Ford's Also Readying A Prius Fighter, But Don't They Already Have One?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
ford s also readying a prius fighter but don t they already have one

Our Ford sources have confirmed a Reuters report that claims Ford is readying a new lineup of dedicated hybrids to take on the Toyota Prius.

The new range, set to debut in late 2018, will ride on the next-generation C-platform that underpins the current Ford Escape and Focus. Dubbed “C240”, volume has been pegged at 120,000 units annually, with production taking place at the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.

In addition to a range of bodystyles, both regular hybrid and plug-in versions are set to be offered. Although much talk has been made of the distinct nature of these new vehicles, Ford already offers the C-Max as a hybrid-only vehicle – though the C-Max was originally set to be offered as a gasoline-powered minivan in varying lengths, with 5 or 7 seats.

The C-Max was originally offered with the 1.6L Ecoboost and 2.5L I4 engines, but in between its 2011 debut and its 2012 on sale date, Ford pivoted to a hybrid-only strategy. TTAC sources claim that Ford’s $5.9 billon loan from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program was used to convert the C-Max (and its assembly facilities) into a hybrid-only offering that would ostensibly offer Ford numerous regulatory benefits (in the form of an increased CAFE rating and regulatory credits) as well as a unique marketing edge.

Although look is more akin to the larger Prius V, the C-Max is Ford’s de facto Prius competitor, by nature of its hybrid-only powertrain and odd (for North America) shape and footprint. But sales have been modest, with 35,000 units sold in 2013, and questions regarding its fuel economy figures, coupled with disgruntled owners, have hurt its image. Perhaps Ford is looking to launch a clean sheet Prius competitor backed by a clean-sheet design and marketing effort.

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  • Z9 Z9 on Aug 22, 2014

    Love my C-Max Energi. Currently at 67 average MPG. Here in the republic of the Jetta TDI wagon, the C-Max is everywhere, and for good reason. If you don't do the majority of your driving on long highway trips it makes perfect sense. If Ford could fix the trunk space problem with a new model, that'd be awesome. Also maybe the doors don't need to weigh three tons each? I suspect Ford could put their cars on a diet and gain back a few miles per gallon.

    • Dragonphire Dragonphire on Aug 22, 2014

      Due to the fact the fact that it wasnt built as a hybrid to begin with I believe (hope) that the next gen will address this weight issue. However if you look across Fords lineup you will notice that all of their vehicles are not weight competitive at all. If they took out 300-400lbs across their lineup it would help real world gas mileage and they wouldnt be forced to change the stickers every two years. If you take a Cmax and make it as light as a Prius you are looking at Prius mileage plus Ford driving dynamics.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Aug 22, 2014

    Wasn't Toyota supplying their hybrid tech to Ford few years back? I also thought Toyota is working with Ford to implement hybrid tech into their trucks. Either way, everyone has been claiming to kill the Prius sooner or later but it hasn't happened. Toyota is too far ahead with its tech and consistent enhancements.

    • Bball40dtw Bball40dtw on Aug 22, 2014

      Ford independently developed a system with key technologies similar to Toyota's HSD. Instead of going through legal battles, Ford licensed 21 patents from Toyota in exchange for patents relating to emissions technology. Until the new C-Max and Fusion, Aisin supplied both comapnies powersplit transmissions. Ford builds their own eCVT in Sterling Heights, MI. It is the only FWD hybrid transmission built in the US. Ford and Toyota were working on hybrid trucks together. They dissolved that relationship last year after the feasability study and prototypes. Ford stated that they were going to bring hybrid trucks/SUVs, based on that new system, to market by the end of the decade. Toyota hasn't made any product comments. The truck hybrid is probably less important to Toyota than Ford.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.