12-16-08: More of the new products that Ford has been telling us about are finally coming to see the light. At the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, we got to see the all new 2010 Ford Fusion up close and personal. The mid-cycle refresh of the Fusion covers all the bases from fresh new styling inside and out, new engines, new interior and some exciting new models.
The 2010 Fusion’s new design gives the car a look that is both sportier and more upscale with dramatically improved aerodynamics. It has a newly designed front end, including a powerfully domed hood, and new headlamps, grille and larger fog-lamp area. New underbody shields smooth areodynamic drag, further boosting Fusion’s fuel economy.
With all models, the interior design team created a more contemporary, technical look with metallic new finishes on the instrument panel that carry through on the center console, doors and steering wheel. The all new instrument panel is finished with a soft upper and lower skin and has much less hard plastic than before - a welcome change.
The instrument panel displays and switches have also been updated with a contemporary iced blue lighting. A redesigned leather wrapped steering wheel with form fitting palm swells, a new shifter, and wrapped and padded armrests increase the Fusion’s sportiness and comfort at all key driver touch points.
The gauge cluster has been designed with day time backlighting, a black lens, and 3-D elements to create a high tech jewel-like appearance, similar to a fine watch. Drivers will be greeted by a new “welcome” sequence that makes the Fusion seem as if it’s coming to life. Gauge needles sweep back and forth as the lighting and new chimes come on. The ambient lighting system offers the option of illuminating the front and rear footwells and front cup holders.
Good news is found under the hood for those who want more power, as well as those seek ultra-high fuel efficiency. Both the inline four-cylinder and V-6 engines are upgraded for both improved fuel economy and power. The standard Fusion S model equipped with Ford’s new 2.5-liter I-4 engine is expected to deliver at least a 6 mpg improvement versus the 2009 model on the highway, resulting in fuel economy that is at least 3 mpg better than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry.
The 2.5-liter I-4 engine jumps to 175 hp and 172 ft.-lbs. of torque from the previous 160 hp and 156 ft-lbs. As a result, 0-60 performance improves by more than a second.
The 3.0-liter V-6 engine was also improved on the 2010 model, delivering highway fuel economy gains of at least 1 mpg city and 2 mpg highway. Horsepower increased to 240 hp and 222 ft.,-lbs, up from 221 hp and 205 ft.-lbs. in the previous version. The 3.0-liter engine is now flex fuel-capable and can run on E-85 ethanol, which delivers even more horsepower – up to 250hp.
There is now an all new performance engine option that tops the charts. The Fusion Sport features a 3.5-liter V6 that has 263 hp and 249 ft-lbs of torque on runs on standard unleaded fuel. Building off the improvements for the Fusion line, the Fusion Sport also features a unique lower grille for a more functional look, larger beveled bright-tip dual exhausts, side rocker moldings, a decklid spoiler and unique Sport badging. Eighteen-inch painted aluminum wheels are standard.
The interior reflects its sporty nature as well. As with the base models, the Fusion Sport’s instrument panel and center console deliver a more-technical, content-driven look. Fusion Sport includes a Charcoal Black interior with a high tech soft touch dark gray finish available. Sport Blue or Sport Red interior accents are also available, depending on exterior color selected. These give the instrument panel and console a sportier look as well, which carries over to the seat inserts and contrast stitching.
The 2010 Fusion features an all six-speed transmission for all engines too, even the base 4-banger. The additional gear provides better drivability and performance as well as fuel savings, said Matt Hettenhouse, Powertrain Team Leader for the Fusion. “The gear ratios and the overall span of the transmissions allow us to have a more-efficient and higher performing shift schedule,” he said.
Front-wheel drive and on-demand all-wheel drive are available with models with a 3.0-liter engine and with the new Fusion Sport 3.5-liter engine. Fusion's front stay bar and rear suspension link geometry have been revised to improve steering, handling, and ride. The suspension springs, shocks, and sway-bars have also been retuned to take full advantage of the revised geometry and new steering system.
In addition to improvements in the 2010 Fusion’s steering, handling and improved brake pedal feel, the Fusion team also took a look at how to improve the comfort of the car, including reducing wind noise and road noise.
Green minded buyers will now have the a Ford Fusion hybrid model to choose. The hybrid can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, approximately 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.
“Because our hybrid can run at a much higher speed in electric mode, you can do so much more in city-driving situations,” said Gil Portalatin, Hybrid Applications Manager. “Under the right conditions, you can drive in your neighborhood or mall parking lots without using a drop of gasoline.”
The Fusion Hybrid also offers drivers a way to be more connected to the hybrid driving experience thanks to Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster execution that helps coach them on how to optimize performance of their hybrid.
The new 2010 Ford Fusions will be arriving at dealers in the early spring.