(PhysOrg.com) -- Ford is to cars like Apple and Microsoft are to computers; the public knows they are being marketed to the hilt but that does not stem public curiosity year after year to see the newest models and what all the hype is about. At yesterdays Detroit Auto show eyes and ears were trained on what Ford has to show for itself and the answer is all "Fusion 2013."
Ford introduced three members of the Fusion family. There was gas only, hybrid and plug in models, called Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, and Fusion Energi at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Words like eco-friendly and fuel-efficient are being stressed for all three models. Ford claims the gas-0nly Fusion, Hybrid and Energi variants will be the most fuel-efficient, best-driving, tech-packed range of sedans in the midsize segment.
The cars will be in the marketplace within the next 12 months and will be overseas next year under the name Mondeo in Europe and Asia.
The gasoline-only 2013 Fusion will carry 4-cylinder engine options, not V6. Fusion will feature stop-start technology, which shuts off engine power when the car is stopped and restarts as the driver releases the brake pedal. Fusions makers say this can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by about 3.5 percent.
Tech gadgetry being packed into the showcased Fusion includes safe-driving support. Fusion has a Lane Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, and active park assist. The lane system is to prevent a drowsy driver from becoming his or her own worst nightmare. A forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror is part of a system that monitors lane lines to determine that the car is on course. The system will alert a driver if drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping is detected. Another element uses a steering wheel vibration to warn the driver if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings. The system can also apply pressure on the steering to help bring the car back into proper lane position. As for parking support, sensors provide the driver with parking assistance to steer the car properly into a designated spot.
A key talking point about the hybrid Fusion is batteries. The hybrid comes with lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than the previously used nickel-metal hydride batteries being replaced. Ford is touting the new hybrids capability of cruising as fast as 62 miles per hour under electric power alone, thanks to the more powerful batteries. Ford expects the hybrid to get 47 miles per gallon in city driving.
A strong eye magnet in the Fusion models showcased has been the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. The car is expected to deliver more than 100 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) when driving on plug-in battery power. That small e at the end is important as it is an equivalency measure of how far a car drives on an amount of electricity equivalent to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline.
Nonetheless, there is a word of advice from TreeHugger is to take the 100 MPGe in stride. We'll have to wait and see how it does in the real-world, though, since plug-in hybrids are notoriously hard to rate when it comes to fuel economy (it depends so much on electric range and driving patterns).
Pricing for the new Fusion models will be announced later this year.
Explore further: Ford's electric plans