It may have been GM's Alfred Sloan who famously called for "a car for every purse and purpose," but it's Ford who's reinventing the mantra for the new millennium. Following the recent reveal of the upcoming Ford Focus Electric, Ford has unveiled not one, but two hybrid models of the upcoming C-Max at the 2011 Detroit auto show.
The first will be familiar two you. The C-Max Hybrid will be to the C-Max what the Fusion Hybrid is to the Fusion. Ford has reworked its hybrid technology from the Fusion Hybrid and fitted it into the C-Max Hybrid, but it's also made some improvements. While Ford's release is light on the details, the company promises that the C-Max Hybrid will get better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid, which already returns an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Like the Fusion Hybrid, the C-Max Hybrid will be able to travel on electric power only up to at least 47 mph, though Ford hints the improved C-Max Hybrid may have an even higher EV top speed thanks to a larger battery.
The second model is the real head-turner. Called the C-Max Energi, it will build on the technology found in both the C-Max Hybrid and the Focus Electric and will be Ford's first-ever production plug-in hybrid.
As with the C-Max Hybrid, Ford doesn't delve deep into the technical specs, the company is aiming for a 500 mile total driving range (150 miles more than the Chevy Volt), AT-PZEV status and, perhaps most importantly, a quicker charging time and better charge-sustaining (engine on) fuel economy than the vaunted Chevrolet Volt. All Ford will say for certain is that the C-Max Energi will reach a full charge overnight on a 120-volt outlet. Does that mean it will take less than the 10 hours the Volt requires? We think so. Though Ford doesn't specify the availability of a 240-volt charger, it's likely the Energi will use the same charger as the Focus Electric. The Focus Electric and the Volt both charge in four hours on 240-volt circuit and the C-Max Energi will likely share its battery with the Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid, so we expect a similar charge time.