At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford is introducing its “all-new” midsize Fusion sedan. Fusion first hit the market as a 2010 model, and has been available with a conventional powertrain or as a hybrid. In its new form, the 2013 Ford Fusion claims to be the first sedan to offer a choice of gasoline, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Ford also claims seven “must-have” technologies for the 2013 Fusion, including a Lane Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, and MyFord Touch interaction with vehicle systems. Promising a “sleek silhouette and fresh face,” Fusion signals the next-generation Ford Mondeo for global markets.
Two EcoBoost four-cylinder gasoline engines will be available, plus a normally-aspirated four-cylinder. Depending on model, either an automatic or a manually-shifted six-speed transmission may be installed. As before, Fusions will have either front-drive or all-wheel drive. Three trim levels will be offered: S, SE, and top-of-the-line Titanium.
The 2013 Ford Fusion promises “ground-breaking design and jaw-dropping fuel economy,” says Derrick Kuzak, group vice-president of Global Product Development. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy of 26 mpg city/37 mpg highway. Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost, working with a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, is the performance option.
In its fresh form, the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid gets all-new lithium-ion batteries to save weight and generate more power than the previous nickel-metal hydride batteries. Maximum speed operating in electric-only mode is now 62 mph, versus 47 mph in the prior generation. Fusion Hybrid uses an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, downsized from the prior 2.5-liter. Best-in-class fuel economy is anticipated: 47 mpg city/44 mpg highway.
Topping the fuel-efficiency scale is the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, intended as the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world. Arriving at dealerships in fall 2012, the Fusion Energi is expected to deliver an equivalent of more than 100 mpg.
The Fusion 1.6-liter is the first automatic-transmission Ford product with an automatic start-stop system. It shuts off engine power when the car is stopped, and seamlessly restarts as the driver releases the brake pedal. Fuel consumption improved by about 3.5 percent with this system.
Ford’s available Lane Keeping System helps the driver maintain the proper position in the highway lane, using a camera that monitors lane lines. If erratic lane-keeping is detected, the system warns the driver–or sends vibrations to the steering wheel is the car drifts too close to lane markings.
Inside the 2013 Ford Fusion, moving the instrument panel toward the windshield adds extra passenger space up front. Interior surfaces are softer to the touch. Hybrid and Energi models have active noise control, which uses the audio system to mitigate extraneous road noise while enhancing powertrain sounds.