New Ford C-MAX Hybrid The Toyota Prius Killer?

Ford is looking to jump into the American dedicated hybrid market – currently dominated by the Toyota Prius – with the announcement recently of its C-MAX Hybrid. The 2013 vehicle, which will be available this fall for a starting price of around $26,000, has been under development for the last few years as part of a global green car strategy by the auto manufacturer.

The C-MAX Hybrid, whose base price is around $500 less than the comparable Prius v, is lacking at the moment specific details on its official gas mileage information. We do know though, based upon a report we did on this vehicle at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, that Ford 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.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

image via Ford

Given that the 2012 Toyota Prius v has a 42 MPG combined, this shouldn’t be too hard for Ford to achieve. Its plan, which “blends fuel economy with performance,” reportedly will install in the C-MAX Hybrid a best-in class horsepower and torque through the combination of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor powered by a li-ion battery system.

This hybrid will make use of what Ford says is its powersplit architecture, which “allows the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency.” The vehicle, in low-speed, low-load conditions, can operate with the electric motor alone for a as yet to be mentioned distance.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply May 18, 2012


    I am totally sold on Ford ever since I bought their 2009 Escape Hybrid.  The vehicle has been trouble free since I drove it off the lot and the dealership has been superior to any I have dealt with in 40 years of driving.  Ford seems to have made a commitment to being a producer of vehicles that rival the quality the imports were perceived to have.  Even my husband, a mechanic and a die-hard chevy man has changed his mind on Ford.  He services the Escape Hybrids used daily in hard driving service functions and raves to me about how well they hold up dispite many having over 200,000km on them and how well Ford backs their vehicles.  I have no interest in the company and no motive to promote the brand other then to reward an honorable company that actually backs it’s product and at the same time spare the air..  

  • Reply May 18, 2012


    C-Max a “Prius killer?”  Nope.

    The C-Max competes against the large Prius V, which is not the biggest seller in Toyota’s lineup.  The biggest seller in the Prius lineup is the standard-sized liftback Prius, which accounts for 70% of all Prius sales.
    Ford does not have any hybrids that can hope to come close to the sales volume of the standard liftback Prius.

    If Ford wants to put a dent in the Prius liftback sales, they need to drop a hybrid drivetrain in the Focus hatchback *AND* make it affordable at close to $20,000 to undercut the Prius liftback.

Leave a Reply