Competition for Toyota's Prius VWith the C-Max hybrid, Ford is aiming squarely at the Toyota Prius V. So much so that Ford's promotion materials are full of refences to the Mama Prius; about how the C-Max hybrid offers "better fuel economy, performance, technology and functionality than Prius v" and how its priced 500 bucks lower than the V. These are nice promises, but the true test will be in the real-world once the C-Max starts shipping to customers in the fall of 2012. Right now, Ford is begun taking orders. We're also waiting for the official EPA fuel economy rating.
The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid is scheduled to follow later in 2012. That one should be even more interesting.
C-MAX Hybrid is powered through the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Hybrid uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – a powerful and fuel-efficient engine and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.
The electric motor of the C-MAX Hybrid is powered by an advanced li-ion battery system [...] In the C-MAX Hybrid, the li-ion battery pack is recharged when the gasoline engine is in operation. Further, the regenerative braking system can recapture more than 95 percent of the braking energy that would otherwise be lost, and is able to use that power to help charge the battery. C-MAX Hybrid requires no plug-in charging.