"Offering consumers more fuel-efficient vehicle choices, including improving and increasing our hybrid vehicle offerings, is part of Ford's broad plan to deliver technology solutions for affordable fuel economy for millions," Kuzak said.
"With the new Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, we are now able to offer even better range of travel on battery power at a greater speed, thanks to a more efficient, seamless transition between the battery-powered motor and gasoline-driven engine," he said. "These new hybrids will exceed expectations on all fronts - fuel efficiency, comfort, convenience and drivability."
The Ford Hybrid team has developed a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. Additionally, the propulsion system for the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid transitions between gas and electric power and back more efficiently and seamlessly.
The overall system upgrade allows the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid to operate longer at higher speeds in electric mode. The hybrid vehicles can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors. Plus, the city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.
The next-generation hybrid system features:
- New 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower/136 lb.-ft. of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT.
- Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT), which allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa. The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.
- Enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.
- Wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions.
- A new smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20 percent more power. Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air.
- An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently.
- A new high-efficiency converter provides 14 percent increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features.
- Smarter climate control system monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin; it also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.
- The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving.
- A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid also offers drivers a way to be more connected to the hybrid driving experience thanks to Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster execution that helps coach them on how to optimize performance of their hybrid.
SmartGauge with EcoGuide features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant miles-per-gallon.
EcoGuide uses a multi-layered approach to coach the driver to maximum fuel efficiency.
A tutorial mode built into the display that helps the driver learn about the instrument cluster and the hybrid in a whimsical way that does not overpower. Technical enthusiasts will love the detailed gauges that will help them learn to become more efficient in their driving. Everyday drivers will love another new feature in this same gauge cluster. Called "Efficiency Leaves," the system "grows" leaves and vines on-screen to reward customers for efficient driving.
Drivers can choose one of four data screens to choose the information level displayed during their drives. They are:
- Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
- Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
- Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
- Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption
Several other elements help differentiate the Ford Fusion Hybrid from its gas-powered sibling, including unique hybrid "road and leaf" badging on both sides and the rear of the vehicle; unique 17-inch, eight-spoke wheels; eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials; and a standard 110-volt power outlet.