Ford is continuing the slow trickle of information on its forthcoming C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi twins, this time revealing more about the cars' efficiency and performance. The 2013 C-Max Hybrid has been certified by the EPA to return 47/47/47 mpg (city/highway/combined), and Ford says the C-Max Energi will be able to drive at 85 mph on electricity alone.
The fuel-economy figures for the Ford C-Max Hybrid are notable because the car scored the same figure for city, highway, and combined rating. Traditional cars typically score lower in the city and higher on the highway, while hybrids tend to have lofty city economy figures and somewhat lower highway figures. Ford's new hybrid, however, achieved what the company calls its EPA hat trick.
Of course, Ford likes to point out that the C-Max Hybrid is more efficient than the Toyota Prius V. The Toyota hybrid returns EPA figures of 44/40/42 mpg. The Ford C-Max Hybrid goes on sale this fall and will start at $25,995 (including destination).
The C-Max Energi, meanwhile, will be able to drive at up to 85 mph on electrical power alone. (The C-Max Hybrid can only manage 62 mph on electrical power.) Drivers can tailor the use of the battery pack by using a special "EV" button on the dashboard. Selecting EV: Auto mode will allow the Ford's computer to determine how to combine the power of the electric motor and gasoline engine. EV: Now will force the car to shut off the gas engine and use the batteries. EV: Later will make the car conserve its battery power and drive solely on gasoline.
Ford says the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, which has a larger battery than the C-Max Hybrid, can drive for up to 20 miles on electrical power and will cover a total range of 550 miles on a combination of battery and gasoline power. The C-Max Energi will start at $33,745 (after destination) when it goes on sale this fall.
Both the C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid combine a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine with an electric motor and battery pack. A new hybrid transmission, built in Michigan, combines the two power sources and transmits power to the front wheels.