Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater

Ford_S-MAX_Concept_1Ford unveiled today the S-Max Concept, which comes with a new, sleek look and loaded with innovative technology, such as a heart-rate monitoring seat. But if your heart is set on a minivan sports activity vehicle (SAV) and you live in the States, don’t wait for this one – it’s a Europe-only product, and we don’t expect that to change when the next-gen S-Max is released.

The styling follows Ford’s global design language, looking a bit like an overgrown Ford Focus hatchback with the company’s signature grille, wraparound headlamps, steeply raked windshield and curved roof line. Ford also implemented details to make the S-Max look longer and faster, such as a feature line on each side of the vehicle and muscular-looking fenders. The engine isn’t Ford’s most powerful, but the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine should be potent enough with turbocharging and other efficiency related technologies.

Ford says the new interior, which seats up to seven people, features high-quality materials and fine detailing, such as an “ultra-soft” leather wrap for the instrument panel and leather and carbon-fiber details on the seats. Ford’s Sync connectivity system with MyFord Touch makes the car a wireless hotspot, and there’s a tablet docking station for second-row occupants.

But it’s the health-related systems that have our attention. The heart-rate sensing seat records the driver’s heart rate and has the potential to respond to medical emergencies via Sync. This can range from alerting medical experts to triggering active safety systems that can take over temporarily for an incapacitated driver. The car even has a glucose monitoring system that Ford claims can detect a sleeping child having a diabetic episode in the back seat.

Hyundai, BMW and Ford win Concept Vehicle of the Year awards


More than two dozen jurors started with a pool of 23 concept cars introduced at the most recent Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York auto shows, then pared it down to three winners in three categories for the twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. The trophy-bearers are said to be those “vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry,” and lead their classes in the Concept Car, Concept Truck and Production Preview divisions.

Hyundai had two cars as finalists for the Concept Car category, the competition boiled down to the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis concept, Veloster C3 Roll Top, Honda EV-STER and the Toyota Corolla Furia. It won with the HCD-14 Genesis that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, a sharp sedan that sharply divided opinion between those who thought it was too much, those who thought it was too much Audi A7, and those who thought it was perfect. The award panel’s judges, however, thought so much of it that it’s got two awards in one sitting, not only taking concept car honors, but because it earned the highest overall score in the competition it also takes the crown for Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2013.

The final selection in the Concept Truck category was down to the Ford Atlas, Kia Cross GT, Nissan Resonance and Volkswagen Cross Blue. The Ford Atlas took the silverware, after also winning the Eyes on Design award – shared with the Nissan Resonance – at the Detroit Auto Show where it was introduced.

The Production Preview Vehicle was swiped by the BMW i8 Spyder, which rolled silently away from theAcura NSX, the Subaru WRX STI and Tesla Model X. It was a year-on-year sibling affair, with the i8 coupehaving won the same category in last year’s awards.

Ford Mondeo with 1.5-liter EcoBoost debuts in China


Does the car above, posing fancifully in white, look familiar? Well, it should. Although it wears Mondeo badges in the form you see above for the Chinese market – as it does in Europe – the car is basically the same thing sold in the US as the Ford Fusion. Of course, it’s what’s under that shapely skin that counts.

Ford has chosen the Shanghai Motor Show as the venue at which to unveil its 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. We’d heard about the engine before, but now we have a few performance estimates to share: 133 kW of power (about 178 horsepower) and 240 Nm of torque (about 177 pound-feet).

Those numbers pretty much confirm previous rumors indicating about 177 in each category, and it’s right on par with what Ford’s own 1.6-liter EcoBoost produces. Ford is claiming best-in-class fuel economy as well, but no specific figures have yet been provided. In any case, we’ll surely have all the data soon enough, as the 1.5-liter engine is destined for the US Fusion in 2014.

Ford will also offer a 2.0-liter EcoBoost in the Chinese Mondeo that puts out 178 kW (239 horsepower) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft).

[Source: Autoblog]

2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi in Portland at Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro: technology and Power information

Portland Ford dealer, Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, has the Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi! For more information on these hybrids, contact us at (800) 783-0863.

Potential Portland Ford C-MAX owners will find all they need to know on the technology and Power information on these wonderful hybrids. For more information on the C-MAX safety and innovations click here.

The C-MAX Energi, for sale near Tigard, is expected to deliver a better fuel economy equivalent in electric mode than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid with a 500-mile overall driving range, more than Chevrolet Volt. The new C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to achieve better fuel economy than Toyota Prius v.

C-MAX Hybrid is projected to deliver class-leading fuel economy and beat the Toyota Prius v in both city and highway equivalent miles per gallon.
C-MAX Energi is projected to deliver better fuel economy in electric mode than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and is projected to achieve more than 500 miles of overall driving range.

The C-MAX line hits impressive fuel efficiency and range figures without sacrificing driving performance.
“With C-MAX, you get road-holding capability, sportiness and performance in addition to leading fuel economy, great versatility, great features and great technology in a package designed to exceed customer expectations,” said John Davis, C-MAX chief nameplate engineer.
Both vehicles feature the next generation of Ford’s acclaimed powersplit technology that will allow operation in electric mode at higher speeds than any other hybrid.
“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 C-MAX hybrids headline Ford’s transformed lineup, one-third of which will feature a model with 40 mpg or more in 2012, building on the company’s commitment to give fuel-efficiency-minded customers the power of choice.

The C-MAX vehicles will be built on the company’s global C-segment platform and are two of five electrified vehicles Ford launch in North America in 2012.
The C-MAX line features the company’s innovative hands-free liftgate that allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without ever needing to fumble for keys. A gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the liftgate when used in combination with a key fob the user keeps in his or her pocket or purse that tells the car it’s OK to engage. The same motion can be used to close the liftgate.
The vehicles also feature the newest version of SYNC® with MyFord Touch® to help inform, enlighten, engage and empower drivers – with an emphasis on increasing fuel economy.
This feature offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs. In C-MAX Energi, the system offers additional information such as battery state of charge and distance to the next charge point.
The C-MAX also offers the next generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from the C-MAX, information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on the left cluster to help drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle’s efficiency.

In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system so that driving range can be enhanced through proper braking techniques.

Available for C-MAX Energi is the MyFord® Mobile smartphone application that allows users to monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips and do more from their smartphones or computers for an effortless transition to an electrified vehicle lifestyle.
Other available technology features on C-MAX include active park assist, push-button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio, HD Radioand voice-activated Navigation System.

Portland Ford Mustang fans: check out SEMA bound Mustangs!

Portland Ford Mustang fans, you’re in for a treat! Check out the SEMA bound Mustang concepts. For more information on all things Ford Mustang, contact Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro at (800) 783-0863.

2013 Mustang GT, 5.0L V8, Six-Speed Manual Transmission – Built by Ringbrothers

Why it’s cool: Inspired by street machine style, the Ringbrothers Mustang GT adds a supercharger, suspension upgrades, Baer brakes, a carbon-fiber body kit, custom waterborne paint, and big wheels and tires to create an optimized balance of form and function.

2013 Mustang Convertible, 3.7L V6, Six-Speed Manual Transmission – Built by Stitchcraft

Why it’s cool: Stitchcraft added nitrous injection, a FlowMaster exhaust, Hotchkis coil-over suspension and big Wilwood brakes to give this pony more performance. A 3dCarbon body kit and custom paint scheme harmonize with the signature Stitchcraft custom interior to add individuality and comfort.

2013 Mustang GT, 5.0L V8, Six-Speed SelectShift Automatic Transmission – Built by DSO Eyewear

Why it’s cool: A Whipple twin-screw supercharger with intercooler boosts horsepower to 750, while Eibach suspension and Brembo brakes help deliver and modulate speed. Big wheels and tires, a 3dCarbon body kit, extensive interior customization, and a booming Rockford audio system combine to set this unique build apart.

2013 Mustang GT, 5.0L V8, Six-Speed Manual Transmission – Built by Mothers, Autosport Dynamics, RTR

Why it’s cool: The Mothers’ team has pumped this Mustang up to 650 horsepower, added a track-ready suspension, fitted big wheels and tires, wrapping the package with an RTR carbon-fiber body kit, and finishing the cockpit in custom Sparco seats with custom upholstery. Vaughn Gittin Jr., your Mustang is ready.

Mulally says Ford pondering sub-Fiesta small car for emerging markets

We haven’t talked about or seen the Ford Start Concept in some time, but it’s starting to seem like something similar to this car might become a reality soon. Automotive News reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally says his company is looking at adding a small, value-priced B-segment car slotting in below the Ford Fiesta, and we can’t help but think of how well Ford’s 2010 concept would fill this spot.

This unnamed sub-Fiesta model would likely take the place of the Ford Ka minicar, and it would ride on the same platform as the Fiesta instead of being built by Fiat on the Fiat 500 platform like the current Ka. The goal of such a car would obviously be to offer a lower-priced car than the Fiesta to help Ford expand in emerging global markets. The article says the this new model would be a global car, but there is no indication as to whether it would ever be offered in North America. There does seem to be a growing market for small cars in this market as evident by the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Chevrolet Spark, but the jury remains out on their long-term sales prospects. Mulally confirmed to Automotive News that if such a car came to fruition, it would definitely wear Ford’s iconic Blue Oval rather than branding it with a lower-dollar nameplate like Renault currently does with Dacia and Nissan is planning to do with its revived Datsun brand.

Like the Start Concept, Ford’s new value model would almost certainly feature the new 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost in its powertrain lineup. This engine is already available in the larger Ford Focus in other markets (we had a chance to take for a quick spin back in July), and Ford is understood to be evaluating the powerplant for possible North American consumption.

[Source: Autoblog]

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

It’s generally not polite to start a story about a new Ford by referencing a very popular Toyota, but we’re going to make an exception this time.

With fuel prices continuing to creep upwards, sales of advanced-powertrain vehicles are booming (in May of this year alone, nearly 46,000 units left showrooms). While some vehicles, like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, soldier forth with modest sales from month-to-month, Toyota’s Prius family of vehicles (the standard Prius, smaller Prius C, larger Prius V and Prius Plug-In Hybrid) consistently leads the sales race. Understandably, that places a big red target on their backs.

Aiming its scope, and bracketing wisely, Ford is introducing a slew of new advance-powertrain models over the next year. These include full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. One of the first to arrive is the all-new C-Max Hybrid, which has the Prius V aligned in its crosshairs, and not a single person carrying a Blue Oval business card is keeping it a secret.

To determine whether or not the new Ford has the right stuff to challenge the Prius V, we put one through its paces in Southern California last week.

 The Prius family won’t be easy to dethrone, as Toyota has conjured up a well-liked family of hybrids that are quirky enough (both inside and out) to be unique and immediately recognized as something special. Of course, they also deliver the fuel economy and reliability expected of an industry-leading hybrid vehicle.

To go head-to-head with the Prius V, Ford wisely chose its global C Platform as a starting point. The chassis, also underpinning the Ford Focus, wears a five-door C-Max shell in this application (very familiar to Europeans). Thanks to its high roofline (63.9 inches), the Ford boasts 52.6 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row. It also offers more headroom in both the front and rear seats than the Prius V (41.0 and 39.4 inches, versus 39.6 and 38.6 inches), according to Ford. Add it all up, and the C-Max Hybrid offers 99.7 cubic feet of passenger space (the Prius V offers slightly less at 97.0 cubic feet). The C-Max’s standard five-place cabin also features a 60/40 split-fold-flat second row, designed with one-handed operation in mind, for additional utility.

Under the front hood of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle gasoline-fed inline four-cylinder rated at 141 horsepower that has been mated to a 35-kW permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor for a combined system power of 188 horsepower. The transmission, sending power to the front wheels, is an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (HF 35 eCVT). Electrical energy, captured through regenerative braking or from the internal combustion engine (ICE), is stored in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries placed directly over the rear axle. Ford says the C-Max will run up to 62 mph in pure EV mode. For reference, the Toyota Prius V features a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter gasoline-fed inline-four rated at 98 horsepower mated to an electric motor for a combined system power of 134 horsepower, and the Toyota uses nickel-metal-hydride cells. The NiMH technology requires more space and is a heavier battery technology.

Other worthy mechanical specifications of the C-Max include an independent MacPherson strut front suspension, Ford’s Control Blade multilink rear suspension and gas pressurized shocks behind each wheel. In addition, there are disc brakes at all four corners (ventilated up front and solid in the rear) and standard 17-inch alloy wheels (wearing 225/520R17 tires) on both trim levels, and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) is also standard.

Despite the Ford’s curb weight being a portly 333 pounds heavier than the Toyota (the five-door hatchback is 3,607 pounds before passengers climb on board), as well as having more power under the hood, the C-Max Hybrid bests its rival in fuel economy. The C-Max Hybrid earns 47 miles per gallon in the city and 47 mpg highway (47 combined), while the Prius V earns 44 mpg city and 40 mpg highway (42 combined). Thanks to its 13.5-gallon fuel tank, the C-Max will deliver a 570-mile cruising range – New York to Toledo.

Ford will initially offer two trim levels: SE and SEL. The base price of the SE is $25,995, a figure which includes destination and delivery (neatly undercutting the Prius V by $1,300). Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power accessories, rear wiper, cruise control, remote keyless entry and more. The upscale SEL, adding equipment such as auto-dimming rearview mirrors, leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers and a power-operated driver’s seat, starts at $28,995. The automaker says the C-Max Hybrid also offers class-exclusive technologies (e.g., SmartGauge, EcoGuide, hands-free liftgate and active park assist) as standard equipment or bundled in optional equipment groups.

We drove the C-Max from Hollywood west to the Pacific Ocean before heading up the coast and slightly inland for lunch at the Malibu Golf Club. After eating, we continued over the Santa Monica Mountains to the San Fernando Valley where we picked up major freeways for the trek home. Overall, it was a good mix of driving conditions including everything from urban traffic to climbing mountain canyons to high-speed cruising
The cabin of the five-door is comfortable in all four primary seating positions, with impressively generous head, leg and shoulder room (the middle passenger in the second row won’t be as comfortable on the slightly taller cushion, but it is fine for short jaunts). Fit and finish is good, and there are grab handles to ease ingress/egress (their use is actually declining – blame side airbags), seatback map pockets and generous door storage.

Unlike the Toyota’s Prii, which are configured with center-mounted gauge clusters and non-traditional cabin designs, the C-Max is familiar and traditional. The primary instrument panel is located behind a four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, and it houses a large analog speedometer with digital economy/efficiency gauges on either side. The center stack features Ford’s touch-screen display at the top, with HVAC vents on both sides and analog HVAC controls at the bottom. In addition to the side climate controlled vents, there is a fifth vent directly below the display (it is hard to see in the pictures) that annoyingly blew air directly at our torso – thankfully, it can be blocked.

The center console also houses a traditional stick-operated transmission lever (PRNDL), heated seat controls, 12-volt accessory plug, a mechanical lever-actuated parking brake and two cup holders. The cushioned arm rest offers plenty of storage space and an assortment of USB, audio and video jacks for the infotainment system

Your grandmother, still tooling around in a 1994 Mercury Topaz, could drive the C-Max Hybrid without instruction (try that with a Prius). A traditional key “starts” the standard SE model, booting up all systems into electric vehicle (EV) mode. To move, the shift lever is slid from Park into Reverse or Drive, depending on the desired direction of travel.

Acceleration is anything but lethargic. We found the C-Max Hybrid moved smartly off the line with the flow of traffic and was never challenged to keep up (Ford didn’t quote 0-60 numbers, but figure on taking about 10 seconds to reach the benchmark). Top speed, if you are into such hybrid mischief, is reportedly 115 mph. While Ford says the vehicle will do more than 60 mph in pure EV mode, our right foot must have been simply too heavy – each time we’d give a bit more throttle, the combustion powerplant would kick-in to lend assistance (while there was nothing particularly wrong with the engine’s near-seamless involvement, we’d like a demonstration of 55-plus mph pure EV highway travel to see what we were doing incorrectly).

The powerplant does a fine job of being unobtrusive, and the transition between EV and combustion (or a combination of the two) is smooth and continuous. Acceleration at higher speeds is acceptable too, as the C-Max Hybrid had little problem pulling itself and two adult passengers up a sizable grade on Kanan Dume Road en-route to lunch

With fuel economy as its mission objective, don’t expect the C-Max Hybrid to carve canyons like a Mustang Boss 302. In fact, it won’t even come close. Press it hard, and its 3,600-pound curb weight will push it wide into corners. Additional corrective steering input becomes mostly ineffective as it controllably understeers. The driver is offered plenty of warning and stability control gets involved before things get too ugly. The Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires are quiet when overstressed, lacking any annoying squeal, which drivers and passengers alike will appreciate.

Regenerative braking, the ability of the electric motor to reverse roles and become a generator to recharge the battery, is a must-have on any hybrid vehicle. But the side effect, in most cases, is an unnatural brake feel as the electronics choose when and how much to get involved. The C-Max Hybrid is not immune. Around town, the brakes were a bit touchy and awkward. Things improved at higher speeds and after we had put in more than an hour behind the wheel (familiarity is key). To maximize regenerative opportunity, the driver may press a small button on the left side of the shifter. We used it when descending the mountains and our storage battery quickly filled itself back to 100 percent (we could also hear a difference in the engine’s speed when it was working).

Ford wisely provided a Toyota Prius V for us to drive back-to-back against its C-Max Hybrid – it was a nice little show of confidence in its product. Without question, the Prius is slower and much more sluggish under all acceleration conditions. Its cabin and primary controls require a bit more familiarization, and its handling is second-rate when compared to the C-Max. However we felt the Prius V had a slightly more comfortable overall ride and its steering felt better (less electric in response). Neither exhibited any qualities that we would ever consider “poor,” but it was very obvious that the Ford and Toyota five-door gasoline-electric hybrids approached design, ergonomics and fuel efficiency at a different angle.

The new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is very good – better than the Prius V in many ways – and buyers will recognize that if they’re truly shopping. Its cabin is comfortable and roomy, and the five-passenger configuration offers plenty of utility. The 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain is seamless in operation and delivers very impressive fuel economy in all driving cycles. Most important, the system develops sufficient power to make driving mildly engaging and enjoyable – that’s a sentiment we don’t often feel while behind the wheel of a Prius.

[Source: Autoblog]