By David Thomas on October 30, 2008
Update: Ford spokesman Alan Hall has told us that the four-cylinder Fusion will be available with a six-speed manual transmission as well as a six-speed automatic. The V-6 Fusion will only be available with the automatic.
We recently showed you the new 2010 Ford Fusion with details on its hybrid variant, but Ford also announced new engine and transmission specs for the non-hybrid model, including improvements to boost fuel economy and power. The current Fusion hasn’t exactly been competitive on the fuel economy or horsepower fronts compared to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Mileage has typically lagged by about 2 mpg, and the V-6’s power was short by at least 40 hp compared to the competition. Ford is looking to change that with the addition of a more powerful V-6 and a more efficient four-cylinder, as well as a new transmission and other technologies to improve fuel efficiency.
For 2010, the Fusion will offer three engines, compared to two in the current generation. A new 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 175 hp is also used in the new 2009 Ford Escape, and in the Fusion it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford says this nets a 10 percent bump in fuel economy over the previous five-speed transmission. The 2010 Fusion is expected to achieve highway ratings that are 3 mpg better than the automatic Accord (rated at 30 mpg on the highway) and 2 mpg better than the Camry (rated at 31 mpg).
The carried-over 3.0-liter V-6 gets a bump in power, from 221 to 240 hp, and gains E85 capabilities, which boosts power to 250 hp when using the ethanol blend. The 3.0-liter becomes a mid-level engine option, as a new 263-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 is introduced. The 3.5-liter is only available in a new Sport package that will also have all-wheel drive. There aren’t any fuel economy estimates yet on that combo.
Performance for the new Fusion is an estimated zero to 60 mph time of 7 seconds for the 3.5-liter V-6, while the four-cylinder manages to hit 60 mph in 9.5 seconds.
The Fusion will use an electric power-steering system on 2.5- and 3.0-liter models for better gas mileage. The 3.0-liter gets a fuel cutoff feature that shuts off fuel flow during deceleration and coasting for a claimed mileage improvement of 1 percent. Fuel cutoff will be added to the four-cylinder later in the 2010 model year.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David