“Ford’s 2013 C-Max Hybrids intro next generation powersplit technology”
The Blue oval team at Ford Motor Company is committed to and focused on accelerating its fuel economy leadership drive with their two new 2013 C-MAX models – the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid. Both new models employ the next generation of Ford’s powersplit technology, which allows electric mode operation at higher speeds than any other competitive vehicle.
C-MAX vehicles headline Ford’s transformed model lineup, a third of which will feature a model with 40 mpg or more. Both C-MAX Hybrids are built on the company’s C-segment platform and are the company’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle line and the first MAV (multi-activity vehicle) line in North America and the C-MAX line hits impressive fuel efficiency and range figures without sacrificing driving performance.
C-MAX hybrids will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.
Ford currently holds approximately 500 patents that cover technologies in its electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles like C-MAX Energi in addition to several hundred patent-pending applications, and with 20 years of Ford research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology driving them, the C-MAX vehicles also offer a proven design and nameplate with more than 100,000 sold in Europe since they were launched in late 2010.
We’ll focus here on the C-MAX Hybrid, which is powered by a forward transversely mounted 2.0-liter, DOHC , 16-valve inline four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with intake variable camshaft timing and sequential multiport electronic fuel injection. Horsepower is rated at 141 with torque rated at 129 pound feet. The gasoline engine is paired with a Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor. that delivers 118 horsepower and 117 pound feet of torque. The combined system’s total power output is 188 horsepower. Energy os transmitted to the front wheels through a HF35 eCVT hybrid powersplit transaxle.
C-MAX hybrids provide Ford’s next-generation powersplit architecture allowing the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency. The engine also can operate independently of vehicle speed, charging the batteries or providing power to the wheels as needed. The motor alone can provide sufficient power to the wheels in low-speed, low-load conditions and work with the engine at higher speeds.
In the C-MAX Hybrid, the li-ion battery pack is recharged when the gasoline engine is in operation, and the regenerative braking system is able to recapture more than 95 percent of the braking energy that would otherwise be lost, and can use that power to help charge the battery. C-MAX Hybrid requires no plug-in charging.
The C-MAX Hybrid is visually pleasing in a five-door hatch configuration that comfortably seats five with a split fold-flat second row seat and appears as a sort of mini-wagon which Ford refers to as a MAV (Multi Activity Vehicle). The C-MAX line leads off with Ford’s new signature grille, which is not unlike that of Aston Martin, and features a high roof design that delivers a higher command-style seat position instead of a cockpit-type. C-MAX Hybrid provides 54.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row.
The C-MAX line features the company’s innovative hands-free liftgate that allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without ever needing to fumble for keys. A gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the liftgate when used in combination with a key fob the user keeps in his or her pocket or purse that tells the car it’s OK to engage. The liftgate may be closed in the same manner.
Both safety and technology abound in the C-MAX line: the newest version of SYNC® with MyFord Touch®; the next generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide; Brake Coach; the available MyFord® Mobile smartphone application; MyKey® teen safety feature, SYNC 911 Assist™ and seven airbags; Curve Control; Torque Vectoring Control; and Electric Power Steering.
My test Ford C-MAX Hybrid came in SEL trim with the exterior finished in tinted Ruby Red metallic and Medium Light Stone leather seating. The base price was set at $28,200 while the options and destination charge elevated the final sticker to $31,085.
SUMMARY: Not only is the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid an exceptionally good looking vehicle, it is also exceptionally fun to drive. It comes loaded with connectivity and technology as well as an impressive inventory of safety features.
The C-MAX Hybrid is extremely versatile, with reconfigurable seating and cargo arrangements, and in terms of its performance, it may driven in a modest and economical fashion or it may be prodded with gusto. The latter scenario delivers a healthy and pleasing growl from the gas engine, which was unexpected from a hybrid vehicle. Acceleration is brisk and trey handling characteristics of the C-MAX register in the sporty column.
Ride quality is satisfying as well, with accommodations for five to travel in comfort. Bottom line, the C-MAX Hybrid may appear small at first glance, but it’s definitely big on delivering the amenities and performance often only found in larger, more expensive vehicles, and the fact that it is a Hybrid only adds to its overall appeal. Sure, Ford offers larger vehicles if needed, but the C-MAX Hybrid delivers outstanding fuel economy and a lot of value in an affordable package.
SPECIFICATIONS: Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL-’13
|Price as Tested:||$31,605|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter, DOHC , 16-valve inline four- cylinder Atkinson cycle with intake variable camshaft timing (VCT) and sequential multiport electronic fuel injection|
|Horsepower (bhp):||141 @ N/A rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||129 @ N/A rpm Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor. 118 horsepower @6,000 rpm. 117 lb.-ft. torque Total system power=188 hp|
|Transmission:||HF35 eCVT hybrid powersplit transaxle|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front- wheel drive|
|Suspension:||Front – Independent MacPherson strut with 25.5mm stabilizer bar and gas pressurized shocks.Rear – Control Blade™ multilink with 22mm stabilizer bar and gas pressurized shocks|
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs with four- sensor, four wheel anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control and regenerative braking system|
|Tires:||Michelin Energy 225/50 R17 mounted on 5-“V”-spoke with two shorter spokes each for 15 spokes total|
|Length Overall:||173.6 inches|
|Width:||82.1 inches with mirrors|
|Curb Weight:||3,640 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity:||13.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||47 mpg city / 47 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|