The globally-designed all-new Fusion with its frugal Hybrid and Energi siblings offer class-leading economy, an array of gadgets, and a host of safety applications.
Making its debut this week, the 2013 Ford Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The all-new car features a sleek silhouette that hints at the Ford Evos concept and a fresh face that has a decidedly Aston Martin feel to it. Revealed as an S, SE and range-topping Titanium trim, the North American Fusion points to the next Ford Mondeo for world markets and forms the basis of the new 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
Three engines are available. The base powertrain is a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 170hp and 170lb-ft of torque, mated exclusively to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 1.6-liter EcoBoost four with 179hp and 172lb-ft of torque and the range-topping 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 237hp and 250lb-ft of torque are the alternatives available with the same transmission, while the smaller 1.6-liter engine can be selected with a six-speed manual. FWD is standard with AWD an option for the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter EcoBoost. Ditching their V6 for an all-four lineup, the fuel economy is expected to be best-in-class.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost complete with start/stop technology should achieve 26/37mpg and the 2.0-liter cars expect to deliver 22/33mpg city/highway. If that's not efficient enough then Ford has two further examples of the 2013 Fusion in the form of the Hybrid an Energi. The former will launch with the Fusion this fall, while the Energi will be available a little later. Both look just as good with the only changes from the standard model being different wheel options, badging and trim changes. The power in the Hybrid has been downsized from 2.5 liters to a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four.
Combined with a lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor, output is estimated at 185hp and 130lb-ft of torque and sent to the front (17-inch) wheels via an electronically-controlled variable transmission. 47/44mpg city/highway is expected, thus trouncing the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry Hybrids and pushing the Prius. Speeds of up to 62mph should also be possible without the engine kicking in. In the Fusion Energi the powertrain apes that of the Hybrid but the plug-in system allows for short bursts of pure electric driving; 100MPGe is expected coupled to a 500-mile cruising range and a combined output of 185hp.
The latest safety enhancements have been packed into the Fusion, including a Lane Keeping System, Active Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and the popular Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. Engineers have also increased the car's body strength using high-strength steel and added dual first-row knee airbags and adaptive front airbags. An elegant, yet straightforward interior, has easy-to-read instruments and a large display screen and also benefits from the latest MyFord Touch. Drivers can thus interact with the car via voice control, touchscreen or conventional buttons.
SYNC also allows for voice-activated communication through a mobile phone and interaction with the audio system. Production of the 2013 Fusion will start this month in Mexico and Michigan and the car should hit showrooms by the fall, while overseas buyers will have to wait until next year for the Mondeo. Pricing information is expected closer to the car's on-sale date.