Ford Unveils New 2013 Fusion Hybrid (lithium-ion, 47 MPG) and Plug-In Fusion Energi (100+ MPGe)
No V6 Available -- 100% 4-Cylinder LineupFord has just pulled the curtain on the redesigned Fusion mid-size sedan at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, and I have to say, it looks quite good. Interestingly, the front grille is closer to the Ford Focus Electric than to the non-electric version. It will be the first production sedan to be available either as a gasoline-only model, a hybrid model, or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Ford has tried to make each version a fuel-economy leader in its segment, but it's the PHEV that seems most promising. Let's take a closer look at what's under the hood...
Under the Hood: 2013 Ford Fusion SpecificationsThe gasoline-only 2013 Fusion will be offered only with 4-cylinder engine options, no V6. There will be a naturally aspirated I4, and two turbocharged engines (which Ford calls EcoBoost), a 1.6-liter and a 2.0-liter. Not all the fuel economy details are out yet, but Ford claims that the 1.6L EcoBoost should get 26 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, which would be best-in-class.
On top of that, the 1.6L Fusion will feature stop-start technology. This means that it shuts off engine power 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 percent.
The hybrid 2013 Fusion isn't just a rehash of the 2010 Fusion hybrid. It features an all-new, downsized Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.0L instead of 2.5L. The Nickel-metal hydride battery pack has been replaced with a lighter and more powerful lithium-ion battery pack, which allows the 2013 Fusion hybrid to drive on electric-power only at speeds of up to 62 MPH, compared to 47 MPH for the 2010 Fusion hybrid. Fuel economy should also be "best-in-class" with 47 MPG in the city and 44 MPG on the highway. Ford said with some joy: "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."
The plug-in hybrid 2013 Fusion, also known as the Fusion Energi, aims to be the "most fuel efficient midsize car in the world". Not all details are out yet, and it won't be available before the fall of 2012, but it is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. According to Ford, "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." We'll have to wait and see how it does in the real-world, though, since plug-in hybrids are notoriously hard to rate when it comes to fuel economy (it depends so much on electric range and driving patterns).
Ford Fusion 2013 PricingNo official information has been released about pricing yet. We should know more closer to the launch date in the fall, but I doubt that Ford will deviate terribly from the previous generation's pricing for the gas and hybrid models. But since there's no equivalent to the PHEV model in the lineup currently, it's hard to know what it will cost. Probably somewhere in the range between the upcoming Toyota Prius PHEV and the Chevrolet Volt. It will depend highly on the capacity of the Fusion Energi's battery.
More from the 2012 Detroit Auto Show: 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid Debuts at Detroit Auto Show (Lithium-ion Battery, 45 MPG)
Our colleages at Discovery.com are also covering the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.