As Frugal on Highway as in the CityA company understating its product's performance is a rare thing, yet it seems to have happened to Ford with the C-Max hybrid. Earlier last month Ford was bragging its new hybrid should get and EPA rating of 47 MPG in the city and 44 MPG on the highway, beating its most direct competitor, the Toyota Prius V, which gets 44 MPG city and 40 MPG highway.
Well, the official EPA numbers are out, and the C-Max hybrid get an even 47 MPG in both city and highway driving, beating not only the Prius V (though not the regular Prius), but also Ford's own estimate. It also makes the C-Max hybrid the first hybrid to be as frugal on the highway as in the city.
C-Max Energi EV ModeAnother interesting bit of news from Ford is that the C-Max Energi (the plug-in version) will be able to go as fast as 85 MPH in pure electric mode. I'm not sure why someone would need to go that fast, but that's another story...
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.
There are three EV modes:
“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.