DETROIT – Ford unveiled its all-new Fusion at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new sedan will come in a number of different models, with two EcoBoost four-cylinder versions, a normally aspirated four-cylinder, a hybrid model, and a plug-in hybrid version. The Fusion will come in three trim levels, S, SE, and Titanium. Ford's Samantha Hoyt, Fusion Marketing Manager for the United States, said the vehicle will arrive in the fall, and the plug-in hybrid model will arrive"a bit later."
You can view a gallery of the different Fusion models here.
The new Fusion comes in a range of powertrain choices, from a four-cylinder model to a plug-in hybrid. The models include a 1.6L EcoBoost model, which Ford expects to get 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway. The 2.0L EcoBoost engine is the performance option.
“The gas versions actually have three different engines you can pick from: a 2.5L that we have today, a 1.6 L Ecoboost, and a high-performance 2.0L EcoBoost,” said Hoyt. “Then your hybrid gets a 2L and your plug-in gets a 2.0L, and all of them deliver phenomenal fuel economy. But wait there’s more! We also have all-wheel drive, available with our 2.0L EcoBoost powertrain, and we also have a brand-new feature for the United States called auto start stop, which will actually help you reduce your fuel consumption. If I’m sitting at a traffic light, the car actually turns its self-off and seamlessly starts again.”
Ford said its next-generation Fusion 1.6L model is the first automatic-transmission vehicle the company is offering with an automatic start stop system. The system helps the Fusion reduce fuel use and emissions by approximately 3.5%.
Next up is the new Fusion Hybrid. This model also features an all-new 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, downsized from the previous 2.5L version, while maintaining performance standards, Ford stated.
The automaker expects this powertrain to deliver fuel economy of 47 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway. The Fusion Hybrid features all-new lithium-ion batteries that weigh less and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph, according to Ford.
The plug-in hybrid version of the Fusion is the Fusion Energi, which Ford said it wants to be the most fuel-efficient mid-size car in the world. The automaker expects the Fusion Energi to deliver more than 100 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent).
The new Fusion models come equipped with a number of features designed to improve handling, including electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), a MacPherson strut front suspension, and an all-new premium-level multilink rear suspension.
Ford stated it had a number of goals when designing the look of the new Fusion. First, the Fusion’s profile is designed to set it apart from the “three-box” designs (powertrain/cabin/trunk) typical in the mid-size sedan category. Second, the Fusion’s "character lines" sweep to the rear, and it has thin roof pillars, both of which suggest agility. Third, Ford said the Fusion’s design doesn’t require add-ons or other visual elements to achieve a well-executed design. Fourth, the design elements present are functional in nature and are designed to reflect advanced technological capabilities. Those elements include the headlamps, LED taillamps, and polished exhaust tips. Lastly, the look of the new Fusion’s front is designed to reflect the automaker’s “global design language” for mid-size cars and smaller vehicles, according to the automaker.
The automaker also focused on safety in the Fusion’s exterior design, with company engineers increasing its body strength by 10 percent by using more high-strength steels. Ford said it engineered the sedan’s front end to meet head-on and offset barrier standards for North America while still conforming to European standards for pedestrian protection.
The new Fusion features a number of interior changes designed to give it a high level of fit and finish. Ford said interior surfaces are soft to the touch, with upholstered surfaces. For a quieter ride, Ford said it minimized exterior gaps, added acoustic underbody shields and weight-saving sound-absorption material, and a full-perimeter hood seal. The Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi models are equipped with active noise control, which uses each vehicle’s audio system to mitigate extraneous road noise while enhancing powertrain sounds.
Ford said it equipped the new Fusion with the latest edition of its SYNC system, which enables voice-activated communication through a driver’s mobile phone and audio system control. The automaker is also offering the Fusion with the latest version of MyFord Touch, which allows a driver to interact with vehicle systems through voice control, touch screen, or a conventional button.
Ford said its new Fusion offers four technologies to keep drivers safer on the road and when parking. They include Ford’s Lane Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, and the automaker’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).
The Lane Keeping System uses a small, forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror to look down the road, monitoring lane lines to determine whether the car is on course. The system will alert the driver if the vehicle starts to drift outside a given lane. The second element warns the driver via a steering wheel vibration if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings. Finally, the lane keeping aid element will apply pressure on the steering system to help bring the car back into proper lane position. The driver can turn the system on and off. You can read more about it here.
When activated, adaptive cruise control uses forward-looking radar to look down the road, slowing the Fusion when the system detects slower traffic ahead. Adaptive cruise control enables collision warning with brake support to help slow the car if the system detects a potential crash.
The active park assist uses sensors to identify a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the correct trajectory into the space, and then steer the car to properly position it in the spot. The driver would only operate the accelerator and brake pedals when using this system.
Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert uses sensors in the Fusion’s rear quarter-panels to detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot. The system provides audible and visual warnings if it detects traffic the driver doesn’t see. BLIS technology also features a cross-traffic alert, which detects oncoming traffic when the vehicle is backing out of a parking space with obstructed views, such as between two large vans. The system warns the driver when it detects cross-traffic in this situation.
Other safety features include added dual first-row knee airbags and adaptive front airbags that vent and tether to conform to a specific occupant’s size, position, and seatbelt usage.
Ford said it will be producing the new Fusion at the company’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, thought it will soon add production of this vehicle at its AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.