More than 1,000 Ford engineers are working on vehicle electrification, the company’s highest number in its history!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug 15, 2012
Mexico built 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid – Pricing TBA very soon and its early 47/44 mpgUS city/highway is probably too low
A few tidbits on the much anticipated 2013 Fusion Hybrid. For one, it’s nice looking both inside and out. The standard SmartGauge with EcoGuide continues to be the best hybrid display in the business hands down.
Its wheelbase has been expanded almost 5 in from the current model and passenger volume of 102.8 cu. ft. is up 3 cu. ft. with 3.5 in more rear seat legroom with the driver’s seat in the same position it was in the 2012. In fact, the Fusion Hybrid’s front and rear seat legroom of 44.3 in and 38.3 in respectively add up to more than the limo like VW Passat’s front and rear seat legroom of 42.4 in and 39.1 in respectively!
While there is room for interpretation in these figures, expect the 2013 FFH to provide a larger mid-sized experience than just about the present 2012 FFH.
Regarding the higher quality build process, we have talked about the stronger and far better finished laser weld roof to body seam more than a few times already.
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Laser Welded Body to Roof Seam
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid early prototype
Ford’s New Electrification HQ
The front and rear interior is simple but elegant.
In a release this afternoon, Ford said they are dedicating a 285,000-square-foot R&D lab in Dearborn to focus almost entirely on hybrids and electrification. The building houses most of the 1,000 engineers working on hybrid and electrification programs.
Ford is also doubling its battery-testing capabilities and speeding electrified vehicles to market by at least 25 percent thanks to a $135 million R&D investment to engineering and produce key HEV, PHEV and BEV components including advanced battery systems for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles going into production now.
Ford’s battery-testing capabilities will double by 2013 to a total of 160 individual battery-test channels. This includes investing in more of the highly specialized machines that can test and simulate everything from power and performance to life and thermal behavior over a complete range of temperatures and possible operating conditions.
While we only know that the C-MAX Hybrid is being offered at $25,995 with a $1,000 Rebate out of the gate, Ford said it has reduced the cost of its current hybrid system by 30 percent versus the company’s previous-generation system.
Ford’s past (FEH/MMH) and current hybrids (FFH/MKZh) were built around Sanyo batteries and Aisin transmissions designed, tested and sourced from those respective component suppliers in Japan.
As Ford moved forward with its second generation hybrid program, the R&D and production was brought in house similar to how the 6.7L Power Stroke was brought in-house with great success for the much vaunted Super Duty.
Ford’s expanded battery-testing capabilities allows the various teams to quickly collect, analyze and apply vast amounts of data and removing another 25 percent of the time needed compared to the previous-generation hybrids testing capabilities.
With its investment in electrified vehicles quickly increasing over the past 4-years, so did the size of the Sustainable Mobility Technologies team.
All-in, Ford products continue to get better, faster, more fuel efficient and probably most of all, more desirable. Let us hope the upcoming 2013 Fusion Hybrid is competitive with the current Camry/Sonata/Optima Hybrids on a cost basis. While I cannot provide the Korean Hybrids Fuel Economy additions for 2013due to NDA, in this business, nobody is standing still.