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2010 Ford Fusion Preview

2010 Ford Fusion Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

Critical Knowledge:
  • Updated 2010 midsize sedan, including all-new Sport and Hybrid models
  • New 175-hp, 2.5-liter, Duratec 4-cylinder engine
  • Improved 240-hp, E85-compatible, 3.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Powerful 263-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine on new Fusion Sport model
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmissions with all engines
  • Standard electric power assist steering on 2.5- and 3.0-liter models
  • Hybrid has next generation of Ford's hybrid propulsion system
  • Hybrid operates up to 47 mph on electric mode
  • Hybrid provides more than 700 miles of city driving range on a single tank of gas
  • SmartGauge with EcoGuide instrument cluster provides hybrid drivers real-time info.
  • Available in dealer showrooms in spring of 2009
Introduction
For 2010, the Ford Fusion receives significant exterior styling changes; a new Sport model (featuring the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine that's in the Lincoln MKZ); an all-new Hybrid version with Ford's next-generation hybrid propulsion system; a new fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine; and a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. The model lineup will include S, SE, SEL, Sport and Hybrid, with all-wheel drive (AWD) available with the V-6 powertrains. Ford says the 2010 Fusion includes class-exclusive features to set it apart from other midsize sedans: Ford Sync entertainment and communications system, Sirius Travel Link, blind-spot information system with Cross Traffic Alert, and a Sony-branded premium audio system.

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Design
New design elements contribute to the 2010 Ford Fusion's freshened look, one that Ford says is sportier, more aerodynamic and upscale. The Fusion has a newly designed front end with a domed hood, new grille, revised headlamps and larger fog lamps. Additional aerodynamic styling changes and new underbody shields help to improve the Fusion's fuel economy, according to Ford. On the inside, the look is more technical and contemporary, featuring new metallic finishes on the instrument panel, center console, doors and steering wheel. The instrument panel itself is all-new, finished with a soft upper and lower skin containing less hard plastic than the car's Japanese competitors, and featuring displays and switches with contemporary ice-blue lighting. There's also a new shifter, wrapped and padded armrests and a redesigned leather-wrapped steering wheel with form-fitting palm swells.

Seats are updated as well, featuring revised contours with more side support, smoother bolsters and textural inserts for comfort. Daytime backlighting, a black lens, and 3-D elements are highlights of the redesigned gauge cluster. Fusion's available ambient lighting system offers drivers the ability to illuminate front cupholders and front and rear footwells in a choice of colors.
Model Lineup
The 2010 Ford Fusion is available in S, SE, SEL, Sport and Hybrid models, with AWD available with V-6 powertrains. Standard equipment includes an EasyFuel capless fuel-filler system (when fueling is completed and the fuel pump nozzle removed, the system automatically seals shut-eliminating the need to touch dirty gas caps, as well as helping to reduce evaporative emissions that contribute to smog and global warming). A cabin air filter is also standard in the 2010 Ford Fusion. The filter, which removes toxins and respiratory irritants caused by traffic and industrial pollution, also provides additional protection for the car's climate control system, Ford says.

While full equipment and package details will be available closer to production, Ford has released highlights of its two new models, the Sport and Hybrid. The new Sport model features standard front-wheel drive, with AWD optional. The Sport model has special 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, upgraded suspension tuning, unique lower grille styling, larger beveled bright-tip dual exhausts, side rocker moldings, decklid spoiler, and Sport badges. The Fusion Sport features a Charcoal Black interior, with a soft-touch dark gray interior finish available as an option. In addition, Sport Blue or Sport Red interior accents are available, depending on the choice of exterior color.

The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid features include a new high-efficiency converter, smarter climate control system, and a regenerative braking system with improved brake pedal feel over current industry standards, Ford claims. A unique instrument cluster, Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide, coaches drivers on how to maximize the hybrid's performance. The Hybrid has unique badges on the rear and both sides of the vehicle; special 17-inch, 8-spoke wheels; standard 110-volt power outlet; and seats constructed of eco-friendly fabric made from post-industrial 100-percent recycled materials.

Options for the 2010 Ford Fusion lineup include a new blind-spot information system (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert; the next generation of Sync voice-activated, hands-free communication and entertainment system, now including 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reporting; voice-activated navigation; Sirius Travel Link; reverse camera system; programmable ambient lighting system; and a Sony premium audio system.
Hardware
When it comes to power, the 2010 Ford Fusion has plenty. The new, 2.5-liter, Duratec 4-cylinder engine generates 175 hp and 172 lb.-ft. of torque (15 more hp and 16 more lb.-ft. of torque than the previous 2.3-liter engine). Ford says this new engine delivers at least a 6 mpg (highway) fuel economy improvement over the 2009 Fusion and results in fuel economy that's at least 3 mpg better than that of the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry. The improved 240-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 delivers 19 more hp and 17 more lb.-ft. of torque (222 lb.-ft. total) than the previous year's engine of identical displacement, and is also flex-fuel capable to run on E85 ethanol, gasoline, or any combination of the two. An added benefit with FlexFuel: the engine delivers up to 250 hp. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine in the Fusion Sport model (the same engine as the Lincoln MKZ) pounds out 263 hp and 249 lb.-ft. of torque. All engines are paired with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, which is expected to deliver up to a 10-percent fuel economy improvement alone, and both V-6 powertrains include SelectShift for individual gear control. The Fusion can also be equipped with all-wheel drive as long as a V-6 engine is ordered.

The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is powered by a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, in this application generating 155 hp and 136 lb.-ft. of torque and paired with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (e-CVT). This next-generation version of Ford's hybrid system includes a smaller, lighter-weight nickel-metal hydride battery optimized to produce 20 percent more power; a new, high-efficiency converter providing 14 percent more output; and other features to improve vehicle efficiency. The Fusion Hybrid can operate at speeds up to 47 mph in pure electric mode which means, according to Ford, consumers will be able to drive in their subdivisions, in moderate commuter traffic, in mall parking lots and on feeder roads without using any gasoline. As a result, the hybrid's city driving range is more than 700 miles on a single tank of gasoline, Ford says.
Technology
A technology highlight of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is its SmartGauge with EcoGuide. The system gives hybrid owners real-time information to help them maximize fuel efficiency. Using two high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens located on either side of the analog speedometer, the system advises on: fuel level and battery charge status; electric vehicle mode operation; engine and battery output power; accessory power consumption; and other variables. The four data screens are configurable to show average and instant miles-per-gallon as well as a "growing leaves and vines" display-the more efficiently the consumer drives, the more lush and beautiful the leaves/vines appear.

Other advanced, fuel-saving and performance technologies on the 2010 Ford Fusion include standard electric power-assist steering (EPAS) with the 2.5- and 3.0-liter engines, which provides a 7-percent fuel consumption savings over conventional hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering and a turning circle that's nearly a foot smaller-making parking a lot easier. Another fuel-saving technology is adaptive spark ignition, included on the Fusion's V-6 engines, which senses what kind of fuel is being injected into the motor and shares the information with the powertrain control module (PCM), adjusting spark accordingly. Finally, aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off (3.0-liter V-6 engines) regulates gas consumption by temporarily turning off the fuel when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, resuming fuel delivery when acceleration begins again. The system results in an approximate 1 percent fuel efficiency improvement. It will be added to the 2.5-liter engine later in the 2010 model year, according to Ford.

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