Gil Portalatin, Hybrid Applications Manager, Ford Motor Company, sat down with me at the 2009 New York International auto show. We talked about the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid:
Portalatin says that the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is the most fuel-efficient, mid-sized sedan in America. The Fusion hybrid has a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, surpassing the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.
The next-generation hybrid system features:
¢ New 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (155 hp/136 lb.-ft. of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle, mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (e-CVT).
¢ Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT) 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 airfuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions.
¢ An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently.
¢ 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.
¢ 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.