Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Sure, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid may have a base price that's more expensive than a Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,270 vs. $26,150), but you get oh so much more. Aside from more interesting styling and a trick LCD display called SmartGauge, Ford Fusion Hybrid owners will be able to travel 41 miles in the city for every gallon of gas they use. So says the Environmental Protection Agency, which has finally released official fuel economy numbers for Ford's most miserly vehicle. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid's official rating of 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway bests the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 8 mpg and 2 mpg, respectively. Ford points out that it even beats the smaller Honda Civic Hybrid by 1 mpg in the city. Credit goes to Ford and its engineers who developed the Fusion Hybrid's new hybrid drivetrain, which is based on the same one used in the Ford Escape Hybrid but features many advances like smaller and lighter nickel-metal hydride batteries and the ability to run up to 47 mph on electric power alone. That last ability alone raises the bar substantially for hybrids and puts the Fusion Hybrid in a class of its own... for now. The next-generation Toyota Prius will debut in January at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and we expect the Toyota Camry Hybrid to benefit greatly from adopting its new Synergy Drive hybrid drivetrain. In the meantime, check out our First Drive of the 2010 Ford Fusion by clicking here.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

[Source: Ford]


Related Gallery2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid


PRESS RELEASE

41 MPG! All-New Ford Fusion Hybrid Is Now America's Most Fuel-Efficient Mid-Size Car

- Ford Fusion Hybrid certified at 41 mpg in city and 36 mpg on highway - beating the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in city and 2 mpg on highway

- Advanced hybrid propulsion system allows Fusion Hybrid to reach speeds of up to 47 miles per hour in electric mode - faster than the Camry Hybrid and all other hybrids currently on the road

- New smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery produces 20 percent more power than the previous hybrid system and a new regenerative brake system allows for approximately 94 percent energy recovery in city driving

- On sale this spring, new Fusion Hybrid can travel more than 700 miles on a single tank of gas in city driving

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The all-new Ford Fusion Hybrid is now officially America's most fuel efficient mid-size car with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

"The new Ford Fusion Hybrid not only significantly exceeds the competition but also embodies Ford's 100 percent commitment to fuel efficiency leadership, quality, innovation and advanced technology," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "The Ford team set the bar high -- to develop America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan -- and that's what they delivered."

The 2010 Ford Fusion's final fuel economy certification was completed this week at Ford's testing laboratories in Allen Park, Mich., and the vehicle will carry an EPA label of 41 mpg for city driving and 36 mpg on the highway when it goes on sale this spring. The Fusion Hybrid, which beats even the much smaller Honda Civic hybrid by 1 mpg in city driving, can travel more than 700 miles on a single tank of gas.

To deliver the class leading fuel economy performance, Ford's engineers spent the past three years developing in-house the vehicle's next-generation hybrid propulsion system. It allows the Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrid to travel up to 47 miles per hour in pure electric mode, faster than the Toyota Camry and all other hybrids currently on the road. In addition, the system's Advanced Intake Variable Cam Timing allows the Fusion and Milan hybrids to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa.

"The Fusion Hybrid's ability to run at a much higher speed in electric mode allows drivers to maximize fuel efficiently in many driving situations," said Praveen Cherian, Fusion Hybrid program leader. "For example, this would allow drivers to travel around their subdivision and parking areas in all-electric mode."

Fusion's advanced hybrid system features:

-- 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

SmartGauge Teaches Eco-Driving

The new Fusion Hybrid literally teaches drivers how to make the most out of their vehicle, thanks to Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide. SmartGauge is a unique instrument cluster that helps coach drivers on how to optimize the performance of their hybrid.

SmartGauge with EcoGuide features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display screens on either side of the vehicle's speedometer. The screens can be configured to show different levels of driver information, including fuel and battery power levels, and average and instant miles-per-gallon.

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. In some recent tests, automotive journalists have reported exceeding 50 mpg with the Fusion Hybrid.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid also is distinct on the outside with Ford's "road and leaf" badges on both sides and the rear, unique 17-inch, eight-spoke wheels, and a unique engine cover. On the inside, Fusion Hybrid features eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials and a standard 110-volt power outlet.

Fusion Gasoline Model Also a Fuel Leader

In addition to the hybrid, Fusion will be offered with three fuel-efficient gasoline engines -- the Duratec 2.5-liter I-4 and enhanced 3.0-liter flex-fuel V-6 and 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engines. Fusions equipped with the 2.5-liter I-4 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.

The new Fusion will be building off the strong quality reputation of the current model, which has gained important third-party accolades, and will offer class-exclusive features, including Ford SYNC(TM), SIRIUS(R) TravelLink(TM), BLIS(TM) (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert and Sony-branded audio.

In addition to the Fusion, several other Ford vehicles are fuel-economy standouts on the road today. They include:

-- The Ford Focus with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission delivers 35 mpg on the highway, 5 mpg better than the Toyota Corolla's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 2 mpg better than the Honda Fit's 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, both also with manual transmissions.

-- The all-new 2009 Ford F-150 - which just recently was named Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year - achieves 3 mpg more than the Toyota Tundra pickup on the highway and 1 mpg better in the city with its 4.6-liter V-8 engine, compared to Toyota's 4.7-liter V-8. The F-150's larger 5.4-liter V-8 achieves 2 mpg better on the highway than the Tundra's larger engine.

-- The 2009 Ford Escape with new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine achieves 28 mpg on the highway, the same as Toyota's RAV4 and 1 mpg better than the Honda CR-V, both with 4-cylinder engines, too.

-- The Ford Expedition achieves 20 mpg on the highway, beating Toyota Sequoia's 4.7-liter V-8 engine by 3 mpg and its 5.7-liter V-8 by 1 mpg.