Print 40 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Jun 16 at 4:32 PM

2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2012 Ford Mondeo
Ford looks to get a boost thanks to lithium-ion batteries

It's no secret that all auto manufactures are looking to boost the fuel efficiency of their vehicles thanks to looming CAFE requirements. Companies are looking at a wide variety of options from diesels to hybrids to fully electric vehicles to downsized gasoline engines with turbochargers. 

Ford is using traditional, naturally aspirated engines in the subcompact Fiesta and compact Focus to achieve roughly 30 mpg in the city and around 40 mpg on the highway. Likewise, the current generation Fusion Hybrid is no slouch either, with a city rating of 41 mpg and a highway rating of 36 mpg. 

However, according to Ford Inside News, Ford is looking to boost the city fuel economy of the next generation Fusion Hybrid to as high as 48 mpg. That would put it within striking distance of the eccentric Toyota Prius, which is rated at 51 mpg in the city. There's no word on how much the highway fuel economy will increase, but we'd guess that an even 40 mpg isn't out of reach. 

Ford should be able to hit these fuel economy targets thanks to a new lithium-ion battery pack which will replace the existing nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) unit. The lithium-ion battery pack should be lighter and more compact, which should help keep overall weight down and reclaim some cargo space (the current Fusion Hybrid has a mere 11.8 cu ft of trunk space compared to 16.5 cu ft for its non-hybrid counterpart).

The next generation Fusion is expected to be unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and will go on sale shortly thereafter. The 2013 Fusion will be a unifying design as it will replace both the North American Fusion and the Mondeo which is sold in Europe.

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RE: Fusion is sweet
By vtohthree on 6/14/2011 11:28:14 AM , Rating: 2
Though I would have agreed a few years back, to be fair... I'd say Ford has really been improving over the years, back in the 80's my father exclusively bought Ford's, and most of them seemed to need a major rehaul under the hood around 70-80k miles(on one of them the engine block cracked on a cold start up)...of course every auto maker seemed to have a gem or two in their fleet(the ranger seemed to be one of them), but all the club wagons and E350's we had did have quite a few problems under the hood, yes you could fix it to keep them running but it was costly to maintain.. which Japanese cars seemed to get right(being more trouble free with less maintenance... shoot the 1980's corolla was legendary, 500k miles plus while being abused and sloppy with scheduled maintenance and those things still ran like soldiers)

The thing about Ford that sets it apart from other U.S. automakers is that it seemed to integrate and collaborate foreign design cues(for the better) in the latter days. IE: more efficient 4 cylinder designs from Mazda, saftey features from Volvo, etc.. basically what it acquired from buyouts(though they have sold off their shares in both companies, still have an agreement with Mazda though)... so for example, the Fusion is essentially a cousin from the Mazda 6, from what I read, after Mazda developed the 6(also from collaborations, it had fluid filled bushings, double wishbone suspension, etc.), they shared it with Ford, in fact I read that Mazda engineers told Ford engineers what they would have done slightly different with the suspension system if they were to do it again...basically Ford, though American, was taking initiatives against tradition to evolve(ie: cars with better turning radius's borrowed from foreign cars, smaller more fuel efficient engines, and improving interior quality[though this wasn't until very recent]) where as other domestic makers remained the same, stubborn and characteristically American from the 80's(ie: bad turning radius's, big and heavy V8's with mediocre gas mileage, bland and cheap interior designs, etc.) It was all about having an open mind, adapting, and getting on with times...which some of our domestic auto makers did not do(cough* Gm cough* Chrysler), slowly even the die-hard fans(supported without logic or reason, just because of the name..but if you ask me that's not encouraging Laisse Fare..which maybe considered the American way of the open/free market competing with losers who don't adapt dying off..) walked away.

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Pirks on 6/14/2011 11:46:57 AM , Rating: 1
True, but like I said - let's see if this short term quality improvement in Ford cars is going to stay for long and most interesting if it'll eventually start bringing the horrible Ford's deprecation rate down to Toyota's level

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Smilin on 6/14/2011 12:06:26 PM , Rating: 3
10 years ago I said, "I'll never ever buy a Ford." and I meant it. I wouldn't even look to see what they were selling.

Now though a lot has changed. Their quality has been climbing steadily, their models are actually looking good, and they seem to be on track for hitting the new CAFE standards, and Sync is holding it's own against BMW/Benz. I also give them props for having their house in order enough to stay afloat when the economy tanked.

The Mrs. is now looking at a new Explorer to replace the Acura MDX. I've been eyeballing the Mustangs but will likely stick with another Infiniti G (maybe.. Elise is tempting but not a comfy ride).

RE: Fusion is sweet
By InsGadget on 6/14/2011 2:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, and in fact I put my wallet where my mouth was and bought a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid 4x4 a few years ago. I love this thing; not only can I go just about anywhere with the 4wd, but the hybrid has my lifetime gas mileage somewhere around 30 mpg. Try that with any other 4x4.

All around, the fit and finish is great; Ford really has turned a corner in my book.

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Pirks on 6/14/2011 2:58:04 PM , Rating: 1
That mileage advantage is much less than you spent upfront on electrical powertrain + battery plus the battery replacement costs later when it dies in a few years. Hybrids are a waste of money, green waste for sure since they are cleaner and stuff but still, any pure gas engine is way cheaper in the long run. If you have no better way to spend money then hybrid is mighty cool, otherwise...

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Smilin on 6/14/2011 3:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
You assume Gas is going to stay at just $4/gal. Could be double digits during the life of that vehicle.

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Pirks on 6/14/2011 4:49:58 PM , Rating: 1
or could be not :P good luck gambling on insane gas price this way hehe :))

RE: Fusion is sweet
By omnicronx on 6/14/2011 7:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I 100% agree.. Heck even 2-3 years ago aside from the Fusion, I don't think I would have given Ford a second look.

Just bought a new 2012 Focus Hatchback and when people get inside, feel how heavy the doors are, and look at the exterior, they can't believe its a Ford.

RE: Fusion is sweet
By Pirks on 6/14/11, Rating: 0
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