Ford’s new flaming hot Fusion
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Oct 31, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: The following combines excerpts from the manufacturer's news releases with regard to feature and component discriptions, together with the writer's overall impressions of the vehicle. No, that’s not an Aston Martin. It’s the new Ford Fusion, and among other things, it’s the look of Fords to come (think next-generation Mustang). Rarely has automotive sheet metal looked this good for so little—and on a sedan body no less. It’s the first sedan to be offered in gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants. LA Car’s Harvey Schwartz got behind the wheel of the 2013 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid and kissed the gas stations goodbye. By Harvey Schwartz Not only is the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion sleeker and longer, it is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, each with expected top fuel economy, underscoring Ford’s commitment to give customers the power of choice. I tested the Fusion SE Hybrid model, enjoyed the ride and didn’t mind passing gas stations on long drives. The front fascia reminds me of the new Mustang. The wide-mouth front grille uses horizontal chrome bars to give it a luxury look, thin yet wide projector-beam headlamp clusters to give the front end a wider look, a lower front bumper with another air intake, and a lower splitter to enhance downforce and add to stability at highway speeds. The sleek silhouette features steeply raked windshield A pillars and thin roof pillars, suggesting the car is nimble and light on its feet. A full-perimeter chrome strip wraps around the greenhouse, giving the new Fusion an added luxury touch.
All of these features further set it apart from the powertrain-cabin-trunk three-box designs synonymous with other midsize sedans. Fusion demonstrates that a tasteful, well-executed design does not require add-ons or visual clutter. The rear mirrors the front with thin wraparound LED taillights, a lip spoiler and single polished chrome exhaust tip on the hybrid model that I tested. From any angle, the all-new 2013 Fusion looks new, fresh and contemporary. I liked the new look and so did other drivers that gave me the ‘thumbs-up’ when passing by. When parking, some of the same drivers came up and asked what model it was. Powering the new Fusion Hybrid is a combination of gasoline powered, 2.0 liter, DOHC, all-aluminum Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine featuring intake variable camshaft timing that is significantly downsized from the previous 2.5 liter unit and 10 percent more efficient than a traditional four-cycle engine. It generates 141 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 129 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The electric motor is a permanent magnet AC Synchronous motor that generates 117 pound-feet of torque. It features new lithium-ion batteries that also save weight and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries. These new batteries, besides saving weight and generating more power than before, raises maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph. It’s quite amazing to be riding at 60 mph on the highway with no vibration or noise coming from the gasoline engine. EPA fuel economy stats are 47 mpg/city and 44 mph/highway-best in-class.
More new and notable features in the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid are the 10 percent increase in body strength using more high-strength steel including Boron, active noise control using the audio system to cancel out unwanted powertrain noise, and acoustic underbody shields and weight-saving sound-absorption material that minimize road and powertrain noise while boosting aerodynamic efficiency for better fuel economy. Also new are a class-exclusive Lane Keeping System that helps you maintain proper lane position, alerting you if it detects drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping; adaptive cruise control that maintains proper following distance when slower traffic is detected ahead, and sounds a collision warning if necessary, and Blind Sport Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert that warns of traffic in a your blind spot, or oncoming traffic backing out of a parking space with obstructed views. This is part of the Technology Package and I highly recommend it to keep you and your passengers’ safe in all types of driving situations. The gasoline-electric engine system is mated to a new HF35 eCVT hyrid powersplit transaxle that puts the power down on the road. This continuously variable transmission is quiet and pulls the combined system power of 188 hp with power when needed to pass on the highway or around slower city traffic. The all-new Fusion Hybrid is even more fun to drive with a specially tuned electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering system that has great feel for the road surface and quick feedback of your inputs. It really helps with the enjoyment of driving the new Fusion.
Further increasing your confidence behind the wheel is the powerful four-wheel steel disc braking system with regenerative brakes that give back power to the batteries. Up front are 300 mm vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and the rear solid discs measure 302 mm and are clamped with single-piston calipers. You maintain control during severe braking times with standard ABS, Traction Control and AdvanceTrak stability control with roll-stability control. The brakes when pressed hard are very linear and have a very good feel for the amount of pressure you will apply when braking. The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE rides on 7.5 X 17 inch aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/50R17 low rolling resistance tires to enhance the mpg. All four doors open wide to present you with a warm and inviting interior. It offers a sporty, driver-oriented environment with next-generation seating that brings expanded functionality. A higher center console supports the driver-centric theme and yields clever storage for items you want to keep handy. Additional passenger space was designed-in by moving the instrument panel toward the windshield, contributing to the cabin’s airy, open environment. Thinner, lighter frames support the comfortable next-generation seats trimmed with fabric using recycled sustainable yarns or soft leather in the SE and Titanium trim levels. Interior surfaces are softer to the touch and interior and exterior gaps are minimized, while extra care has been taken to upholster or cover each edge and every surface a custom can touch. When the trunk lid is opened, for example, a spring-loaded cover automatically conceals the trunk latch hardware. The new gauge cluster is called ‘SmartGauge with EcoGuide that is a unique instrument cluster that gives hybrid owners a more connected driving experience by coaching them to further maximize fuel efficiency. It features full-color, liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant miles per gallon, as well as growing leaves and vines that track and reward your driving efficiency.
Standard features in the SE grade Fusion Hybrid not mentioned above includes integrated spotted power-remote/heated/manual folding side mirrors, keyless entry keyboard, easy fuel capless fuel filler, heated/10-way power driver’s seat/two-way power front passenger seat, 60/40 split fold rear bench seat, A/C dual climate control, three power-points, power windows/door locks with front one-touch express up/down, leather-wrapped/tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, center console with dual cupholders, stick shifter and storage bin with leather armrest, front/rear floor mats, dual map lamps, dual lighted vanity mirrors, rear heating ducts, rear window defroster, intermittent variable wipers/washers, AM-FM-CD-Sirius stereo radio with 6-speakers, message center with trip computer, MyKey, remote keyless entry, grab handles above each door, pull-down rear center armrest with dual cupholders, and thick-cut pile carpeting. Standard safety systems include Securilock passage anti-theft, dual front airbags, dual side-impact upfront, driver knee airbags, side curtain airbags, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, tire pressure monitor, 3-point seatbelts including front pretensioners/load limiters, perimeter alarm, child rear door locks, and the LATCH system for child seats. The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion SE hybrid is a great looking, great performing and is loaded with the latest high-tech goodies to keep you and your passenger safe and well connected. It is expected to deliver better fuel economy and efficiency than either the Toyota Camry hybrid or the Hyundai Sonata hybrid. © Pictures by Harvey Schwartz For more information about Ford products, go to www.ford.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2013 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid Price: $27,200.00 EPA fuel economy ratings: TBD Engine: Gasoline: 2.0 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, Atkinson Cycle, intake variable camshaft timing four-cylinder engine. Electric: Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor with High Voltage Lithium Ion Battery Pack Horsepower: 188 total Torque: 129 lb.ft. at 4,000 rpm Transmission: HF35 eCVT Hybrid Powersplit Transaxle Suspension: Front: MacPherson strut, gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar Rear: Control link with gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar Tires/wheels: 17X7.5 in. cast aluminum/235/50R17 in. Low Rolling Resistance Tires Brakes: Front: Regenerative 300mm vented Rear: Regenerative 302 mm solid Dimensions Total length: 191.8 inches Total width: 72.9 inches Total height: 58.2 inches Curb weight: 3,615 pounds