Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Brian from Family Guy, the Toyota Prius has become a watchword for hybrid fuel performance and economy, but not for much longer if Ford have anything to do with it.
Ford are telling anyone who’ll listen that their C-MAX Hybrid is going to re-define the sector, even calling their new vehicle a ‘Prius Fighter’.
The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is set to offer drivers 47mpg, compared to the Prius V’s 40mpg. U.S. drivers can also expect to pay around £750 less for a new C-Max than the Japanese counterpart.
The C-MAX Hybrid will carry five passengers and uses C Platform (which also includes the Focus and Escape/Kuga models). In fact, the C platform was designed in the Cologne-based Ford development centre. 30 engineers worked together to create the ultimate compact car design producing a template in which the Ford Focus, Volvo S40 and V50, and Mazda3 shared about 60 per cent component similarity.
The new C-Max will offer advanced lithium-ion batteries and powersplit architecture. The powersplit system is made up of two electric machines connected to the engine/wheels through a single planetary gear set. Powersplit makes use of both a battery pack and a 2.0litre Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine.
There’s also the increasingly standard regenerative braking capture, 95 per cent in the case of the C-Max. You’ll also find a hands-free boot door system, optional active park assist, and SmartGauge with EcoGuide – a system which coaches drivers on how to optimise performance. In the US, the new C-Max Hybrid will be priced at $25,995 (£16, 725.80).