Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid Runs 85 mph Electric; Hybrid Hits 47 mpg City

DEARBORN — Drivers of the coming Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid will enjoy the auto industry’s top electric-only speed among all plug-in hybrid vehicles, 85 mph.

Ford also announced that its “regular” C-Max hybrid had been EPA rated at an identical 47 mpg in both city and highway driving.

The plug-in version tops the Toyota Prius plug-in’s top EV-only speed by more than 20 mph, meaning the all-new, five-passenger Ford C-Max Energi can easily keep pace with the flow of traffic, even when the EV mode button is engaged and the gasoline engine is off.

The plug-in version will be introduced this fall in limited markets and nationwide in early 2013.

C-Max Energi’s EV-only mode range is 20-plus miles – more than triple Toyota’s plug-in and well within the one-way commute range of many American motorists. C-Max Energi — Ford’s first plug-in hybrid — also tops Prius plug-in in overall range (550 miles versus 540 miles).

The EV mode button, mounted in the center stack, allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes.

Drivers can opt for electric-only driving without gasoline engine power, normal hybrid mode where the powertrain melds electric and gasoline engine power as appropriate, or a battery-saving mode that reserves the pack power for later use. For an image of the EV mode button, click here.

Meanwhile, the C-Max Hybrid will deliver an EPA-certified 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway rating — 7 mpg better than Toyota Prius v on the highway.

C-Max Hybrid launches this fall. The certification is significant because hybrids traditionally have been more economical in city driving than on the highway, unlike conventional vehicles. C-Max Hybrid, however, returns the same fuel economy whether driving cross-country or across the city — stemming mostly from a growing list of Ford innovations that have helped the vehicle to deliver an impressive list of metrics, such as a top speed of up to 62 mph in EV-only mode.

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 currently available for order at select dealerships.

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