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Ford to Launch its First Plug-in Hybrid with C-MAX Energi

Promises Even Better Fuel Efficiency Than Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Ford C-MAX Energi

Ford launches its first plug-in hybrid with the 2012 C-MAX Energi.

Ford

Calling it a leap forward in its drive to grow its stable of electric vehicles, Ford says it will launch C-MAX Energi in 2012, the car maker's first-ever production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Ford will also introduce C-MAX Hybrid, a full hybrid variant of the C-MAX. Both will have five-passenger capacity and are being marketed as "multi-activity vehicles," a somewhat more cumbersome term than crossover or SUV.

Ford says the new C-MAX lineup will leverage the company’s global C-car platform, powersplit hybrid architecture, and next-generation driver information features. Perhaps of most interest to hybrid enthusiasts, though, will be Ford's promise of a more advanced, lighter and smaller lithium-ion battery system.

Clearly witht the Chevy Volt in its crosshairs, Ford surprisingly says the C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to deliver better miles per gallon than its own hybrid leader, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, a vehicle it says claims the title of the most fuel-efficient sedan in America.

Just how fuel efficient? C-MAX Energi targets more than 500 miles of driving range using the battery and engine, a claim Ford says is greater than any other plug-in or extended-range vehicle. With a nod to the competition, Ford says the C-MAX also targets AT-PZEV status and delivers better charge-sustaining fuel economy than Chevy's Volt.

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