The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has certified the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid to return up to 108 MPGe. This makes the recently voted Green Car of the Year as the most fuel-efficient sedan in the U.S. Ford is relying on the Fusion Energi, its fifth electrified vehicle to have its launch in the past year, to hasten the automaker’s record-breaking hybrid sales rate.
In fact, Ford had its highest monthly hybrid sales month ever last November. Ford believes that there will be a higher demand for its frugal models. J.D. Power currently considers Ford to be No. 1 in fuel economy customer satisfaction. It now surpasses Toyota in terms of efficiency in every segment where their cars are in rivalry. In addition, the EPA has certified Fusion Energi to produce up to 92 MPGe highway and a combined 100 MPGe.
These mean that customers could save about $6,850 in fuel costs compared with an average new car in over five years. Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, said that the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is the “exclamation point” for Ford’s altered lineup of fuel-efficiency topnotchers that now exceeds Toyota across the board. Fusion Energi now offers additional value with its advanced technologies that are meant to help attract novice and pro hybrid owners.
These represent ways where it has surpassed the Toyota Prius plug-in. For instance, SmartGauge with EcoGuide offers in-vehicle customizable displays, which include instant fuel economy readings and coaching functions so that drivers can learn how to optimize their fuel efficiency.
SYNC with MyFord Touch provides numerous ways (such as voice commands) for customers to be able to manage their phone, including the navigation, entertainment and climate functions. It offers more options for owners of plug-in hybrids and all-electric models so that they can monitor data such as battery state of charge.
During the development of the new Ford Fusion, the design team had five goals in mind. The first was that it had to have a new face. This was important as the Fusion is project to begin the next stage in the brand’s design language focusing on the midsize and smaller cars. Second, innovation had to be present on its silhouette. The sleek profile of the Fusion is the reason why it is immediately recognizable from other midsize sedans especially with their “three-box” powertrain/cabin/trunk design. Third is having a surface language that is more refined.
Through the Fusion, Ford has shown that it is possible to have a design that is well-executed and tasteful without being cluttered visually. There’s also no need for add-ons. Fourth is a perceived efficiency that is made possible through the character lines that flow to the rear section. Combined with the thin roof pillars, it gives the impression that this vehicle is light and nimble. Finally, the fifth goal was on technical graphics.
The Fusion has a number of design elements that are also functional in order to display that technological capability has been improved. Examples include the taillamps which now use LED, headlamps, and the polished exhaust tips. The new Ford Fusion is designed to keep its commitment of providing high visual quality with extra attention to detail and the use of improved materials.
Craftsmanship has been taken to a whole new level. Chris Hamilton, the chief exterior designer in-charge of the new generation of the Fusion, said that the previous version was a purchase that many customers could easily arrive at. For this new version, he added, the main objective in terms of design was for the model to promote a first-rate visual experience for the sedan customer. What this means, he continued, was that it brought an extra emotional appeal to what is long considered as a practical choice.
Going to the interior, it is clear that the environment is more athletic and focused more on the driver. With the next-generation seating, expanded functionality is added in. The seats are supported by frames that are lighter and thinner. These seats are then trimmed using fabric composed of sustainable and recycled yarns. To be in line with the driver-focused theme, the center console is now higher.
In addition, this same console has storage space included for things that the driver may want to keep within reach. By placing the instrument panel closer to the windshield, it made it possible to have extra space for the passenger. It also helps with the open and airy ambience of the cabin.