Ford has upgraded the software in its new 2017 Fusion Hybrid and Energi (plug-in hybrid) models to deliver a “more refined and engaging drive for customers,” the company announced at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
More efficient electric motors are also expected to contribute to better fuel economy and electric driving range, although Ford did not quantify an improvement on either.
In 2015, Ford sold 24,681 Fusion Hybrid models in the US, and 9,750 Fusion Energi models, drops of 30.3% and 15.6%, respectively, from calendar year 2014. Sales of all Fusion models in the US in 2015 dropped 2.2% to 300,170 units from 306,860 in 2014. Sales of electrified Fusion models (Hybrid + Energi) thus represented about 11% of Fusion sales in 2015 (8% for the hybrid and 3% for the plug-in).
The 2016 Fusion Energi features a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery with an EPA-rated all-electric range of 19 miles and an 88 MPGe fuel economy rating on the combined cycle. The car automatically switches to an efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing customers to drive more than 500 miles.
Those announcements came along with the introduction of a new all-wheel drive Fusion V6 Sport equipped with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering a projected 325 hp and 350 lb-ft (475 N·m) of torque.
Ford said that the all-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport is projected to make approximately 100 lb-ft of additional torque and nearly 50 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 engines in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.