, the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, can now navigate to charging stations through their smartphones. The changes come through an update to the MyFord Mobile app and web portal powered by PlugShare and allows Ford to now claim it is, "the only manufacturer to offer real-time charging station location information through its smartphone app."