Most important to the Fusion Hybrid isn't the gadgets and doo-dads, those are fun, but it's that integrated electric motor and transmission that demands scrutiny. The CVT transmission and electric motor are housed together in a single unit and mated to an Atkinson cycle 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with variable intake cam timing making 155 HP and 136 lb-ft of torque. Backing that is a trunk mounted nickel-metal hydride battery cooled with cabin air instead of a dedicated air conditioning system and charged by the motor/generator as well as regenerative braking. To save on parasitic losses the car also does away with belt drive AC compressor in favor of an electric unit. All pretty standard for a hybrid on the market these days but the Fusion does do some things other competitors can't. The car can operate in all-electric mode all the way up to 47 MPH which not only saves fuel but keeps things whisper quiet. That high all EV mode contributes to an expected range of on one tank of gas of 700 miles, one heck of a long drive if you ask us. And then there's the SmartGauge, a system of LCD monitors flanking the speedometer which can be easily reconfigured to display whatever data about the car's operation you'd like. In one mode the car even "grows" leaves when you're driving extra conservatively. But what of that fuel mileage? Ford is as-yet mum on the subject, but is committed to class-leading performance and promises at least 5 MPG better than the Camry hybrid. We'll have to wait and see how the new Fusion hybrid does on the road, but based on the revised styling and the big performance promises, we're suspecting Ford might have a welcomed winner on their hands. Stay tuned for the live reveal images from the floor of the LA Auto Show later today, and until then, take a peek below for all the details.
All-new hybrid model For the 2010 model year, the Ford Fusion adds an all-new hybrid model. The Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids join the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, doubling both the size and volume of Ford's hybrid lineup. "Offering consumers more fuel-efficient vehicle choices, including improving and increasing our hybrid vehicle offerings, is part of Ford's broad plan to deliver technology solutions for affordable fuel economy for millions," Kuzak said. "With the new Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, we are now able to offer even better range of travel on battery power at a greater speed, thanks to a more efficient, seamless transition between the battery-powered motor and gasoline-driven engine," he said. "These new hybrids will exceed expectations on all fronts – fuel efficiency, comfort, convenience and drivability." The Ford Hybrid team has developed a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. Additionally, the propulsion system for the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids transitions between gas and electric power and back more efficiently and seamlessly. 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, 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. The next-generation hybrid system features: New 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower/136 lb.-ft. of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT. Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT), which allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa. The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions. Enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts. Wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions. A new smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20 percent more power. Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air. An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently. A new high-efficiency converter provides 14 percent increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features. Smarter climate control system monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin; it also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use. The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving. A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system. "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. SmartGauge with EcoGuide features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant miles-per-gallon. EcoGuide 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. Technical enthusiasts will love the detailed gauges that will help them learn to become more efficient in their driving. Everyday drivers will love another new feature in this same gauge cluster. Called "Efficiency Leaves," the system "grows" leaves and vines on-screen to reward customers for efficient driving. Drivers can choose one of four data screens to choose the information level displayed during their drives. They are: Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption 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. Several other elements help differentiate the Ford Fusion Hybrid from its gas-powered sibling, including unique hybrid "road and leaf" badging on both sides and the rear of the vehicle; unique 16-inch, eight-spoke wheels; eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials; and a standard 110-volt power outlet.[Source: Ford]