There is a feeling in the world of hybrid and electric vehicles that Ford Motors was caught somewhat offguard with the ever-growing popularity of these green vehicles. The relative success of the Toyota Prius has prompted Ford to dip a big toe into the hybrid market. This has been achieved by effectively introducing a version of the Ford Focus which offers more room, hybrid power supply, and on the whole, compares favourably with a range of other hybrid vehicles available today. We will now take a detailed look at the Ford C-Max hybrid which has prompted a number of discussions at the Electricforum.com.
Specifications of the Ford C-Max hybrid
It will come as no surprise to learn that Ford has targeted the U.S. market as the major play for this hybrid vehicle, which will only be available in the hybrid variation as opposed to the traditional fuel options available across Europe. The company is also looking to release a plug-in version of the Ford C-Max hybrid, although this is not expected to be available until the final quarter of 2013.
Perhaps the headline grabbing element relating to this vehicle is the fact that it will do an equivalent 47 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway, as tested by the U.S. authorities. This compares favourably to the best selling hybrids in this particular field and does put it in direct competition with the award-winning and ever popular Toyota Prius. The vehicle itself is expected to start selling in the U.S. at around $26,000, although the various add-ons available such as leather seats, keyless start, active parking camera, nine speaker audio system, and a variety of different colours, could take the price anywhere up to $33,000.
The vehicle is powered by a 2 L Atkinson cycle engine which works in tandem with the two electric motors, one of which provides traction to the wheels and the other controls the transmission modes. As seems to be a norm in the hybrid market, Ford has gone for the 1.6 kW lithium ion batteries which are air cooled for greater efficiency. The feedback from initial reviews of the vehicle suggests that the tight structure and the relatively stiff body gives a very impressive driving experience and the power provided by the various motors is around 188 hp.
Dimensions of the Ford C-Max hybrid
As we mentioned above, there is a feeling within the automotive market that Ford is rushing to grab a slice of the action and has prompted a direct comparison with the Toyota Prius. If you look at the dimensions of the vehicle it is just over 8 inches shorter than the Toyota Prius, although it is a little wider and a little taller giving a chunky feel. Despite the difference in dimensions the interior capacity is slightly larger within the Ford C-Max hybrid which will surprise many people.
Interior of the Ford C-Max hybrid
It seems that each and every hybrid and electric motor vehicle released to the market these days has to go one better with regards to the displays available, reports available, and the technology available to the driver. In many ways this is true of the Ford C-Max hybrid which offers a very detailed and a real-time report on fuel consumption, journey capacity, etc., although it does take away the various buttons and switches from the Toyota Prius relating to an array of driving modes – there are now part of the gear selection system on the Ford C-Max hybrid.
As we touched on above, there is the option to add a variety of different elements to this vehicle which will bump up the price, but for those who are looking for luxurious travel this may well be worth their while.
A number of reviews across the Internet seem to suggest that the Ford C-Max hybrid compares very favourably to its perceived target, which is the Toyota Prius. Whether or not this was the actual target of Ford is debatable but there is no doubt that the company has studied its competitor very closely and attempted to come up with a vehicle, based on the Ford focus, which is simpler to drive, offers an array of reports, and is economical on the road.
Those who thought that Ford Motors had left it too late to enter the hybrid and electric vehicle market with any great push may well have to eat their words.