It's only a few more months before Ford's first plug-in hybrid car hits the market, in the shape of the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi.

The C-Max Energi is just part of a five-pronged attack on the hybrid and plug-in market this year, joining the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and flanked by the regular C-Max Hybrid, all-new Fusion Hybrid, and the upcoming Fusion Energi.

Ford is certainly proud of one particular aspect of the C-Max Energi's performance--its all-electric range.

At 20 miles, that's double what the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In can offer drivers, and Ford suggests that many drivers will comfortably complete their commute in all electric mode.

They'll also be able to "drive from Sacramento to San Diego on a tank of gas", something that no other vehicle of its kind can do.

That's an overall range of 550 miles, and Ford is suggesting an MPG-equivalent figure of 95 MPGe in electric mode.

What isn't clear is what the car will do when running on gasoline rather than in EV mode, though Ford has the 50 mpg Prius Plug-In in its sights. Ford says the C-Max Energi will also achieve a higher electric-only top speed than the Toyota.

Power shouldn't be a problem, the 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and hybrid motor developing a total 188 horsepower. Naturally, efficiency monitoring--called EcoGuide in Ford speak--will ensure you don't use all that power too often.

Joining the C-Max Energi in the fall are the $25,995 C-Max Hybrid (with a city rating of 47 mpg) and the all-new Fusion Hybrid, with its Camry Hybrid-beating 47 mpg highway rating.

Unfortunately, as well as the lack of mpg data, Ford hasn't yet announed pricing--or even availability--for its C-Max Energi. If you're in the market for one, you might have to wait a little longer to make your decision.

Even so, it may have taken a while, but Dearborn looks like finally taking the fight to Toyota's hybrids.


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