It seems as though just about every automotive manufacturer is coming out with its own eco-friendly hybrid-electric vehicle. The Toyota Prius set off a trend of fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles that continues to this day. Ford Motor Company is set to introduce several new hybrid-electric vehicles, including the 2012 C-Max Hybrid. This vehicle is set to replace the outgoing hybridized version of the Escape sport utility vehicle.
Eco-Friendliness and Fuel Efficiency
The 2012 C-Max Hybrid is one of several new offerings from the American automotive manufacturer. As a tall hatchback that seats up to five passengers, it promises to be relatively flexible in terms of overall interior space and cargo carrying capacity. This vehicle is being launched alongside its plug-in Energi counterpart, both which are derived from a conventionally powered variant that has been sold in Europe since 2003. Both vehicles are to be assembled at the Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan alongside the 2012 Focus and Focus Electric compacts.
Ford’s newest eco-friendly offering is aimed squarely at the recently introduced Toyota Prius V wagon. Not only does this offering share the same overall shape and functionality as the Prius V, it is also priced approximately $555 cheaper than the Japanese automaker’s offering, at a starting MSRP of $25,995.
Performance and Technology
This vehicle is powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine. This engine, along with its electric motor, delivers 188 total horsepower. The 2.0-liter engine uses an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. This vehicle also features “Powersplit Architecture,” which allows the vehicle to operate in pure electric or gas mode at the press of a button, in addition to operating as a combination of both. There aren’t any official EPA fuel economy ratings for this vehicle as of yet. However, the makers of this vehicle expected fuel economy to beat out the 42 mpg combined rating of the Prius V.
This vehicle also features available SYNC with MyFord Touch and MyFord Mobile. The system comes with unique efficiency information for monitoring fuel economy and driving style. It also includes a similar instrument gauge cluster as the hybridized Fusion. On the comfort side, driver and passengers are greeted with standard cloth seats. Leather-trimmed seating with heated front seats are available as an option. The 60/40 split rear bench folds flat for increased cargo space, and there is also an available under-floor storage area behind the driver’s seat.