Last year, Ford promised to build not only electric cars, but more hybrids as well. The Blue Oval has delivered, rolling out the C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid MPV’s at the Detroit International Auto Show.
The C-Max Hybrid will feature next-generation hybrid technology similar to that found in the Ford Fusion, and Ford is aiming to beat the current 41 mpg rating of the Fusion with the C-Max hybrid. Ford also wants to get the all-electric speed higher than the current ceiling of 47 mph. Basically, a better version of the current hybrids available on today’s market. Think of it like a mini-minivan with seating for five and ample cargo room. Ford is also bringing a seven-passenger Grand C-Max to America with a standard gas engine and sliding side doors (the hybrids get your standard doors, sorry soccer moms).
The real news here, however, is the C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid that will be a direct competitor for the Volt. Ford is aiming for a total gas/electric range of around 500 miles, handily beating the 350 or so the Volt can get on gas and electric power. MyFord Mobile will allow users to monitor their battery level from their smart phone, and Ford says a full battery charge will be possible overnight from a standard 120-volt outlet. Pretty impressive stuff if they can pull it off.
The Blue Oval is talking a big game. Too bad they couldn’t make the C-Max less….ugly. I’ve never hidden the fact that I am a Ford fan from you, but even I think this is an awful looking automobile. It makes me long for the days of wood-paneled minivans and barge-like station wagons. On the same token, it feels like Ford is crowding its own market.
Already, a family looking for options has the choice of the Ford Edge, Escape, Flex, and Explorer. Then there is the Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta. Is there really room for another family hauler in the Ford lineup. Especially one this fugly. It looks like a Ford Focus that spent too much time in the gym, but what do you guys think?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.