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.
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.