2013 Ford CMax Hybrid First Drive Review Car and Driver

19 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2013 Ford CMax Hybrid First Drive Review Car and Driver отключены
Ford C-Max Hybrid

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford builds a Prius its own way, making it actually good to drive.

After watching Toyota build itself a solid business with the Prius#x2014;more than 136,000 sold last year in the U.S.#x2014;Ford is one Detroit automaker finally getting serious about hybrids. It has plucked the C-Max people mover from its European lineup, given it the twice-over to meet the U.S.#x2019;s strangely unique crash standards, and endowed it with a revamped version of the powertrain from the now-defunct Ford Escape hybrid. Two models are headed to dealerships: the C-Max hybrid in September and, a few months later, the plug-in C-Max Energi with a larger battery pack for more electric-only driving.

In Europe, Ford sells the C-Max#x2014;it#x2019;s basically a tall wagon version of the Ford Focus#x2014;with a choice of two gasoline engines and two diesels. But Ford wants Americans to associate the C-Max exclusively with hybrid technology, so the C-Max will come to these shores only as a hybrid, with fuel-economy ratings of 47 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway. Senior engineer John Davis says it#x2019;s about building a brand, similar to what Toyota has with Prius (recall that three cars are sold under the Prius name: the familiar Prius hatchback, the wagonlike Prius V. and the compact Prius C .

C-Max Is to Hybrid as Prius Is to, Well, Hybrid

Ford C-Max Hybrid

The C-Max#x2019;s base pricing is aggressive; the SE starts at $25,995. The trimmed-up SEL with leather, keyless start, and the MyFord Touch system leaves the blocks at $28,995. Those prices slot the C-Max between the base Prius and Prius V in an apparent strategy to divide and conquer. Stand-alone options include a bunch of entertainment and convenience packages ranging from $570 to $3080#x2014;the latter of which is available only on the SEL and includes a hands-free, motorized liftgate; active parking; a rear camera; and a nine-speaker Sony audio system#x2014;an $1195 panoramic glass roof, and a few special colors.

Go heavy on the C-Max order sheet, and you can get the price up past $33,000.


The general basics of the C-Max#x2019;s hybrid system are the same as those of the old Escape and the Prius. The gasoline engine works in tandem with a two-motor, continuously variable planetary-gear transmission that uses one electric motor to provide traction power to the wheels and one motor to change the transmission#x2019;s modes. But instead of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder as in the old Escape, the C-Max uses a 2.0-liter that now works with a transmission modified and built in-house at Ford#x2019;s transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, rather than sourced from Toyota supplier Aisin. And instead of more-conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries, the C-Max#x2019;s battery is a compact, air-cooled 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack mounted under the cargo-area floor and comprised of dozens of cylindrical cells from Korea#x2019;s Sanyo Corporation.

The power electronics and the software controls are all blue oval.

Ford C-Max Hybrid
Ford C-Max Hybrid
Ford C-Max Hybrid
Ford C-Max Hybrid

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