The wait for the Ford C-MAX Hybrid has been a long one, and we'll still be waiting until the fall before the driving public takes a set of keys. In the meantime, there's good news from the EPA for travelers wondering just how far that hybrid MPV will go on its combined power. It should be quite the distance: the now-confirmed fuel economy rating is an even 47MPG, whether it's for putting around the city or cruising the highway. Ford is more than eager to crow about the figures giving its $25,995 ride an edge over Toyota, whose slightly more expensive Prius V peaks at 44MPG on highway stretches and dips to 40MPG in urban areas. The early victory parade is continuing with the C-MAX Energi, too -- the plug-in hybrid variant can peak at a brisk 85MPH in pure EV driving, or more than 20MPH faster than either the regular Hybrid or a Prius plug-in. Toyota does have the slightly important advantage of having a vehicle on the market. Those who have yet to commit to a hybrid family hauler, though, will be glad to know their patience could earn them some extra efficiency or speed.
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Ford C-MAX Hybrid Earns 47 City, 47 Highway, 47 Combined – an EPA Rating Hat Trick; Beats Toyota Prius v by up to 7 MPG
* All-new 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid delivers EPA-certified 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway ratings – 7 mpg better than Toyota Prius v on the highway – for a 47 mpg combined rating
* Ford's first hybrid to achieve equal city and highway ratings, the versatile C-MAX Hybrid also is expected to offer 15 class-exclusive features such as the available hands-free liftgate
* C-MAX Hybrid launches 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., Aug. 7, 2012 – Ford Motor Company once again raises the hybrid fuel-economy bar with the all-new Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which is now officially EPA-certified at 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined – beating Toyota Prius v by up to 7 mpg.
The certification is significant because it makes C-MAX Hybrid the first hybrid vehicle to offer 47 mpg across the board. Also, hybrids traditionally have been more economical in city driving than on the highway, unlike conventional vehicles.
C-MAX Hybrid, however, returns the same fuel economy whether driving cross-country or across the city – stemming mostly from a growing list of Ford innovations that have helped the vehicle to deliver an impressive list of metrics, such as a top speed of up to 62 mph in EV mode.
"The all-new C-MAX Hybrid is a great symbol of how Ford has transformed into a fuel-economy and technology leader with 47 mpg across the board and a highway rating 7 mpg better than Toyota Prius v," said Ford Vice President of Powertrain Engineering Joe Bakaj. "We've done this with innovation – represented by nearly 500 hybrid patents – while driving costs down 30 percent so we can bring these fuel-saving vehicles to more customers."
Among the Ford innovations helping C-MAX Hybrid drivers enjoy maximum fuel economy are the patented SmartGauge® with EcoGuide that coaches for top fuel efficiency by providing growing green leaves in the gauge cluster as a reward for economical driving; and ECO Cruise, a feature that helps optimize powertrain elements for convenient yet economical highway travel.
City equals highway
Hybrid vehicle drivers traditionally saw superior fuel-economy figures in city driving, so loyalists maximized their fuel economy through regenerative braking in stop-and-go traffic. But now, higher-speed innovations have caught up on efficiency.
"City, highway and everywhere in between, C-MAX Hybrid is EPA-certified at 47 mpg," Bakaj said. "It's a win-win-win."
C-MAX Hybrid is expected to be America's most affordable hybrid utility vehicle with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery, which is $1,300 lower than Toyota Prius v. C-MAX Hybrid is currently available for order at select dealerships.
More information about C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi can be found here. Press releases, videos, photos and other material related to Ford's electrified vehicles can be found here.
Ford C-MAX Energi Delivers Industry's Top Electric-Only Speed Among Plug-In Hybrids at the Touch of a Button
* All-new Ford C-MAX Energi delivers the top electric-only speed of any plug-in hybrid – 85 mph – more than 20 mph higher than Toyota Prius plug-in; unique EV mode button allows customers to deliver electric power on-demand
* C-MAX Energi – Ford's first plug-in hybrid – also tops Prius plug-in in overall range (550 miles versus 540 miles), more than triple the electric-only range (20-plus miles versus six miles)
* C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid begins arriving this fall at EV Certified Ford dealers in 19 markets, followed by nationwide rollout in all 50 states in early 2013
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 7, 2012 – At the touch of a button, Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid drivers can enjoy the industry's top electric-only speed among all plug-in hybrid vehicles – 85 mph.
Topping the Toyota Prius plug-in's top EV-only speed by more than 20 mph, the all-new, five-passenger Ford C-MAX Energi can easily keep pace with the flow of traffic, even when the EV mode button is engaged and the gasoline engine is off.
"We understand customers place a high value on the zero-emission electrified driving experience," said Ford Vice President of Powertrain Engineering Joe Bakaj. "This inspired our engineering team to equip the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid with a button that enables drivers to choose an electric-only driving mode."
With a fully charged battery, C-MAX Energi is rated at 195 horsepower, versus 188 horsepower for Toyota Prius.
C-MAX Energi's EV mode range is 20-plus miles – more than triple Toyota's plug-in and well within the one-way commute range of many American motorists. C-MAX Energi – Ford's first plug-in hybrid – also tops Prius plug-in in overall range (550 miles versus 540 miles).
Three EV modes
The EV mode button – conveniently mounted in the center stack – allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes.
Drivers can opt for electric-only driving without gasoline engine power, normal hybrid mode where the powertrain melds electric and gasoline engine power as appropriate, or a battery-saving mode that reserves the pack power for later use. For an image of the EV mode button, click here.
When plug-in power is available, drivers can change modes with each press of the EV mode button. The mode currently selected is displayed in the driver's left instrument cluster screen.
"In EV: Auto mode, the vehicle automatically takes advantage of plug-in charge," said Kevin Layden, Ford director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. "When the charge is depleted, C-MAX Energi operates as a full hybrid."
The powertrain computer automatically selects the appropriate blend of battery usage and engine usage based on demand and the state of battery charge.
In EV: Now mode, the vehicle operates in EV mode using plug-in power. The gasoline engine will not operate unless an override setting is selected or certain conditions are present such as the accelerator pedal being fully depressed and the driver enabling the gas engine. EV: Now also activates a special Manage EV screen to monitor functionality.
To achieve the EV range estimate shown on the corresponding gauge, drivers are given coaching cues to maximize EV mode. Additionally, use of climate power and energy gauges will further help drivers manage vehicle energy use.
The EV: Later setting saves plug-in power for later use, like transitioning from highway to lower-speed residential neighborhood use. C-MAX Energi operates in normal hybrid mode, using both gas engine and electric motor. Plug-in power is reserved until the driver switches to the EV: Now or EV: Auto setting.
"C-MAX Energi uses technology in new ways to provide customers smart choices in maximizing their energy usage based on where and how they drive their vehicles," Bakaj said.
Built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., the all-new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid begins arriving this fall at EV Certified Ford dealers in 19 markets, followed by nationwide rollout in all 50 states in early 2013.