Ford C-Max Energi, first revealed at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybridEnlarge Photo
The larger battery pack in the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, however, cuts those volumes to 19 cubic feet behind the second row and 43 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
Coaching drivers on how to brake
Ford's well-regarded hybrid instrument cluster and informational graphics, first seen in the 2010 Fusion, have been updated for both models of the 2013 C-Max. They're also integrated with the optional MyFordTouch voice-activated infotainment and vehicle control system, powered by Sync.
New to the system is the active Brake Coach, which guides drivers in how to maximize use of the regenerative braking to recapture the maximum amount of energy while slowing the car. The graphics show when energy is being wasted by braking hard enough to require the friction brakes to engage as well as the regeneration.
As before, those who drive most efficiently will see green leaves slowly growing on a vine in the right half of the instrument cluster. Other drivers, who may find that idea supremely annoying, can suppress the display.
Convenience and safety
Like the new Escape, the C-Max hybrids offer a hands-free liftgate that lets the driver (with the key fob in a pocket) wave his or her foot below the bumper to open the rear hatch automatically.
The C-Max hybrids come with seven airbags, and a variety of electronic safety technologies. Those include torque vectoring to guide the vehicle better through corners, and curve control to slow it if the driver enters a corner too fast.
It includes Ford's MyKey technology, which limits vehicle functions for teen drivers using a designated key. And its Sync 911 Assist automatically contacts an emergency dispatcher if the car's airbags deploy, assuming the driver is carrying a switched-on mobile phone that's been linked to the Sync system.
Other standard or available features include push-button start, Ford's active parking assist, voice-activated navigation, and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio systems with available HD radio.
Electrified vehicles times 3
By 2013, Ford says it will have tripled its capacity to build electrified vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery electric vehicles).
The company has built about 40,000 hybrids a year since the launch of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, so it will likely build 100,000 or more of its five hybrid and electric models.
The pair of C-Max hybrids will arrive at Ford dealers during the second half of 2012. They'll be manufactured in the same Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant that builds Ford Focus compact sedans and hatchbacks.