Touting the specs for its new PHEV this week, Ford staked out a clear position for it in the market: face-to-face with a certain hit Japanese hatchback. The new C-MAX Energi is projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, and 20 miles in electric-only mode, nearly double the electric-only range of the Toyota Prius Plug-in. Its maximum electric-only speed is also projected to best the Prius. Fuel economy should be 95 MPGe combined.
Ford’s John Davis said, “we are proud C-MAX Energi is the first plug-in hybrid that can deliver a 550-mile overall range and more than 20 miles of electric range as it gives customers great flexibility to commute to work, then take off for a road trip while passing many gas stations along the way,” says Davis. “C-MAX Energi is a great symbol for the leading fuel economy we’re delivering across our lineup to give customers the power of choice to save money at the pump.”
The C-MAX Energi has a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, and total system horsepower of 188. A feature called Brake Coach helps drivers optimize driving range, and the MyFord Mobile app allows users to monitor charging, find charge stations and plan trips.
Ford has offered no definite launch date, saying only that it “will soon be available for order at Ford’s certified electric-vehicle dealerships.” We got a look at one at a recent Ford conference, and it does resemble the Prius, a little sporty but practical, with a surprising amount of passenger and cargo space for its size.