Ford Fusion Hybrid: 41mpg and Up to 47mph on Batteries

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ford fusion hybrid 41mpg and up to 47mph on batteries

Ford has a hit on their hands with the Ford Fusion Hybrid– at least from a media standpoint. The autobogosphere is abuzz with the announcement of the gas – electric fusion Fusion’s official EPA stat of 41mpg. Of course, that’s 41mpg in the city and 36mpg on the highway. But a headline’s a headline. More interesting yet, the Fusion hybrid can motor up to 47mph on battery-power. According to Hybrid program leader Praveen Cherian, the extended all-EV mode “allows drivers to maximize fuel efficiently in many driving situations. For example, this would allow drivers to travel around their subdivision and parking areas in all-electric mode.” What’s the speed limit in a subdivision these days? And doesn’t everybody switch off the engine and glide into a parking space (sarcastic driver, closed parking lot)? I know: I’m just being churlish. This is exactly the kind of evolutionary, incremental improvement we’ve been arguing for since the site began. Now, can I be churlish some more?

“When set in tutorial mode, the instrument panel ‘grows’ leaves and vines on-screen to reward fuel-efficient driving. The more leaves and vines that appear, the more efficient the driving behavior is and the more fuel is being saved.”

Is that a killer app or a deal killer? Is cute the new macho? Methinks FoMoCo is of two minds here, as the relevant screen shot is conspicuous by its absence in the PR photo roster. Anyway, I don’t want to deny Detroit’s day in the sun, given the dark, brooding horizon. So here’s the geekery.

* Smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery, which produces 20 percent more power than Ford’s previous hybrid system. The battery’s improved chemistry allows it to be run at a higher temperature and cooled using cabin air.

* New 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower / 136 lb.-ft. of torque), which is mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

* Enhanced electronic throttle control, which reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.

* Smart climate control system, which monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin. It also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.

* Regenerative brake system, which captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by delivering full regenerative braking, which means only 6 percent of braking is through traditional friction brakes

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Dec 24, 2008

    Wave, Thanks for the explanation, but one of the reasons I was unclear is that the laws of physics prevent any great savings by turning off the motor unless it's a bad design or wasteful driver.

  • Hoosiercub Hoosiercub on Jun 10, 2009

    Well the whole hybrid thing is kind of ignorant, its working towards better mileage.. but I'l stick to my early 90s FI econocar that gets mileage in the high 30s-50s on the highway, no expensive battery BS, no 'status' symbol, because those of you thinking that people are simply buying these to be better for the environment are kidding yourselfs.. its the new 'in' thing to be green. Think back to the late 80s early 90s Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans, all of their compact cars from that era got great mileage.. not 50mpg like the prius or even 60, but i think respectively 35mpg on an entirely gasoline powered engine is pretty good and economical, especially compared to the newer car market in general where 20mpg because acceptible as good mileage.

  • Azfelix From certain angles the bonnet appears oversized with respect to the rest of the car - like a skinny teenager wearing a bulky sweater nicked from her older sister's wardrobe.
  • Tassos This is way too god damned OLD, 21 years old to have all the necessary options you need TODAY. You need a 10 year old or less car. AND if you give us THIS POS, a 21 year old model, that is not even a LUXURY car, whoever pays $10k for a Golf, And I Do NOT care what anniversary it is (they are all UTTERLY INSIGNIFICANT) deserves to get this MOST UNRELIABLE AND COSTLY TO REPAIR OF ALL LOUSY ECONOBOXES< EVEN THE DOMESTICS AND THE KOREANS.
  • Tassos As you say, Toyota confirmed this on TUESDAY. Today is WEDNESDAY. Why is everything on TTAC held back one or more days before you tell us the NEWS when it is NO MORE THE NEWS?
  • MRF 95 T-Bird You can find a decent and far more stylish Audi TT or an S4 of a similar vintage for under $10k.
  • RHD "In all situations, the grip of the tires (225/40R18 front, 225/35R18 rear) brings with it road noise."Are the rear tires actually smaller than the fronts??!! Adding just a bit of sidewall would take care of the bumps and rough ride. I'm not a fan of BMWs, personally, but this is a very enjoyable car. There are times when driving a convertible is pure bliss, and with a bit of power it's fun as well. (And certainly a better drive than a gussied-up, overpriced German taxicab!)