Ford C-MAX Hybrid Goes Head-to-Head with Prius v

2012 Ford C-MAXFord is making a big move this fall with the launch of the C-MAX Hybrid, and in the process taking on the Toyota Prius v in the battle for king of the mountain in the Hybrid Utility Vehicle category.

Ford plans to take the top spot with a projected leading fuel economy of 47 mpg city ? beating the Toyota Prius v by 3 mpg, and a lower base price.

The segment for small hybrids such as the C-MAX Hybrid and Prius accounts for 65 percent of all hybrid sales. Ford expects about half of C-MAX buyers to be conquest customers trading in competitive models.

With improved efficiency and performance at a lower price, Ford expect the payback period to recoup the extra initial cost of the hybrid to come in about two years. This is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.

Ford research highlights other ways in which hybrids could become more mainstream. The gap in average income between hybrid and conventional vehicle buyers has decreased by half ? from about $30,000 to $15,000 ? in the past few years.

?The C-MAX Hybrid builds on Ford?s 20 years of hybrid innovation and fuel-efficient offerings to take on Prius v with better city fuel economy at 47 mpg and at better value ? a great chance for us to shake up the hybrid market,? said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. ?C-MAX Hybrid delivers 3 mpg more than Prius v with 50 more horsepower and exclusive technologies such as our hands-free liftgate ? and the $1,300-lower base price means the payback period will be the smallest in the segment.?

2012 Ford C-MAXThe C-MAX Hybrid is expected to be America?s most affordable hybrid utility vehicle with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery, which is $1,300 lower than Toyota Prius v. ?C-MAX Hybrid is part of Ford?s first dedicated line of hybrid vehicles and currently available for order at select dealerships.

The projected 47 mpg city and 44 mpg highway ratings to be delivered by C-MAX Hybrid beat the fuel economy of Toyota Prius v with its 44 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

The vehicle also can be driven 500-plus miles with total system horsepower of 188 compared with total system horsepower of 134 from Toyota Prius v and Prius.

The power of C-MAX Hybrid stems from the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Hybrid uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine ? powerful and fuel efficient and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.

C-MAX Hybrid also offers class-exclusive technologies such as the available hands-free liftgate, optional active park assist and SmartGauge??with EcoGuide, along with the ability to deliver higher speeds in electric mode than Toyota Prius v.2012 Ford C-MAX