DEARBORN — Ford dealers are starting to place orders for the new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid.

The “hybrid utility vehicle” shares the automotive bones of the Ford Focus. It will be available this fall with a base price of $25,995 — approximately $500 lower than the Toyota Prius v’s base price.

The C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid will follow later this year with better electric-mode fuel economy and overall driving range than the Prius plug-in hybrid.

“C-Max Hybrid offers better fuel economy, performance, technology and functionality than Prius v – and C-Max Hybrid customers will pay less at the dealership and at the pump,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of marketing, sales and service in the United States for Ford.

Ford says the vehicle benefits from the automaker’s nearly 500 hybrid vehicle-related patents contained within. It features Sync with MyFordTouch telematics service, a hands-free liftgate, a SmartGauge with EcoGuide display, regenerative braking, and an advanced lithium-ion battery pack being used for the first time in a Ford hybrid.

C-Max Hybrid – being built on Ford’s global C-segment platform – also benefits from a proven design and nameplate with more than 156,000 units of the gasoline version sold in Europe since its 2010 launch.

The vehicle has a high roofline (63.9 inches) offering ample interior space and flexibility. C-Max Hybrid offers 99.7 cubic feet of passenger space compared with 97 cubic feet in Prius v. The spacious C-MAX Hybrid also provides greater headroom in both front and rear seats than Prius v (41/39.4 inches vs. 39.6/38.6 inches).

For cargo, C-Max Hybrid has 60/40 split-fold rear seats that easily fold flat with 54.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row.

The C-Max Hybrid is new, but its software and hardware technology have been evolving for nearly two decades.

C-Max Hybrid is powered through 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.

The electric motor of the C-Max Hybrid is powered by an advanced li-ion battery system designed to maximize use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in Ford’s critically acclaimed hybrid vehicles.

C-Max Hybrid also offers Ford’s next-generation powersplit architecture that allows 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. Further, the regenerative braking system can recapture more than 95 percent of the braking energy that would otherwise be lost, and is able to use that power to help charge the battery. C-Max Hybrid requires no plug-in charging.

The C-Max Hybrid is being produced at Ford’s Wayne-based Michigan Assembly Plant alongside Focus, Focus Electric and Focus ST. It is one of five electrified vehicles Ford plans to produce in North America in 2012. In addition to C-Max Energi, the other vehicles include Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.


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