10-29-08: Ford has given us a sneak peek of the 2010 Ford Fusion that will be unveiled later this month at the Los Angeles Auto show. The Fusion will get a mid-life refresh that is strikingly more substantial than one might expect.
Aside of new styling and features, the 2010 Fusion and Milan get new engines across the board. Ford’s all-new Duratec 2.5-liter I-4, producing 175 horsepower will replace the 2.3-liter as the standard engine. For the mid-level engine, an enhanced 3.0-liter V-6 with 19 more horsepower than its predecessor will come on board. Best of all, Ford‘s new top line 3.5-liter V-6 that pumps out 263 horsepower will be available in a new Fusion Sport model.
Even with more power on tap, the new engines are expected to deliver better fuel economy with the 2.5-liter I-4 engine to get at least 3 mpg better on the highway than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry. Also, for the first time, all engines will be paired with six-speed transmissions for up to a 10 percent fuel economy improvement.
The top engine option for the Fusion should be of interest to enthusiasts. The 3.5-liter uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power and smooth operation at high RPMs. This engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle and an impressive broad torque curve with good power. A high 10.3:1 compression ratio and aluminum cylinder heads designed for high airflow and optimized combustion help complete the package, supporting the engine’s ability to deliver great performance and fuel economy, along with low emissions.
The even bigger news with the new 2010 Ford Fusion and Milan will be a new hybrid model. Ford gave us a look at an innovative new instrument cluster called "SmartGauge with EcoGuide" that is designed to provide real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency.
The driver is engaged by the SmartGauge displays, on either side of the center-mounted analog speedometer, with a special greeting that combines illumination and graphics. EcoGuide then uses a multi-layered approach to coach the driver to maximum fuel efficiency. A tutorial mode built into the display that helps the driver learn about the instrument cluster and the hybrid in a whimsical way that does not overpower.
All levels can show instant fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer, engine coolant temperature, what gear the car is in and trip data (trip fuel economy, time-elapsed fuel economy and miles to empty). The engine coolant temperature indicator turns green when engine conditions are warm enough to allow engine pull-down.
The styling of the new Fusion is of course an evolution of both the current shape with Ford's European "Kinetic" design that will help the new cars soon to arrive from over the pond look more cohesive lined up at the dealership. More to come soon.
Ford's next-generation hybrid propulsion system builds upon the proven success of the Escape and Mariner hybrids, delivering class-leading fuel economy for the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids that debut later this year.
With the new arrivals, Ford will be the producer of the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans and SUVs in America - and the Fusion Hybrid is expected to perform at least 5 mpg better on the highway than the Toyota Camry hybrid.
The overall system upgrade allows the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids to operate longer at higher speeds in electric mode. The hybrid vehicles can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, about twice as fast as some competitors. Plus, the city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.