Ford C-Max Hybrid to take on Toyota Prius

Ford plans to introduce an electric motor into its popular compact MPV in 2013 in the UK and, matched to a petrol engine, it is targeting the car most people think of when they consider buying a hybrid model.

The Toyota Prius is one of the best-selling hybrid cars in the world but Ford says the new C-Max will outperform it in terms of driving costs.

“C-MAX is the right car for the time as it combines the dynamics and quality of a traditional car with the versatility of a MAV and leading fuel efficiency that you cannot even get from Toyota,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s Electrification Programs and Engineering.

The five-door, five-seat Ford C-Max Hybrid will use a 2.0-litre petrol engine matched to an electric motor and expects fuel economy to be above the 65mpg currently offered by the Prius.

The car itself will be based on the new 2011 Ford C-Max but with some subtle tweaks to the design including a front grille used exclusively on Ford’s planned electric and hybrid range.

However, inside it will be identical to the current Ford C-Max with space for five and a selection of Ford’s new technology including Bluetooth and even Ford’s SYNC technology, which includes voice activated commands.

As with all hybrid cars, the new Ford C-Max Hybrid is expected to cost more than a standard Ford C-Max. Ford C-Max prices currently start from around £18,000 on-the-road.

Based on the Ford Focus hatchback, the Ford C-Max is a leader in the compact MPV segment in the UK because of its small car-handling, responsive steering and refinement on the road.

It is also one of the more stylish models in the MPV segment and comes with a more practical version in the shape of the seven-seat Ford Grand C-Max, both of which are available now in Ford dealerships.