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Ford C-Max and C-Max Energi (photos)

Ford showed off the U.S. version of its C-Max model, already sold in Europe, at the 2011 Detroit auto show. Along with this introduction, the company brought out the C-Max Energi, Ford's first plug-in hybrid.

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Wayne Cunningham
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Ford C-Max Energi

With the introduction of its C-Max people carrier to the U.S. market, Ford delivered a surprise by also announcing a hybrid version and a plug-in hybrid. The C-Max Energi uses a power train similar to that in the current Ford Fusion Hybrid, but gets a lithium ion battery pack and a plug-in port on the left front fender.

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Ford C-Max Energi

Similar to the Fusion Hybrid, the C-Max Energi uses an Atkinson cycle engine paired with an electric traction motor. Ford expects the C-Max Energi to get better mileage than the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

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Ford C-Max Energi

The C-Max Energi is based on the five-passenger version of the C-Max. As such, its front and rear doors are hinged and it has ample cargo area in back.

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Ford C-Max Energi

With a fresh, full charge on the batteries, the C-Max Energi drives in what Ford calls battery depletion mode, maximizing electric drive time. Ford does not specify the range in this mode. When the battery gets low, the car enters normal hybrid mode, relying more on the gasoline engine. Total range is expected to be about 500 miles.

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Ford C-Max

The standard gas engine C-Max can be had in what Ford calls a 5+2 arrangement, and includes sliding rear doors, more like a traditional minivan. The C-Max comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-liter, Ford's Ecoboost engine.

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Ford C-Max

Although this model does not show it, the C-Max can be had with the MyFord Touch interface, which puts two LCDs in the instrument cluster and a center LCD for navigation.

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Ford C-Max

As in other, new Ford vehicles, a Sony audio system is available. Sync is also included, which provides MP3 player and Bluetooth phone integration, along with voice command. Ford also makes available automatic parallel parking.

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8 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Ford C-Max

Although Ford rolled out a C-Max with this six-speed manual transmission, the U.S. version will all have six-speed automatics.

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