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2010 Ford Fusion  (Source: Ford)
Ford unveils "renewed" Fusion complete with new powertrain options

Ford's Fusion has been a moderate success for the company in the mid-size sedan category. While the Fusion doesn't have the sales numbers to put it toe-to-toe with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima, the vehicle is nonetheless a competent entry in one of the most fiercely contested auto segments in North America.

Now that the Fusion has been on the market for a few years, Ford is ready to give the vehicle a makeover. Stylistically, the vehicle received new front and rear fascias, although the only press shot provided by Ford is of the vehicle's dramatic new front.

The new front end styling seems to merge the current three-bar grill prominent with Ford's current North American styling theme with the more organic shapes found on the European market Mondeo, Ka, and Fiesta (as evidenced by the fog lamp shapes and lower air dam). The hood also features a prominent "power bulge" to accentuate the changes under hood.

When it comes to the powertrain, Ford is introducing a new 175 HP 2.5-liter inline-4 engine -- also available in the all-new Mazda6 and upcoming second generation Mazda3 -- which replaces the old 2.3 liter engine. Ford also massaged the 3.0-liter V6 to produce 240 HP (up 19HP from before). The engine is also capable of running on E85.

For those that crave even more power, the corporate 3.5-liter V6 engine is also available with 263 HP on tap. The 3.5-liter V6 is also used in the Ford Edge and Ford Flex crossovers.

All three of the above engines will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The most interesting news about the new Fusion, however, is that a new hybrid version of the vehicle is in the works. The new Fusion Hybrid will use the 2.5-liter inline-4 and a heavily revamped version of the hybrid system used in the current Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. Ford managed to reduce the number of cells used in the battery pack by 20 percent while at the same time boosted the power output by each individual cell by 20 percent.

The new NiMH battery pack is now 30 percent smaller than the one featured in the Escape/Mariner Hybrids and weighs 23 percent less. The reduced dimensions and weight also means that the battery pack no longer requires its own A/C unit to stay cool which also saves weight.

Ford boosted the power generated by the electric motor from 70 kW to 93 kW, while generator output rose from 45 kW to 70 kW. As a result, the new Fusion Hybrid can now reach speed of up to 47 MPH on battery power alone -- this is up from 24 MPH on the Escape/Mariner Hybrids.

Best of all, the significant improvements to the hybrid powertrain will translate into big mileage gains for drivers. Ford says that the Fusion Hybrid will achieve 5 MPG better EPA ratings in the city than the Toyota Camry Hybrid (EPA rated 33 MPG city).

Ford has high hopes for its reinvigorated midsize offering, and the Fusion Hybrid most certainly will be leading its efforts.

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By 9nails on 11/3/2008 12:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
I really want 38 MPG City. That sounds great! If the Fusion had an interior that was updated and a descent stereo I might be lured into a dealer to take a look. IMHO the interior is where an Altima beats this pack. And the poor little Ford looked nice (previous model) on the outside but looked outdated on the inside. Since I spend 100% of my time inside the car while driving, I find this to be an important design quality to measure this group by.

By Hoser McMoose on 11/3/2008 2:08:09 AM , Rating: 5
Since I spend 100% of my time inside the car while driving

Clearly you don't spend NEARLY enough time ghostriding the whip.

By ikkeman2 on 11/3/2008 8:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
quick check - Audi A4 and BMW 3 & 5 series also easily make 38MPG (in Euroland, that is) - both types look massively better

By docah on 11/3/2008 8:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
In US terms the Audi 2.0L I4 200HP gets 20/31 mpg. Perhaps the difference is in the larger "imperial gallon" versus the "us gallon". I'm thinking the Fusion hybrid would be around 45mpg(city) in UK gallons.

By ikkeman2 on 11/3/2008 10:36:20 AM , Rating: 2
Audi A4 2.0 TFSI 211hp consumes

9,0 l/100km(city)- 5,2 l/100km(highway)- 6,6 l/100km(combined)
according to google:
1 mile per gallon = 0.425143707 kilometers per liter
so 26mpg(city)- 45mpg(highway)- 36mpg(combined)

and these cars aren't exactly shopping carts, are they...

By Spuke on 11/3/2008 12:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
so 26mpg(city)- 45mpg(highway)- 36mpg(combined)
Yep. The US Audi A4 2.0 TFSI is rated by the US EPA at 21 city, 27 highway and 23 combined. YMMV.

By ElFenix on 11/4/2008 3:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
the imperial gallon is about 20% larger than the US gallon, but the main difference is the emissions equipment.

i'd really like to see a chart listing emissions/distance for a US spec and a euro spec version of the same car/engine.

By Spuke on 11/4/2008 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
The testing methodology is different also.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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