Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ford Introduces 2010 Fusion Hybrid

We haven't even turned the calendar pages to 2009 yet, and already the auto manufacturers are introducing 2010 models. Like the new Ford Fusion Hybrid, being introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November, where eco-friendly green drives are the big news.

There also is an all-new 'regular' gas-powered Ford Fusion and its sibling Mercury Milan. Both offer Ford's all-new Duratec 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is expected to deliver at least 3 mpg better on the highway than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry.

Back to the hybrid. This is Ford's own technology, not Toyota's, which Nissan licensed for its well-received Altima Hybrid. Ford claims its next-generation hybrid system will deliver class-leading fuel economy, besting the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least 5 mpg in city driving.

With the addition of the Fusion and Milan hybrids, Ford doubles its hybrid fleet, adding to the Escape and Mariner hybrids. And with four hybrid models, Ford becomes the largest domestic producer of full hybrid vehicles in North America. The insanely popular Toyota Prius other Toyota and Honda hybrids are not from Detroit. But, you could say neither are the hybrid Fusions or Mariners -- they are built in Mexico.

The new Ford hybrids vehicles can accelerate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, about twice as fast as some competitors. That can extend your driving range on a single tank of gas to more than 700 miles. That's pretty substantial mileage between fill-ups.

Back to the gas-powered models now. The Duratec four-cylinder engines are 175 horsepower, and there an optional 3.0-liter V-6 and a hefty 3.5 liter V-6 for the Fusion Sport model that pumps out 263 horsepower. Models with the smallest engine are expected to deliver at least 3 mpg better on the highway than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry.
All of the gas engine choices have six-speed transmissions, for up to a 10 percent fuel economy improvement.

With the new arrivals, Ford will be the producer of the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans and SUVs in America -- and the Fusion Hybrid is expected to perform at least 5 mpg better on the highway than the Toyota Camry hybrid.

This is all good news for those thinking about buying a new car. And Ford needs all the good news it can get. That goes for all the auto manufacturers, too.

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