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Thursday, November 27, 2008

2010 Ford Fusion

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Since its launch three years ago to warm reviews, the Ford Fusion has become a byword for sheer driving pleasure — a perfect blend of efficiency, handling, comfort, and safety. Now Ford has premiered the 2010 model at the Los Angeles Auto Show, along with two new variations: the Fusion Sport and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

A new streamlined exterior reinforces the Fusion’s appeal to our fun side. But the real draw is fuel economy. The mid-size sedan beats similar offerings from Toyota and Honda thanks to all-new engines: the 2.5-liter Duratec with 175 hp and the 3.0-liter Duratec with 240 hp. And offering unseen power is an engine standard on the Fusion Sport: a 3.5-liter Duratec with 263 hp. “We’re throwing down the gauntlet directly at the segment leaders, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Marketing and Communications.

The Fusion Hybrid, for instance, beats Toyota’s Camry Hybrid by 6 miles-per-gallon in city driving. Capable of hitting 47 mph on electricity alone, it allows drivers to travel up to 700 miles on a single tank of gas and puts Ford at the head of American hybrid automakers. It comes equipped with Ford’s new SmartGauge, a dashboard display that coaches drivers into more efficient driving.

Each of the Fusion’s engines has been paired with a six-speed transmission, and each has been optimized for a smooth idle and broad torque curve. The result is a potent combination of performance with fuel economy and low emissions. And the 3.0 and 3.5 models benefit from Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-off, a system that adjusts the flow of fuel as the driver steps off the accelerator. (The 2.5-liter model gets this feature later in the 2010 model year.) And the 3.0-liter runs on regular gas or E85 ethanol.

“We’re confident the new Fusion will win in every category that matters to customers,” says Farley. Customers get their chance to find out when the Fusion hits showrooms early in 2009.