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Old 01-10-2011, 11:51   #1 (permalink)
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Detroit 2011: C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid are The Future of Ford


Ford has just revealed two more examples of what kind of future the automaker is planning. Debuting at the Detroit Auto Show, the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid) clearly show the Blue Oval's plan to expand the electrification of the vehicle, while also enforcing its position that the compact car is the way of the future.

Based on the same architecture as the new 2012 Ford Focus, the C-Max Hybrid and Energi join the new C-Max MPV, as well as the Focus hatchback, sedan and Focus Electric as a part of a plan to bring to market no fewer than 10 vehicles all based on the same global platform.

Like the Focus Electric, both models get a subtle restyle (complete with Aston Martin grille), although unlike the standard C-Max, these electrified versions only provide room for five – not seven.

While Ford isn't releasing specifics on either powertrain, both vehicles will use a lithium ion battery pack. In the Focus Hybrid it will be a part of a system similar in principle to that of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and will operate the same. However, the lighter and more powerful battery promises to deliver big advantages with Ford claiming it will be able to drive on pure electric power above the 47 mph of the Fusion Hybrid. Ford also says to expect better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrids 41-mpg rating.

As for the C-Max Energi, it will use a lithium ion battery that can be charged by plugging-in over night, so that initially the car will run on just electric power, before it reverts to operating like a conventional hybrid. In total it will deliver a range in excess of 500 miles – more than any other plug-in or extended range vehicle.

But as with all modern Fords the technology won't be limited to what's under the hood. In the cockpit will be a version of the new MyFord Touch telematics system adapted for electrified vehicles with special hybrid and electric battery information. A Brake Coach will also be included, helping drivers to better take advantage of the brake regeneration system. Plus, at the end of each journey, the display screen will show info including the total trip distance, miles gained from regenerative braking and total fuel consumed.

Much like with the Focus Electric, C-Max Energi owners will be able to stay connected with their car thanks to the MyFord Mobile app. Along with expected features like being able to check the state of charge from your smartphone, it can also do some unique things: like let you know how much longer it needs to charge to reach a pre-set destination in the Nav system; find charging stations; set the car warm up or cool down using power from the grid; and even let you pre-set charging times for off-peak utility hours. (Get more on the MyFord Mobile app here).

Both the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Energi will be built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant and will go on sale in 2012.

More: Detroit 2011: C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid are The Future of Ford on AutoGuide.com

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