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2013 Ford Fusion Overview
The all-new Ford Fusion stands as a serious threat to the crowned patrons of the midsize sedan segment. Building on its sporty and engaging driving dynamics, ample elbow and knee room, and mainstream style, the new Fusion adds class-topping fuel efficiency and state-of-the-art technology for 2013 to make for a massively compelling argument against the competition.
Many makers are claiming their 2013 entrants in this segment will top the fuel-efficiency charts, but none of them back it up quite like Ford. Although these figures amount to little more than rumor as well, at least Ford gives figures for its exclusively 4-cylinder line of powerplants. The least efficient 2.5-liter base engine will be good for a ballpark 30 mpg highway, while the smallest 1.6-liter is rumored for 37 mpg highway, and the hybrid sports a whopping 47 mpg highway and a 100-mile range. With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds and no less than 170 horses and pounds of twist under the hood, those figures are probably on the conservative side.
The base 2.5 is good for 170 hp and the same on lb-ft of torque, but it is available only with a standard 6-speed automatic. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost puts out just a little bit more for 179 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, but it is the only engine in the lineup available with a 6-speed manual in addition to the default automatic. The top-shelf 2-liter EcoBoost engine is good for a robust 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, and unlike the otherwise strictly front-wheel-drive engine, this one is available with all-wheel drive.
That 2-liter is paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack to create a pair of hybrids, one just your standard gas-electric and the other a plug-in hybrid dubbed the Energi. Aside from the Energi, the 2013 lineup is expected to consist of 3 trims dubbed the base S, midlevel SE and top-shelf Titanium. Quite literally, there is something for everyone.
Although Ford isn't exactly known for drivetrain innovations along those lines, state-of-the-art technology is inarguably the maker's strong point, and the 2013 Fusion is no exception. An optional lane-keeping assist system will be offered in this edition for the first time in an affordable, mainstream midsize sedan. Using a digital camera mounted to the windshield, the system identifies lane markings in relation to the car. In the event of drifting into another lane without a turn signal, the system warns drivers of an improper lane change by vibrating the steering wheel like rumble strips, and if the drift continues the system guides the car back into the lane.
It doesn't stop there. If you keep drifting out of the lane, this Fusion will try to wake you up with an increasingly loud and bright display of audible and visual alerts meant to get you over to the side of the road to take a nap. The system can be turned off manually, and all is forgiven once the engine is turned off, so if a system designed to be annoying gets too annoying, there is relief.
by Patricia Mayo
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