Exterior Color: Silver
Interior Color: Gray
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Cincinnati, OH, United States
Ford might not have the splashiest booth here at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, but the automaker is showing off quite a bit of hardware that will actually end up on roads across Europe. Parisians are no doubt tickled at getting to see the specifications of the Mustang tuned for The Continent (which has a revised suspension for European roads, and a few visual nips and tucks), in addition to the revised face of the family-friendly C-Max.
As you can see, C-Max styling has been revisited with a deft touch, grafting Ford's six-sided corporate grille on the nose, in place of the outgoing car's two-part affair. New headlights can also be found on the car's revised front fascia, though the rear end of the C-Max looks only slightly different than the current version.
Inside the cabin, Ford has consolidated controls and upped the ante in terms of material quality, with "black satin" and chrome details and more storage capacity, overall. Grocery-lugging moms and dads everywhere should appreciate the hands-free liftgate feature, as well.
Ford must be desperate to get itself ready for the beach this summer because it is really trying to get into shape. Shortly after unveiling the Lightweight Concept that cut the weight of a Fusion down to that of a Fiesta, it's now the rest of the line's turn for improvement. The company is wrapping up a 10-year research project aimed at developing next-gen automotive batteries to improve efficiency.
Ford claims that 70 percent of its lineup will have stop/start tech by 2017. The key to this massive proliferation is its new dual-battery system that combines a lithium-ion battery with a lead-acid one and regenerative braking. The setup works by harvesting braking energy and converting it to electricity. When the vehicle stops, the engine shuts off, but the Li-ion battery has enough juice to keep the accessories running. The engine starts up again as drivers take their foot off the brake. The layout would mean less wasted gas while idling. It's already available on Ford hybrids and is somewhat similar to the i-Eloop capacitor-based system from Mazda.
The bigger challenge is tuning the regenerative braking right. While hybrid drivers may be a little more adventurous, when it comes to getting a hang of regen braking, conventional buyers might not be so open-minded. The systems have a tendency to be a little grabby at first and then taper off at very low speeds. Ford needs to make sure it's just right to avoid turning off buyers.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #329 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #329
Subcompact sales slump, yet again