Ford didn’t make its plug-in C-MAX Energi roll out on the runway at the North American International Auto Show all alone. It also revealed the C-MAX Hybrid, yet another in what seems to be an endless number of variations the company will play off the platform.
In fact, Ford plans at least 10 new C-Car models or derivatives, taking full advantage of what it calls its “first truly global One Ford platform.” Both vehicles are expected to be on the market in 2012.
The C-MAX Hybrid, like the Energi, is a compact MPV, seating five whereas the gasoline-powered C-MAX coming to the U.S. market later this year seats seven. Fuel economy will clearly be a big selling point for the hybrid. Ford didn’t peg a hard number to the mileage, but said it expects the vehicle to perform better than the 41 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid by operating in fuel-saving electric mode beyond 47 mph thanks to additional battery power.
By the way, those are lithium-ion battery packs in the C-MAX Hybrid, offering advantages over the nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries that power today’s hybrid vehicles, Ford said: “In general, they are 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter, which makes them easier to package in a vehicle, and can be tuned to increase power to boost acceleration or to increase energy to extend driving distance.”
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