Toyota, take note: as Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell from HBO's popular Game Of Thrones might say, “Ford Is Coming.”
Pop culture references aside, Ford announced yesterday that it has begun to accept orders for its 2013 C-Max Hybrid hatchback, a car it hopes will steal Toyota’s hybrid car crown.
Starting at $25,995, the base-level 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is $555 cheaper than the very lowest specification 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon, but Ford claims it can best the Japanese hybrid on gas mileage, specification and interior space.
Inside, the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid manages to best the 2012 Toyota Prius V’s cargo passegner space by nearly three cubic feet, while its higher roofline allows it a few extra inches over the Prius V. However, at 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row, its cargo area is considerably smaller than the Prius V's 34.3 cubic feet.
Although the C-Max Hybrid is new to the U.S. market, Ford is keen to point out that it is built on the successes of the European-market gasoline C-Max, which has sold 156,000 cars since launch in 2010.
Combining its third-generation hybrid drivetrain with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine that is Ford’s most efficient non-turbocharged engine to date, Ford says the C-Max Hybrid has projected best-in-class horsepower and torque.
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
At the moment, Ford hasn’t released official EPA-approved gas mileage figures for its compact minivan hatch, but has reiterated it will be a class-leader in economy.
In order to achieve that, it has to better the 42 mpg combined of the the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon.
But wait. Ford isn’t hunting just one Toyota Prius hybrid, however. It wants to collect the entire set.
Although it isn’t due for another six months, Ford claims the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid will best the fuel economy of Toyota’s 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
Alongside the extra space and improved gas-mileage, every Ford C-Max Hybrid will ship with Ford’s highly-praised MyFord Touch infotainment system.
As part of its technology package, the C-Max Hybrid will also ship with its hands-free tailgate technology. Approach the car with the wireless key fob in your pocket, wave a foot near the rear bumper, and the tailgate will automatically open for you.
There is just one catch however: while Ford dealers are now accepting orders for the all-new hybrid to customers who have overcome their prejudice of the brand, deliveries aren’t expected to begin until the fall.
As for Toyota? It might want to heed Lord Stark's advice.
Stark Ford Is Coming