Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” initiative, aimed at creating a global product portfolio with a consistent look and mission, has certainly been fruitful. A quick stroll through a Ford showroom will reveal models like the Fiesta, Focus, and upcoming 2013 Escape, a trio of vehicles whose genetics evidently were extracted from a common Petri dish. Ford wisely chose to let the inbreeding continue, this time with designers swabbing a touch of the corporate DNA on the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion.
Fusion hybrid buyers get a new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder to replace the outgoing 2.5-liter unit. A permanent-magnet AC synchronous motor holds up the electrical end of the momentum bargain, helping to boost total system output to 185 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission sends the power to the wheels. Lighter, more powerful lithium-ion batteries replace the previous Fusion hybrid’s nickel-metal hydride batteries, packing enough of a punch to increase the fully electric top speed from 47 to 62 mph. Efficiency numbers aren’t final yet, but Ford is calling out Toyota and Hyundai, claiming the Fusion hybrid stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry hybrid by 4 mpg in the city and 5 mpg on the highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid by 12 and 4 mpg, respectively. For those less inclined to do the math, that translates to early estimates of 47 mpg city and 44 highway for Ford’s gas-electric.
In addition to a long list of nanny tech aimed primarily at those overwhelmed with the prospect of paying attention behind the wheel—adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system, blind-spot warning, active park assist—you’ll also find the polarizing MyFord Touch system on the available features list. Beyond those items, however, Ford isn’t saying much more about the Fusion’s various levels of equipment, other than it will be metered out via S, SE, and Titanium trims.
The company gives those who like to drive a pat on the head, too, saying that the electric steering, strut front suspension, and multilink rear suspension team up to “please a well-seasoned enthusiast.” What fortune; we were just thinking that we might be getting a little salty.