The all-new 2013 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicle showcases Ford’s 20 years of hybrid expertise as America’s most fuel-efficient and affordable plug-in hybrid that delivers more overall driving range than any utility vehicle.
C-MAX Energi also offers “real-vehicle” performance and technologies – including 15 class-exclusive features such as the available hands-free liftgate and active park assist, and SmartGauge® with EcoGuide – understanding the next wave of customers will not make tradeoffs like adopters of many early hybrids.
Further, Ford has been able to package it all in a vehicle that is priced at $29,995 (after a federal tax credit), beating Toyota Prius plug-in to become America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Consider the fuel efficiency of C-MAX Energi: It is certified by the U.S. EPA to offer a best-in-class rating of 108 miles per gallon equivalent in the city, along with 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined. The EPA also estimates that driving C-MAX Energi saves almost $7,000 in fuel costs over the course of five years compared with the average new vehicle.
Further, the vehicle is certified to deliver up to 620 miles of range on a single tank of gas and a fully charged battery. That’s 80 miles more than what is delivered by Toyota Prius plug-in, and gives the vehicle the capability to make trips to and from key destinations, such as Detroit to New York City, or Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
C-MAX Energi also can drive up to 21 miles in electric mode only – more than three times the six-mile electric-only range offered by Prius plug-in. With the average commute reportedly 20 miles one way – and the number of public charging stations growing rapidly – C-MAX Energi could feasibly handle a day of driving to and from work without using a drop of gas.
The stellar range and fuel efficiency come with excellent performance, too. C-MAX Energi offers 195 net system horsepower with a fully charged battery – 60 more horsepower than the Prius plug-in – and a top speed in electric mode of 85 mph, which is 25 mph more than the Prius.
C-MAX Energi also gives the driver control over how the vehicle’s power is used through an EV mode button – conveniently mounted in the center stack – that allows switching 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.
C-MAX Energi also has a feature called EV+ that allows for the vehicle to stay in electric-only mode for longer durations by learning frequent destinations. The feature was developed in response to Ford research that found drivers prefer to have their vehicles be in electric-only mode whenever possible.
“C-MAX is Ford’s first hybrid-dedicated nameplate in North America, but the ability to offer features like EV+ indicates just how deep our level of understanding and expertise is when it comes to hybrids,” said John Davis, chief nameplate engineer, C-MAX Energi.
C-MAX Energi’s power is rooted in third-generation hybrid vehicle technology found throughout Ford’s portfolio of roughly 500 hybrid patents, technology that has helped cut costs of the automaker’s current hybrid system by 30 percent compared with previous generations.
It starts with the combination of a gasoline engine, a battery-driven electric motor and a new hybrid transmission called HF35.
HF35 – designed in-house by Ford and manufactured at the company’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant – allows for operation at higher speeds than any other hybrid utility by featuring more precise controls that deliver higher levels of refinement as the powertrain transitions between engine and electric drive.
When powered by gasoline, C-MAX Energi uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – powerful, fuel efficient, and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.
In electric-only mode, C-MAX Energi uses an advanced 7.6-kWh lithium-ion (li-ion) battery pack that can charge in as little as 2.5 hours when using a 240-volt charging station – the same kind available at most public charging stations. A 240-volt station for home use and made by Leviton is available for purchase through a collaboration between Ford and the retailer Best Buy.
C-MAX Energi also features an LED-illuminated ring around the charge port, conveniently located on the front quarter panel of the driver’s side of the vehicle. The lighted ring makes it easy to determine the status of the vehicle’s battery charge: A fully lit circle means the battery is completely charged.
Max technology and flexibility
For managing the battery of C-MAX Energi away from the vehicle, MyFord Mobile® is available for use via smartphone. MyFord Mobile allows C-MAX Energi owners to control select features of their vehicle from nearly anywhere, anytime, using the MyFord Mobile website or app.
For example, it can be set to send alerts when the battery is fully charged or even to take advantage of value charging – a way that allows customers to schedule charging at off-peak or other reduced rates based on local utility participation.
For monitoring the vehicle’s power while in it, C-MAX Energi offers the latest generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from C-MAX, SmartGauge with EcoGuide provides information such as instantaneous fuel economy that is displayed on one of two 4.2-inch LCD screens, helping drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle’s efficiency.
In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system so that driving range may be enhanced through proper braking techniques.
Further controls are accessible through the 8-inch center stack screen serving as the interface between driver and the standard feature SYNC® with MyFord Touch® – an in-car, voice-activated, fully integrated communications and entertainment system that allows drivers to stay connected to the information, entertainment and people they care about through the use of wireless technology.
Specific MyFord Touch features include SYNC 911 Assist® (it can call 911 in case of an accident in which airbags deploy) and SYNC Services, which provides personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn directions and up-to-date information such as business listings, news, sports and weather.
Many other technologies – including 15 class-exclusive features – clearly demonstrate the 20 years of research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology C-MAX Energi offers, incorporating many of the nearly 500 patents Ford holds in the area of hybrid technology.
Among them is the available hands-free liftgate that allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without ever needing to fumble for 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 be used to close the liftgate.
When open, the liftgate provides access to 42.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front row with rear passenger seat backs folded down. That includes 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row.
And with best-in-class passenger volume of 99.7 cubic feet, C-MAX Energi can accommodate five.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]