The push by Ford to dethrone Toyota as king of the hybrids continued this week with word of the forthcoming C-MAX Hybrid’s official EPA miles per gallon ratings.
That, combined with Ford aggressively pricing the nearly $26,000 C-MAX Hybrid to start at hundreds less than the Prius v, and the war is on for the pocketbooks of those who like to drive green cars. What’s interesting to note as well here, at least from Ford’s perspective, is that its new hybrid’s 47 MPG across the board makes it the first one to hit all three at an upper end. Traditionally, hybrids have been more economical in city driving than on the highway, unlike conventional vehicles.
Ford says it has been hard at work to achieve these EPA ratings, holding nearly 500 hybrid technology patents as a result and driving down costs it says are 30 percent lower now “so we can bring these fuel-saving vehicles to more customers.”
Technologies in the C-MAX Hybrid which will help drivers attain a greener driving experience include a top speed of up to 62 MPH in EV mode, special in-dash information that informs the one behind the wheel of current fuel efficiency driving status and a mode “that helps optimize powertrain elements for convenient yet economical highway travel.”
The car under the hood combines a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor powered by a li-ion battery system. It will make use of powersplit architecture, which “allows the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency.”
There’s also your usual regenerative braking system to help keep the hybrid’s battery at a fuller charge longer.
Non-green features on this C-MAX include a hands-free liftgate, active park assist for easier parallel parking and the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which offers ways for customers to “manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions through voice commands [and] menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs.”
As part of its domestic green car strategy, this hybrid is one one of five electrified vehicles Ford plans to showcase in North America in 2012. The others include the Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, as well as the C-MAX Energi, which is another plug-in hybrid we discussed just a week or so ago.