|2013 Ford Fusion. Click to enlarge.|
Ford unveiled the new 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan, with conventional gasoline engine; hybrid featuring a next-generation of Ford’s hybrid system; and plug-in hybrid versions at the Detroit Auto Show—the first production sedan to offer that trio of options. The new Fusion also points to the next Ford Mondeo for world markets.
In addition to the hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid alternatives, Fusion offers a pair of EcoBoost four-cylinder engines (1.6L and 2.0L); a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine; an automatic start stop system; front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, and a choice between automatic and manually shifted six-speed transmissions.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is expected to deliver non-hybrid fuel efficiency of 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine—paired with a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission, available 19-inch wheels and tires, and all-wheel drive with the ability to send additional torque to the rear—is the Fusion performance option.
The next-generation Fusion 1.6-liter is the first automatic-transmission Ford product offered with an automatic start stop system. It shuts off engine power smoothly when the car is stopped and seamlessly restarts as the driver releases the brake pedal, helping Fusion to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by approximately 3.5%.
The new Fusion Hybrid features all-new lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than previous NiMH batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph (from 76 to 100 km/h).
Fusion Hybrid also features an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, significantly downsized from the previous 2.5-liter unit while maintaining performance standards. This powertrain is anticipated to deliver best-in-class fuel economy of 47 mpg (5.0L/100km) in city driving and 44 mpg (5.335 L/100km) on the highway.
Ford noted that the new Fusion Hybrid fuel economy stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively.
Arriving this fall, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model, Ford noted.
Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi models are equipped with active noise control. This feature uses the audio system to mitigate extraneous road noise while enhancing powertrain sounds.
Fusion offers a borad portfolio of driver assistance and convenience technologies based on sensors, cameras and radar that enable the car to see and respond. Fusion can help drivers maintain proper lane position, adjust vehicle speed to changing traffic conditions, identify suitable parking spaces and help park, even aiding drivers backing out of parking space where visibility is obstructed. Specific technologies include:
Lane Keeping System: This class-exclusive technology consists of three elements to help a driver maintain proper lane position. Using a small, forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror, the system “looks” down the road, monitoring lane lines to determine that the car is on course. The system will alert a driver if drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping is detected. The second element warns a driver with a steering wheel vibration if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings. Finally, lane keeping aid will actually apply pressure on the steering to help bring the car back into proper lane position.
Adaptive cruise control: Using forward-looking radar, this system “looks” down the road when activated, slowing the Fusion when slower traffic is detected ahead. Adaptive cruise control enables collision warning with brake support to help slow the car if the potential of a crash is detected.
Active park assist: Employing sensors, this technology can identify a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the trajectory and steer the car to properly position it within the spot. All a driver need do is operate accelerator and brake pedals.
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert: Sensors in both Fusion rear quarter-panels are able to detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic—unseen by the driver—is detected. BLIS technology enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views, such as between two large vans.
Fusion also offers the latest version of MyFord Touch, allowing a driver to interact with vehicle systems through voice control, a touch screen tap or a conventional button.
Engineers increased Fusion body strength by 10%, using more high-strength steels such as boron, and added dual first-row knee airbags and adaptive front airbags that vent and tether to conform to a specific occupant’s size, position and seatbelt usage.
Fusion will be produced at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, soon adding production at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The car will appear in Ford showrooms in North America and South America later this year. Mondeo will be introduced next year in Asia and Europe.