Yesterday Ford said its dealers are now accepting orders for its 2013 C-MAX Hybrid intended to go head-to-head against the Prius v with deliveries expected this fall.
Its U.S. base price of $25,995 is to undercut the Toyota rival by about $500, and later this year, Ford says it will start the ordering process for the plug-in C-Max Energi version, as well.
“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.
To date, the company says the gasoline version of the C-MAX has sold in excess of 156,000 units in Europe since its launch in 2010. The vehicle is being built on Ford’s global C platform.
Power to the front wheels comes via a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine merged with high-voltage electric motor generator energized by the company’s first application of a lithium-ion battery pack.
The engine is said to be “a powerful and fuel-efficient engine and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.” The powertrain will rely on Ford’s third-generation powersplit technology – based on 20 years of advancements and containing nearly 500 Ford patents.
As per normal hybrid practice, the system lets the non-plug-in C-MAX Hybrid’s engine charge the batteries plus they receive power from up to 95-percent of braking energy captured via the regenerative braking system.
Inside the five-seater, Ford notes the vehicle offers 2.7 extra cubic feet of interior space over Prius v, at 99.7 cubic feet, plus additional front and rear headroom – also a scant but maybe significant difference of (41/39.4 inches vs. 39.6/38.6 inches).
Features like a hands-free liftgate, availability of the latest MyFord Touch info system accessible via your smart phone, and a next generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide economy gauge are among touted amenities.
Ford will produce the C-MAX Hybrid along with the Focus, Focus Electric and Focus ST at its Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant.
This year the company will introduce five electrified vehicles in all, these being the aforementioned C-MAX Hybrid and plug-in Energi variants, Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.