2013 Ford FusionEnlarge Photo
As new model introductions go, the reveal at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show of the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan shows just how competitive the family car segment has become.
With the new Fusion, Ford is the first automaker to offer a sedan with gasoline, hybrid and plug-in powertrains that the automaker expects to result in a “triple crown of best-in-class gas, hybrid, [and] plug-in efficiency.”
While our sister publication TheCarConnection has a more complete preview of the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion, we take a look at some of the highlights of the five-passenger family sedan here.
2013 Ford FusionEnlarge Photo
There’s no denying that Ford designers went all-out with the look of the 2013 Fusion. Chris Hamilton, the Fusion’s chief exterior designer, says the intent was “to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice.”
Key elements of the design include sleekly sculpted profile and sweeping lines, and no add-ons or visual clutter.
The Fusion sold 248,067 units in the 2011 calendar year, acquitting itself well against the Toyota Camry, all-new for 2012, the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord. These are the same players the 2013 Fusion will be taking on later this year. Of note is the fact that the Honda Accord is due out with its own redesign this fall. And the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco model is out this spring with two other gasoline-only versions due later.
In the gasoline-powered Fusion, no six-cylinder engines will be offered, but buyers will have a choice of three fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines. There’s the 170-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the base model, basically carryover from the 2012 model, a 179-horsepower EcoBoost turbocharged 1.6-liter four, and a 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four. The latter engine is a version coming in the Ford Focus ST.
Six-speed automatic transmissions will be standard across the board, while a six-speed manual will be available on the 1.6-liter sedan. All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional, but only on the 2.0-liter model.
Projected fuel economy is 26 mpg city/37 mpg highway on the 1.6-liter, due largely to the standard start-stop system. Ford anticipates 23/33 city/highway mpg on the 2.0-liter version, while no mileage estimates have been released yet on the base 2.4-liter engine.
The Fusion will be available in S, SE and Titanium models.
2013 Ford Fusion HybridEnlarge Photo
The first of a pair of hybrid Fusions, the so-called “standard” hybrid should get an estimated 47 mpg city/44 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined fuel economy. Those numbers beat today’s 2012 Fusion Hybrid’s 41/36 mpg while the combined 46 mpg number bests the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 41 mpg and the 37 mpg in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
Details are thin at this time about the rest of the 2013 Fusion Hybrid specifications, although Ford does estimate of the system will deliver 185 net horsepower.
2013 Ford Fusion EnergiEnlarge Photo
Plug-in hybrid Fusion
When the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid becomes available in the fall, Ford is looking for the plug-in to be the world’s most fuel-efficient mid-size car, delivering more than 100 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). That’s better than the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric (by 8 MPGe) and 13 MPGe more than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid’s projected efficiency.
The new Ford Fusion features eight standard airbags and the company says it is looking to achieve five-star safety ratings. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, new driver-alertness monitoring system called Lane Keeping system, blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert, and active park assist.
Also available in the new Fusion are the latest iterations of the Ford SYNC and MyFord Touch systems, which help reduce the potential for driver distraction through voice-controlled functionality.