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Ford C-Max Hybrid And Energi Plug-In Concepts Debut In Detroit

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Ford is showing that it’s still a force to be reckoned with in the electric car field at this month’s 2011 Detroit Auto Show, with the unveiling of no fewer than three major electrified concepts. At last week’s 2011 Consumer Electronics Show we got a taste of the all-electric Ford Focus, which is set to go on sale at the end of the year as a direct rival for the Nissan Leaf.

Now, in Detroit, Ford has given us a preview of two new hybrid vehicles, one a conventional hybrid and the other a more advanced plug-in hybrid, both of which are set to go on sale next year. The new vehicles are the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid concepts.

Though labeled as concepts, they are closely linked with the production 2012 Ford C-Max due on the market later this year. Key differences are their shorter wheelbases and five-seater capacity, shared with European versions of the C-Max. U.S. versions will be able to accommodate seven occupants all up.

Few technical details have been revealed but both vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, a first for Ford.

The automaker does, however, claim that the C-Max Hybrid will deliver better gas mileage than the 2011 Fusion Hybrid sedan, which the EPA rates at 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. And it says the C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid will travel more than 500 miles on a single tank of gas, the longest range of any plug-in vehicle on the market.

The C-Max and its hybrid variants will be built for U.S. sale at Ford's Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant, the same plant where the Focus is built. For Europe, the pair of hybrid C-Max models will be built in Valencia, Spain.

For more details, follow the jump below for High Gear Media green expert John Voelcker’s more extensive report.

[Ford via GreenCarReports]
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