DETROIT, Michigan — The new-generation 2013 Ford Fusion unwrapped at the 2012 Detroit auto show looks killer, and says a lot about how Ford will address a market not quite clear about which powertrain option to embrace in the near future.
The new-generation 2013 Ford Fusion unwrapped at the 2012 Detroit auto show looks killer. (Photo: Ford)
Rather than bet on one or two strategies, Ford will let customers decide on how much or how little fuel efficiency and power and technology they want, or are prepared to pay for, in their new Fusions by giving them all these powertrain options:
2.5L four-cylinder (170 hp, 170 lb-ft of torque) with six-speed automatic;
Turbo 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder (179 hp, 172 lb-ft) with six-speed automatic or six-speed manual;
Turbo 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder (237 hp, 250 lb-ft) with six-speed automatic, manual mode and optional AWD;
Hybrid 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor (185 combined hp, 130 lb-ft) with CVT gearbox;
Plug-in hybrid 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor (185 combined hp, 130 lb-ft) with CVT gearbox.
According to Sherif Marakby, Ford’s director of all things electrically driven, “every single piece of hardware and software of the hybrid system is brand new… it’s our next generation hybrid system.”
They are quite proud of it.
“We had a laser focus to minimize any losses in the system,” notes Marakby. There are no belt-driven accessories; A/C, water pump, power steering, etc. are all electrically driven.
Exhaust heat is recycled to facilitate faster engine warm-up, so the car can go into EV mode earlier. The regenerative system can capture 95 percent of the available energy to re-charge the lithium-ion battery pack.
The new Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi can top 62 mph (99 km/h) in EV mode, 15 mph faster than the current Fusion Hybrid.
Marakby says Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi will be able to deliver over 100 MPGe, when running solely on electric power, which is a comparatively higher number than both Prius or Volt. “MPGe is a measure of (electrical) efficiency, so we’re getting better efficiency, even though our vehicle is larger.” Overall range is purported to be 500 miles.
Marakby says Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi will be able to deliver over 100 MPGe, when running solely on electric power. (Photo: Ford)
At the same time as my esteemed colleague was off driving the new 2015 WRX in the Californian sun, I was stuck at home in well-below-zero temperatures and snow behind the wheel of a '14 Subaru Impreza. While the two may seem worlds apart, they are borne of the same basic instincts, and that's saying something.