The 2013 Ford Fusion is already expected to dominate the mid-size sedan market in terms of fuel economy thanks to the Hybrid and Energi models, but even the non battery-assisted models will be able to help save fuel. Customers who opt for the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine can also add Ford's Auto Start-Stop which is a first non-hybrid sedan in this segment. While final pricing for the new Ford Fusion has yet to be released, Ford did announce that the car's Auto Start-Stop option will only cost owners an extra $295.
A common feature on hybrids but just making its way to conventional cars, Auto Start-Stop helps cut fuel consumption by shutting off the engine at long stops such as stop lights. It is not clear if the system will work in stop-and-go traffic even though Ford quoted a U.S. Department of Treasury study estimating that an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel were consumed in 2011 which is a staggering 5 percent of what was used last year in total. Ford has yet to announce whether this option will be available on both automatic and manual transmissions, but it does expect drivers to see a return on their added investment estimating that most drivers will save $1,100 over five years. Ford isn't the first OEM to bring a low-cost system like this to the a mainstream car. For 2012, Kia also offers a similar system on the Kia Soul and Kia Rio for less than $1,000 (price varies depending on the model and engine).
In addition to the direct savings in gasoline costs, start-stop systems are also helpful in reducing harmful exhaust emissions.
“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.”
In total, the 2013 Ford Fusion will utilize four different inline-four engines based on the options and trim levels. The base car will have a 2.5-liter engine with two EcoBoost engines available as options (1.6-liter and 2.0-liter), while the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi will both get a new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine.