“Revolutionary.” “Game-changing.” “The new paradigm.” Once every decade or so, a vehicle comes along that actually earns such praise. For the second decade of the new millennium, the 2013 Ford Fusion is that vehicle. With an engine lineup that runs the gamut from two powerful, yet thrifty EcoBoost motors to two hyper-advanced, hyper-efficient hybrid powerplants, the all-new Fusion shows the industry the way forward with next-generation technology that seamlessly satisfies the every day needs of buyers.
Ford is on a roll, registering a profit in 11 consecutive quarters and $8.8 billion in total profits for 2011. You’d think a carmaker enjoying that level of success might be tempted to sit back and enjoy the view. Not Ford. Autoweek
magazine’s editors were so excited about the redesigned 2013 Fusion, they named it their “Best in Show” at the North American International Auto Show in January.
The new Fusion is set to reach showrooms later this year. Some model details still have not been finalized, but here’s a rundown of the highlights. Ford will sell the Fusion in three trim levels: S, SE and top-level Titanium.
As mentioned, the big news for the 2013 Fusion involves its broad portfolio of engines, making it the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains with each of them designed to deliver best-in-class fuel economy.
The standard motor is a 2.5-liter Duratec® inline four-cylinder making 170 hp paired with a SelectShift Automatic® six-speed transmission with a thumb switch on the gearshift knob. The available new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder sends 179 hp through either the SelectShift six-speed or a six-speed manual transmission. When paired with the automatic, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost will also feature automatic start-stop technology that helps it return 37 highway mpg – tops in the segment for a non-hybrid four-cylinder.
If you’re looking for superior punch, but would still like to remain a stranger at the pump, your engine of choice is the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 237 hp. Power flows through a SelectShift Automatic six-speed complete with paddleshifters mounted on the steering wheel. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Fusion, and all-wheel drive is available on models outfitted with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost.
Back in 2010, the Fusion Hybrid was voted North American Car of the Year. For 2013, the new Fusion Hybrid vies for all-world status, raising its level of innovation by utilizing a more efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine and switching to lighter, more powerful lithium-ion batteries. Top speed under electric-only power jumps from 47 mph to 62 mph while fuel economy reaches 47 mpg city/44 mpg on the highway – outpacing all hybrids in this segment.
Speaking of all-world levels of innovation, Ford now sets the worldwide benchmark in fuel efficiency for a midsize sedan with the introduction of the Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid. As the name implies, you can charge the battery pack in the Energi by connecting the car to a power source. In return, the Energi is expected to deliver more than 100 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, a fuel-use rating for electric vehicles that’s comparable to miles-per-gallon). That’s better mileage than the smaller Chevy Volt five-door compact.
The new Fusion also leads the way in safety and driver-assistance technology. Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert and Active Park Assist all make the grade, as does the class-exclusive Lane Keeping Assist system, which uses a camera to detect when the car is drifting into the next lane, then alerts the driver through a vibration in the steering wheel. If the driver fails to respond, the system can actually apply slight pressure to the steering to help keep the car in its lane.
Designers aimed to make the new Fusion the segment’s safety benchmark. To that end, they equipped the car with more high-strength steel, added dual first-row knee airbags and even conducted 180 validating crash tests.
The reviewers at autoblog.com declared the interior of the Fusion “comfortable and elegant.” Credit a quiet, open cabin graced with detailed craftsmanship and a generous slate of infotainment technology. The windfall includes the award-winning Ford SYNC® telematics system with MyFord Touch™, which helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road thanks to voice control over in-car communication and entertainment systems.
The exterior design of the Fusion cuts a new path as well. Foregoing the competition’s staid “three-box” configurations, Ford stylists referenced the sleek Ford Evos concept car, fashioning a bold shape that autoblog.com pronounced “decidedly Aston Martin-esque.”
Autoblog.com went onto say that with the new Fusion lineup, Ford means to build “the most fuel-efficient, best-driving, tech-packed range of sedans in the midsize segment.” Come experience automotive perfection for yourself when the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion breaks cover later this year.