For a while, there was speculation whether Ford's PR machine was pushing the limits on what the upcoming C-Max Hybrid and Energi models would attain in mileage.
Today, the EPA confirms the exciting news. I can't wait to take a test drive because the C-Max might become my next car instead of the Prius V (which had been in my sightline).
Two new announcements about Ford and its upcoming C-Max line of vehicles arrived today, emphasizing the vehicles' efficiency and electric performance.
For the C-Max Hybrid, the previously predicted miles per gallon rating of 47 mpg is now official, per the EPA, and will apply across the board. That means city, highway and combined mileage ratings are all 47. As anyone Ford can reach with a PR blast knows, this beats at least one of the mpg numbers for the Toyota Prius V by seven mpg. The world's most popular hybrid lineup, in V guise, gets 44 mpg in the city, 40 on the highway and 42 combined. The standard Prius Liftback version, of course, gets 51 city, 48 highway and 50 combined.
More interesting, perhaps, is the news that the plug-in Energi model will be able to go up to 85 miles per hour in all-electric mode. Once again, Ford is hammering the Prius comparison, saying that speed is 'more than 20 mph higher than Toyota Prius plug-in.' The C-Max Hybrid can go up to 62 miles an hour in EV mode.
To engage EV mode in the C-Max Energi, Ford uses a 'unique EV mode button allows customers to deliver electric power on-demand.' We're not sure what makes it unique (other plug-ins have powertrain mode selector buttons), but it does have three modes: EV Now (where the car is only moved by battery power, as long as it's available), EV Auto (normal operation, with both battery and gas engine used for propulsion) or EV Later, a 'battery-saving mode that reserves the pack power for later use.' (Think of the Chevrolet Volt mountain mode.) The Energi goes on sale in limited areas this fall and nationwide in early 2013.
Oh, Ford also says, 'With a fully charged battery, C-MAX Energi is rated at 195 horsepower, versus 188 horsepower for Toyota Prius.' It's pretty clear which competitors Ford is going after here, isn't it?