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Ford C-Max Hybrid Now Available for Pre-Order

Posted: 05/18/2012 - 1:44 PM ET

Hybrid lovers who are committed to buying American cars have something new to celebrate: Ford Motor Company announced on Thursday that it is now taking orders for their C-Max Hybrid car.

According to representatives of the automaker, the C-Max has a base price of $25,995 (not including as-yet-undisclosed shipping charges), making it less expensive than its instant-rival, the Toyota Prius V wagon, which starts at $27,310 (shipping included). Ford also says that the C-Max will offer fuel economy in excess of the Prius 5's 42 mg, but has not yet shared any details.

The C-Max, a five-passenger hatchback, is the first car in Ford's inaugural dedicated hybrid lineup, and its launch is part of the "power of choice" campaign with which the company intends to improve fuel economy for all of its vehicles as well as increasing its ability to produce electric vehicles. To this end, the C-Max comes standard with Ford's EcoGuide and SmartGauge systems, which are meant to help drivers operate the car with greater efficiency as well as aiding them in maximizing fuel economy.

This Hybrid is being built on the platform Ford refers to as "C-segment," and ships with a "powersplit" system that allows the car's gasoline-powered engine and electric motor either to work in unison or to work independently of each other, to attain maximum fuel and power efficiency.

The gas engine is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that is paired with a lithium-ion battery system. According to Ford, the regenerative braking system in the C-Max will retain over 95% of the energy derived from braking, in order to boost power to the car. The C-Max will be produced at the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant where the Ford Focus, Focus Electric, and Focus ST are already being built. Ford also says that a plug-in hybrid version of the vehicle, called the C-Max Energi, will be offered later this year.

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