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etroit 2011: Ford Blesses C-Max People Mover with Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid Powertrains

The mantra may tout the advantages One Ford, but hasn’t apparently stopped Ford product planners from spinning off a handful of variants of the new C-Max people mover. The latest additions to the portfolio include the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, both of which debuted yesterday morning at the 2011 Detroit auto show.

Interestingly, both models differ from the North American 2012 C-Max in more than just powertrain details. What Ford calls a C-Max here in the New World is known abroad as the Grand C-Max, and is technically a longer, seven-seat variant of the five-passenger European C-Max. That latter model isn’t sold in North America with a conventional gasoline engine — but it will be sold here in hybrid and plug-in hybrid form.

The C-Max Hybrid, as its name portends, simply blesses the four-door, five-seat crossover with Ford’s powersplit hybrid system, similar to that used in the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid models. Power is provided in part by a new lithium-ion battery pack, which was developed and manufactured in-house by Ford. According to the automaker, the system is capable of traveling at speeds up around 47 mph using only electricity.


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