Fusion bonds the power of four

2012-10-28T00:00:00Z Fusion bonds the power of fourJim Jackson Times Auto Writer nwitimes.com
October 28, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Driving California’s Pacific Coast Highway brought an interesting perspective to a recent Ford press drive.

Repeatedly, sports cars that typically dominate the left lane of California’s Highway 1 through Santa Monica signaled and moved right allowing us to pass.

Why?

From their rear view mirror, drivers likely perceived the approaching left lane brethren to be the exotic Aston Martin. Not so. I was driving the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion.

Ford brings unprecedented styling to its midsize Ford Fusion with a grille and front end that resembles the British-built Aston Martin.

European design teases onlookers with a taut sedan roof line that tapers to sloping rear windows and back pillar that hints of the German-bred Audi A7 sports sedan.

“The current generation Ford Fusion body style has only been around for two years. It is very popular, and we sell plenty of them,” says Brian Bolton, sales consultant for Smith Ford in Lowell. “Most of the design changes Ford did on the 2010 Fusion were cosmetic. The 2013 model is an entirely new design.”

Power of four

Four new engines drive the 2013 Ford Fusion’s captivating appearance. All have four cylinders.

The five-passenger 2013 Ford Fusion SE runs strong on a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

EcoBoost is Ford’s term for its direct-injection turbocharged technology that reels the 1.6-liter engine with automatic start/stop function to 178 horsepower for fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon in town and 37 mpg on the highway. A six-speed manual gearbox is available.

Fusion’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine has similar mileage at 22/city and 33/highway but ramps the giddy-up to 240 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with choice of front– or all-wheel drive.

Ford EcoBoost engines run on regular of premium fuel. Using regular fuel drops the 1.6 engine to 171 hp. Likewise, the 2.0-liter is reduced to 231 hp. Use of premium fuel offers optimum performance.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid starts with a 2.0-liter displacement but is revised with Atkinson-cycle valve timing that delivers 188 hp. when combined with a new lithium-ion battery pack that is 25 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than the previous Fusion Hybrid layout. It gains more power and holds a longer charge for up to 62 miles per hour on pure-electric power for short distances.

Fusion Hybrid’s real-world mileage is 47 mpg for both city and highway driving. Ford plans on bringing a 100 mpg equivalent plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi to market next year.

The base 2013 Ford Fusion S model priced at $21,700 offers a 2.5-liter engine. Though the largest in the four-cylinder group, it is not turbocharged and does not carry a hybrid boost. Horsepower is rated a 175 with a matching 175 foot-pounds of torque.

Price for the Ford Fusion SE model starts at $23,700 followed by the SE Hybrid for $27,200. The top of the line Titanium model reaches $30,200.

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