This last week has brought with it plenty of news regarding the plug-in C-Max hybrid, chief of which was Ford's announcement that the car will be the first plugin hybrid to get an EPA rating of 100 MPGe.

The C-Max is a small crossover built on a platform that has already been on sale in Europe.  It is highly efficient and will come as either a conventional hybrid or plugin hybrid aka Energi.

The vehicle will not be offered in the US with just a gas engine, and is therefore Ford's first offering of an only hybrid body.

Along with the news, Ford has simultaneously launched an advertising campaign positioning the car directly up against the Toyota Prius, which also comes in a plugin version.

Being a wagon, Ford has priced the car centrally between the Prius and Prius V at $25,995, with the plugin offered at $32,995 before a $3750 tax credit.

The non plugin hit showrooms last month and has already sold 1000 units.  The plugin arrives next month.

The cars will be built at the same Michigan plant that make the Focus and Focus EV.

“It is a new nameplate so we have to establish what the C-Max is and get it on people’s shopping list,” said Ford US marketing director Matt VanDyke.

"It helps define the C-Max by likening it to the Prius which is the “Kleenex of hybrids,” added Amy Machesney, C-Max marketing manager.

The ad campaign though pitting the two cars directly is lighthearted and animated.  A central element is the "hybrid wars" theme shown in the videos below.

Ford points out that the C-Max is cheaper than the Prius-V wagon ($27,245), gets higher gas mileage (47 vs 42 mpg) and has more horsepower (188 vs 134).

C-Max 'Hybrid Games' commercial -- semi pass

C-Max 'Hybrid Games' commercial -- MPG

C-Max 'Hybrid Games' commercial -- smart tech

C-Max 'Hybrid Games' commercial -- liftgate

Source (Detroit Press)