The 2013 Ford Fusion. Photo courtesy of Ford.

The 2013 Ford Fusion to give power to the people via tech choices, start-stop

When the full line of 2013 Ford Fusion models comes out this fall, buyers will be able to choose from two highly efficient EcoBoost engines, a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, a hybrid vehicle, a plug-in hybrid as well as auto start-stop technology.

The power of choice means savings and power to the people while the new start-stop systems, slated as a $295 option, can save the predominantly urban driver as much as 10 percent on their monthly fuel bill, providing a rapid return on investment.

"We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving," said Samantha Hoyt, Fusion marketing manager. "That's cash in their pocket and time saved with fewer trips to the pump."

The technology stops the engine when not moving, restarting easily as soon as the accelerator is pushed. On average, drivers who practice a mix of intercity and urban driving will see an improvement around 3.5 percent.

United States Department of the Treasury reports traffic congestion resulted in the unnecessary consumption of an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel during 2011, roughly 5 percent of the gas used in the U.S.

Cities like Denver and Ann Arbor MI are considering legislation to ban excessive idling. In Denver it is illegal to leave an unoccupied car idling, even in winter, due the incidence of auto theft in such cases.

"Idling vehicles are consuming energy without doing any work," said Birgit Sorgenfrei, Ford's Auto Start-Stop program manager. "They're also producing exhaust gases in a concentrated space that can contribute to air quality problems like smog."

Reportedly the average driver encounters from 10 to 15 red lights or stop signs during a typical 20-mile daily drive, adding 5 to 15 minutes of engine idling and wasted gas. If the engine runs 15 minutes less every time it’s driven 20 miles, the saving are sure to add up quickly.

Ford’s auto start-stop system actually turns off the engine when the car is brought to a full stop – restarting as soon as the brake is released, so by the time you depress the accelerator pedal the engine is once again ready to roll.

Ford is making Auto Start-Stop – one of the most popular features of hybrid vehicles – available with the new 1.6-liter EcoBoost-powered Fusion. When the Fusion comes to a stop, the engine can automatically switch off, consuming no gasoline and emitting no exhaust gases. As soon as the driver releases brake pedal, the engine seamlessly re-starts itself and is ready to go by the time the driver presses the accelerator pedal.

"Our team has put a lot of effort into calibrating the Auto Start-Stop on the Fusion to make it as transparent as possible to the driver and passengers," says Sorgenfrei.

This has been one of the traditional advantages of hybrid vehicles, migrating to conventional if more efficient engines. Auto Start-Stop is simply the latest addition to the new 2013 Ford Fusion's highly successful array of affordable, fuel saving technologies that include engines, steering and transmissions.

EcoBoost engines use turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing along with downsizing to deliver outstanding fuel economy with no perceivable loss of performance.

Electric power steering takes the place of engine-driven hydraulic pumps, lines and fluids, freeing the engine to perform its main function and lightening the vehicle.

Six-speed transmissions maintain the optimum gear for fuel economy enabling more efficient engine operation.

To recap the highlights of the new 2013 Ford Fusion, here are the fuel efficiency ratings of three different powertrain styles:
• The 2013 Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost is expect to get about 37-mpg during highway driving.
• The 2013 Fusion Hybrid boasts at least 47 mpg – a 4 mpg improvement over the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
• The 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is estimated to deliver an equivalent of 100 mpg, making it the world's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan.

The 2013 Ford Fusion is bringing power to the people, to which we echo the old song by that name, by intoning, “Right on!”

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