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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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Ford Vista
By chmilz on 11/3/2008 2:16:16 AM , Rating: 4
Seriously, I love how so many dump on Ford products without ever having driven or even looked at one, kinda like how people complain about Vista without ever using it. Fusions are awesome cars, and after driving all the major competitors I bought one and love it. The interior destroys the competition, IMHO anyway.

Good on Ford to introduce an upgraded model with a hybrid system that actually increases fuel economy in good numbers.

RE: Ford Vista
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/3/2008 8:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
Fusion is not in the Camry class, however, so I am not sure why Ford would be comparing their fuel economy numbers with that car. Ford positions the Taurus with the Camry. The Fusion is in the Prius class (mid-size sedan), so they should compare numbers there. I guess that didn't look as good in the press release.

RE: Ford Vista
By Spivonious on 11/3/2008 9:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
The Prius is a mid-size sedan? LOL

RE: Ford Vista
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/3/2008 2:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
It is a bit shorter than the Fusion, but has a comparable wheelbase, and more interior room. A few inches narrower, but taller. So that box is a bit smaller, but it is in the mid-size class.

I didn't realize how much Ford had bloated the Taurus, however. Don't they just do that with everything. Small cars they make just keep getter larger and larger.

Anywho, because of less overhang (read: better handling) the Camry and Prius are shorter in length than the Ford's, but have comparable everything else, except low quality (I used to sell Fords!)

RE: Ford Vista
By ElFenix on 11/4/2008 3:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
the fusion replaced the taurus as ford's regular mid-size sedan. the taurus name was then supposed to die.

the current vehicle called the taurus was called the ford 500 for a while and was intended to go up against the avalon. ford's new CEO came in, had fond memories of the original taurus project (and also thought ford's naming scheme of having every car start with F was stupid), so renamed the 500 to taurus.

in terms of size the fusion is within an inch of the camry for WxHxL a 1 cubic ft in passenger space. the 500/taurus is a foot longer than either of them.

RE: Ford Vista
By The0ne on 11/3/2008 11:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
No, the interior of the focus is cheap, one of the cheapest. I regularly visit dealerships to check out vehicles and I don't even test drive them. What I do, however, is inspect the build and material quality of the vehicles. I'm a QA alongside other professions and I can't help but to do it naturally.

If you think the focus, Impala, CRV and others have good interiors you've not seen those that actually have good to great quality materials for the same price. Check out Hyundai vehicles and make the comparison in materials. People don't like Hyundai due to their previous reputation but they've changed...and changed quite a bit to become very competitive in the QA arena.

RE: Ford Vista
By AssBall on 11/3/2008 1:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
Um, He was talking about the Fusion, and I'd agree with him.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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