The Fusion's tail-lamps have also been reshaped at the opposite end of the car. The reflectors have a molded in honeycomb shape that echoes the molding in the fog-lamp pockets up front. The rear vertical face of the trunk lid also has some new contouring, while the rear bumper has significantly reduced offset relative to the trunk lid, which cleans up the appearance of the rear end nicely. A piece of trim along the top of the license plate pocket is also body colored on all but the hybrid model, which is trimmed in chrome. Aside from the badging on the lower part of the front doors, that strip of chrome is the only element that visually distinguishes the hybrid from gas-powered Fusions.
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - rear
Beahmer explained that Ford spoke wiht drivers who told them that they prefer to keep visual differences on the hybrid to a minimum. This strategy differs from most other manufacturers who assume hybrid buyers like to stand out. That may be part of the reason for the success of the Toyota Prius, and also why Honda is introducing two new dedicated hybrids in 2009, the Insight and CR-Z. Ford has followed the same pattern with the Escape Hybrid and Mariner Hybrid and sold every single one it could build. But since production of the 2010 Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid will be limited to 25,000 units annually, the lack of differentiation probably won't hurt sales.
The only thing that doesn't change for 2010 is the body work in the middle of the car, but everything inside is new. The seats have been redesigned to be more comfortable and are now made with soy-foam cushions. We'll reserve judgement on them until we can drive the car, but they certainly seemed firm and well shaped during our brief chance to sit in them.
The 2010 Fusion's dashboard is all-new with a center cluster that contains an optional and extremely large 8-inch LCD navigation screen. The trim panel on the center stack has been designed with openings for all the switch-gear and knobs to poke through from behind, which gives them a cleaner look than before. On the Fusion Sport, that same panel and other contrasting trim pieces get a colored, rubberized finish, while other models get a metallic finish. The storage bin in the center of the dashboard above the stack has also been retained from the previous model. Like in the new 2010 Mustang, all major interior surfaces of the Fusion and its siblings are now covered in a soft touch plastic, which gives a decidedly more upscale impression than before.
For audio-philes there will be an optional Sony stereo system with 5.1 channel surround sound, 390 watts and 12 speakers. Ford is also continuing to enhance its telematics system by adding a 911 assist system, automatic accident reporting and vehicle health reports. When a cell phone is paired with the SYNC system, the car will automatically call 911 if an accident occurs that causes the airbags to deploy. The 2010 Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ also get electronic stability control as standard equipment and blind spot warning with cross traffic alert as an option.
Finally, the battery for the hybrid model is mounted in the trunk up against the back seat. That means there's no fold down seat in the rear, but the new smaller battery pack also means that almost no space is lost compared to the conventional model. One other change to the hybrid is a knee airbag under the steering column to compensate for the additional weight of the car.
NEW 2010 FORD FUSION, FUSION HYBRID OFFER LEADING
FUEL EFFICIENCY, SMART NEW TECHNOLOGIES
- For the 2010 model year, the new Ford Fusion lineup expands to include an all-new hybrid model that offers class-leading fuel economy, besting the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least 5 mpg in the city; innovative new SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide coaches hybrid drivers to maximize fuel efficiency
- Fusion will offer three fuel-efficient gasoline engine options – the Duratec 2.5-liter I-4 and enhanced 3.0-liter 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 3.5-liter V-6 powers the all-new Fusion Sport model
- Class-exclusive features, including Ford SYNC™, SIRUIS® TravelLink™, BLIS™ (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert and Sony-branded audio set Fusion apart from other mid-size sedans
- The 2010 Ford Fusion will be available in dealer showrooms in spring 2009
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2008 – Ford's new 2010 Fusion is set to shake up the cut-throat mid-size sedan segment when it goes on sale early next year, bringing an all-new hybrid that will deliver the best fuel economy of any sedan in America, class-exclusive technologies including a blind spot detection and warning system and Ford SYNC™, plus the kind of proven quality and reliability that has been recognized by the top consumer groups and magazines.
"With the new Ford Fusion, we are offering consumers more choice, even better fuel economy and the leading quality and reliability that they have come to expect," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development. "But that isn't all – we weren't satisfied with just matching the competition in the segment, we wanted to give consumers even more by delivering engaging driving dynamics and technologies that make the in-car experience more comfortable and connected."
Designed to stand out
Ford's attention to detail with the freshened Fusion begins with a new design that gives the car a sportier look and improved aerodynamics. The car's newly designed front end, including headlamps, grille and larger fog-lamp area, further enhance the sporty nature of the 2010 Fusion. Aerodynamic enhancements and new underbody shields further boost Fusion's fuel economy.
Overall, the wider, sportier look aims to make Fusion even more appealing to customers eager for a fun-to-drive mid-size sedan.
With all models, the interior design team created a more contemporary, technical look with metallic new finishes on the instrument panel that carries through on the center console, doors and steering wheel. A new shifter has been added, increasing the Fusion's sportiness and comfort.
The seats received a makeover, as well. The seat contour has been revised, with more side support and overall a softer seat with smoother bolsters and more-textural inserts. The seats also feature contrasting stitching and tipped leather inserts to give the Fusion even more attitude, befitting this mid-size sedan.
The gauge cluster has been designed with 3-D elements to create a jewel-like appearance, similar to a fine watch. Drivers will be greeted by a new "welcome" sequence that makes the Fusion seem as if it's coming to life. Gauge needles sweep back and forth as the lighting and new chimes come on. The ambient lighting system offers the option of illuminating the front and rear footwells and front cup holders.
Fuel-efficient powertrain lineup
Both the inline four-cylinder and V-6 engines are upgraded for both improved fuel economy and power. Fusions equipped with Ford's new 2.5-liter I-4 engine are expected to deliver at least a 5 mpg improvement versus the 2009 model on the highway, resulting in fuel economy that is at least 3 mpg better than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry.
The 2.5-liter I-4 engine horsepower and torque also have been improved from the car's outgoing 2.3-liter 4-cylinger engine, jumping to 175 hp and 172 ft.-lbs. of torque from the previous 160 hp and 156 ft-lbs. As a result, 0-60 performance improves by more than a second, now topping Camry and Accord.
The 2010 Fusion features an all six-speed transmission lineup, including for the new 2.5-liter I-4 engine, which is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The previous 2.3-liter I-4 in the Fusion was available with only a five-speed transmission.
The additional gear on the I-4 provides better drivability and performance as well as fuel savings, said Matt Hettenhouse, Powertrain Team Leader for the Fusion. "The gear ratios and the overall span of the transmissions allow us to have a more-efficient shift schedule," he said.
The first gear can be made a little deeper, which provides smoother acceleration. At the top end, a higher gear allows the engine to run slower in highway conditions, which also aids fuel economy.
Ford's proven Duratec 30 3.0-liter V-6 engine also improved on the 2010 model, delivering highway fuel economy gains of at least 1 mpg city and 2 mpg highway. Horsepower in the 3.0-liter V-6 also increased to 240 hp and 222 ft.,-lbs, up from 221 hp and 205 ft.-lbs. in the previous version. The 3.0-liter engine is now Flex Fuel-capable and can run on E-85 ethanol, which delivers even more horsepower – up to 250hp.
Front-wheel drive and on-demand all-wheel drive are available with models with a 3.0-liter engine and with the new Fusion Sport 3.5-liter engine.
The Fusion Sport 3.5-liter V-6 has 263 horsepower, a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. The versatility in the powertrain systems creates a wide range of options for customers designed to fit every need.
The 2010 Fusion now comes equipped with Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system on 2.5- and 3.0-liter models, improving the driving dynamics of the vehicle while delivering greater fuel savings because the steering system is operated by the electrical system rather than the engine. Additionally, EPAS provides customers with improved steering feel and reduced low-speed efforts that when coupled with a nearly 1 foot smaller turning circle for 2010 makes parking a cinch.
In addition to improvements in the 2010 Fusion's steering, handling and improved brake pedal feel, the Fusion team also took a look at how to improve the comfort of the car, including reducing wind noise and road noise.
Hood insulators, inner and outer dash absorbers, new carpet and glass, revised sealing baffles, additional sound deadening in the trunk, new interior material and new headliner material are among the improvements made.
Improved body and door sealing also contribute to Fusion's best-in-class standing in wind noise. Overall, the reduction in wind noise and road noise puts Fusion near some of the best luxury cars in terms of quietness and best-in-class speech intelligibility. Wind noise, for example, is 3 sones better than Camry and Accord. Models with the I-4 engine are class leaders in wind noise and road noise.
All-new hybrid model
For the 2010 model year, the Ford Fusion adds an all-new hybrid model. The Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids join the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, doubling both the size and volume of Ford's hybrid lineup.