Of course, all of the interior gadgets and toys are fun, and everybody likes to know where everything will be once you're sitting in the driver's seat, but the most important aspect of the Fusion Hybrid -- what sets it apart from the standard production Fusion -- is what's under the hood.
The Fusion Hybrid gets its propulsion from two sources: an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The electric motor gets its power from a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery, and it's coupled into one single unit with an electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT), a type of transmission that provides better fuel efficiency by constantly changing through an infinite number of gear ratios. The motor and transmission are mated to a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder Atkinson-Cycle gasoline engine, which features late intake valve closing (iVCT) to allow the car to switch smoothly from electric mode to gas mode and back again. The engine delivers 155 horsepower and 136 pound-feet (184.4 newton-meters) of torque.
What makes the Ford Fusion Hybrid really stand out, however, is the fact that, according to Ford, the car will operate in all-electric mode up to 47 miles per hour (75.6 kilometers per hour), much faster than most of its competitors. This not only keeps the Fusion Hybrid quiet for longer stretches, even in faster lanes, but it could also save a lot on fuel -- Ford claims it's possible to drive as far as 700 miles (1,126.5 kilometers) on one tank of gas. If you drive in areas with lower speed limits, like a neighborhood or busy city streets, you could potentially take nearly all of the car's power from the electric motor, lowering emissions and saving money. Overall, the EPA estimates the Fusion Hybrid should get about 41 miles per gallon (17.4 kilometers per liter) in the city and 36 miles per gallon (15.3 kilometers per liter) on the highway [source: Ford].
The Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan has a base price of around $27,000, and a reasonable price coupled with features that allow drivers to save even more money could make the new car a popular choice among hybrid car buyers.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Ford.com. "2010 Ford Fusion." (March 9, 2009) http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/fusion/
- Healey, James R. "Test drive: 2010 Ford Fusion is best gas-electric hybrid yet." USA Today. Feb. 6, 2009. (March 9, 2009) http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2009-02-05-2010-ford-fusion-hybrid_N.htm
- LeftLaneNews.com. "2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: priced from $27,270." Nov. 20, 2008. (March 9, 2009) http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-fusion-hybrid.html
- Wojdyla, Ben. "2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid." Jalopnik.com. Nov. 19, 2008. (March 9, 2009) http://jalopnik.com/5092455/2010-ford-fusion-hybrid