PHOTO CAPTION: 2017 Ford Fusion comes in conventional ICE-age models, as well as hybrid and Energi plug-in versions.

Ford Updates Fusion Hybrids

Ford swaps NiMH batteries for lithium in its upgraded Fusion Hybrid, while also updating the battery management software.

Published: 13-Jan-2016

Ford is the only major carmaker to offer three different drive trains on a product line. Like previous Fusions, buyers can opt for non-hybrid ICE-age gasoline engines (a sporty twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 or 2.0 liter version), or they can select the Fusion Hybrid, now with a lighter lithium battery pack. For those buyers willing to be a bit more adventurous, the Energi electric-hybrid version offers better performance than the previous model. Now the car can be driven up to 19 miles in EV-mode. It has a top EV-speed of 85 mph, while its 7.6kW lithium battery can be recharged in 2.5 hours.

Maybe just as significant, Ford claims the Energi's regenerative braking system "captures up to 95 percent of the energy lost through heat during braking and recharges the hybrid battery on the move." The combined EV-mode and hybrid driving range is a bladder-testing 500 miles.

Ford's official press release also notes, "the Fusion is the most technologically advanced midsize car Ford has ever built in North America.."

"... the first car sold here with Ford's pedestrian detection system. Fusion also has hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking capability. The new high-tech gear shift dial results in a roomier cabin with easy-to-reach bins.

"Lane-keeping assist helps drivers maintain proper lane position using a small, forward-facing camera behind the rearview mirror that "looks" at the road ahead – monitoring lane lines to ensure the car is on course.

"Available Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert includes sensors in the car's rear quarter-panels that can detect traffic in a driver's blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic – unseen by the driver – is detected. BLIS® enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views. In combination with the standard rearview camera, BLIS makes for confident maneuvering in parking lots.

"SYNC® 3, Ford's new communications and entertainment system, is also available. It features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface. SYNC Connect, optional with SYNC 3, enables owners to remotely start their car, schedule future starts, or lock and unlock the car using their smartphone."

All versions of the Fusion go on sale at Ford dealerships this summer.

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