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Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid

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  • Thanks, explorerx4 (his post is great and repeated below in italics for convenience), thats what I was looking for, basically. I was asking why the Fusion Hybrid was able to achieve such high performance (MPG and accel together) compared to what we know can be done with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive in a Camry. It helps to look at the differences to really see whats going on here. The Fusion Hybrid appears to benefit from an accumulation of all the little stuff. Listing each one helps the readers here, not just stating they exist.

    That said, I doubt if the engine itself is really much more efficient than the Camry's gas engine, since I know Toyota put a lot into the efficiency there (same Atkinson, some internal ring friction/mass improvements, etc.). The iVCT or good lambda sensor are not unique to Ford either.

    The part about the electronic amp drivers/convertors may be a more significant area for gain. As for the battery statements below, there may be some energy savings in those battery packs being able to receive a charge (from regen braking, etc.) more efficiently, so some of the battle involves not wasting energy when charging a battery. I've heard numbers like around 50% of the energy is lost to heat when charging a battery! Any gain there would be good. The 94% figure stated below is simply the amount of energy captured from braking before trying to stick the energy into the battery, so it is misleading a bit.

    Maybe a lot of the secret of the Fusion Hybrid's success is in the statement below about the enhanced electronic throttle causing less fuel needed at startup. (Those Ford engineers are good.) I've always wondered about how much extra gas you waste by starting/stopping the engine over and over again. If the Fusion Hybrid gas engine had direct injection, then there might be another small gain in MPG at start-up. Speaking of all this Fusion Hybrid start/stop stuff, I know Toyota specifies 5w-30 engine oil in their hybrids, a thicker oil than the 5w-20 oil Toyota puts in their non-hybrid vehicles to prevent ring-sticking on start/stop cycles. Ford has typically been specifying 5w-20 in their vehicles, but I wonder if they are worried about warranty claims for sticking rings, too, in a start/stop engine like this.

    explorerx4 said: "
    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. "
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    I have no problem with anything you say, coldcranker. I was just referring to the Motor Trend/Car&Driver/Automobile/Road&Track-type comparison tests that have been issued lately, given the Fusion is now available for comparison. I note only that these tests have not found a significant difference in mpg between the Fusion and Camry hybrids. I believe Consumer Reports found no real difference as well on their driving cycles. That does not negate the EPA tests, and certainly it must be that under some conditions, the Fusion will do better mpg-wise. The auto press tests are just another possible consideration when buying a car. For me, the driving dynamics are what really separate the Camry and Fusion. The Fusion is described as fun to drive. I look forward to trying it.
  • I stopped by my local Ford dealer today to get info about the FFH. I was told that I was the first person to ask about the FFH. I hope that isn't really true. They only pre-ordered one FFH, maxed out with all features ($32,450). It is due in the showroom by the end of February.

    According to this dealer, the tax credit is available if you buy or order a FFH by the dates mentioned in the news release.
  • You're kidding. What area of North America are you in? With all the magazine coverage, I can't believe there isn't some kind of semi-rush for this thing at least. And they only preordered one!
  • Memphis, TN

    I'm going back this weekend when I have more time to ask detailed questions about options. During the short visit yesterday, I told them more about the FFH than they told me.
  • Incredible. Somebody needs to bring them a copy of all the major magazines, with articles highlighted, and a list of websites for them to enlighten themselves with.

    Makes me curious about how our many Ford dealerships around here in the Denver area are doing with this Ford Fusion info. (BTW, I lived in Memphis as a kid from '68 to '73, as if anyone cared. ;-)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Ford has already announced that production is going to be limited to 25000 units annually due to lack of battery supply. 2000 a month divided over the total of Ford stores in NA means less than one per month on average at each store. When they sell that one it's gone!!

    At most stores this will be a non-issue if they get one every 6 weeks or so. They can't run the store on one vehicle sale per month. The stores have to run on truck sales and non-hybrid Fusion sales and Escape sales.

    There might be one person per store that has any interest to tie up his/her time to take an order for the one vehicle being made for them that month.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Who knows how this will go at this point. Hybrid sales dipped late last year with gas getting cheap again. Even Prius sales went down. Not too long ago, Ford had incentives on the Escape Hybrid, and wasn't finding many buyers for the Mercury version (previous model). The FFH could sell well, being so new and hyped, but maybe after the first 10,000 or so, level off. Who knows? We'll see.

    Does that 25,000 include the Milan as well? I might be interested, but have no interest in paying list price. Been burned on that before. So I will wait and see. If it sells out, fine. If not, I may buy one.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    Do you suppose that battery number is for all the Ford hybrids? The way the sales are going around here I don't think the hybrids will be a sales issue. The largest Ford dealer in San Diego is selling 20% of 2007 sales figures. I know they laid off a bunch of mechanics. A good friend was one of them. He is having a heck of a time finding a job. If Ford treats the Fusion hybrid like the Escape hybrid you will be paying a HUGE premium over a comparably equipped non hybrid Fusion. Looks like Edmund's has the pricing. With the 502A package discounts you are looking at $32k. You can buy the AWD V6 Fusion loaded for $24k. The FFH will only be for those that nothing but the latest will do. And they will pay dearly for that distinction.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    The only time the Escape Hybrid had a HUGE premium was last summer and fall when gas was through the roof. Right now, huge premium means no sale.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    My dealer said the pre-order is at MSRP. I bet once they are out in the dealers they will go for more than that. This is why this week, I am diving in!

    There may be loyal Ford tie hards that will pay more than MSRP. However this car is being added to a field where there is competition. When the TCH came out there was no other conventional looking hybrid competition out there (a lot are turned off by the Prius). TCH's are no longer going for MSRP. The pricing I have seen on the FFH, at least the loaded ones put it as high or higher then the TCH. While I will certainly consider the FFH on my next purchase I won't pay a $2K premium on it over the TCH, of which I know to be a dependable car over all (not just the hybrid system).

    I would be ticked at Ford if I paid $2K too much for this and then prices dropped in 2 months. That's why a lot of people get ticked at the domesticas. Gouge you on a new hot product (like the PT Cruiser) and then in months start discounting them. It's not a hot market with cars period, and hybrids in general right now. If Ford starts making them and they don't move they will discount them.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    A Fusion HB at 32K or a fully loaded new MKZ for just a little more. Hmm...

    Gas prices are inching back up. I bet back over 2 bucks in a few months.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    I would be ticked at Ford if I paid $2K too much for this and then prices dropped in 2 months. That's why a lot of people get ticked at the domesticas. Gouge you on a new hot product (like the PT Cruiser) and then in months start discounting them.

    I don't know why you think that's a domestic issue. The markup on a Nissan GT-R is over $50K. Highly desirable and rare imports get ADMs just like the "domesticas". Besides that, there is nothing that Ford can do about ADMs. Nothing whatsoever. It would be illegal for Ford to do anything to control the dealer's selling price. So blame the Ford dealers but not Ford. The imports may have more favorable franchise agreements in that arena but they are not immune.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    And really, anyone who pays over list for either foreign or domestic is doing so because they want to be first out of the gate with a scarce product, and the premium is worth it to them...or they wouldn't pay it.

    If you can wait a bit, most all but truly exotic cars come back down to where more people will view the price as realistic. If dealers only have one FFH to begin with, of course many will tack on a premium. After all, it is rare a dealer gets to make much money off any new car sale (they count on used sales and service to keep the doors open). You want one under list, have patience.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    So if you pre-order the most you will pay is MSRP correct? Is that a bad thing? I guess it depends on if gas prices, if they are high than the hybrids will fly off the lot. If not perhaps you will get a deal on them. In the end I guess it is if you want to be first on the block!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Hybrid sales always follow the trend of fuel prices. Fuel prices www.gasbuddy.com move in a very well-known curve throughout the year.

    The lowest prices are during the year end Holiday Season;
    Immediately after Jan 1 prices begin to move back up again;
    Prices normally peak somewhere around Memorial Day - July 4th, hold for a while;
    Then they begin to decline again around Labor Day thru the Holidays......

    ......repeat again for the following year.

    The Prius sales declined because they directed sales away from the US as the currency got weaker. They produced and sold just as many in 2008 as they did in 2007, they just didn't ship as many to the US. All the hybrid vehicle makers are currently limited by the lack of availability of batteries and hybrid components. With the current weak auto market this is not so much of an issue any longer though as gagrice noted.

    I don't think Ford was clear whether that 25000 unit figure included both the FFH and MMH or not. I'm going to guess that it does.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    How about "The 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet" as praise?

    Fusion drives better. A car is, after all, a driving machine.

    OK, let's just get it out there: The 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet.

    What makes it best is a top-drawer blend of an already very good midsize sedan with the industry's smoothest, best-integrated gas-electric power system. It's so well-done that you have to look to the $107,000 Lexus LS 600h hybrid to come close.

    Fusion's $28,000 starting price is more or less in reach, the driving feel is good, and the interior has a premium look and feel.

    There are three facets to consider in evaluating a gasoline-electric hybrid: the underlying vehicle itself, the hybrid system and the mileage.

    Assuming the preproduction Fusion hybrid test car was representative — Ford says it was — the Fusion's scores in those three categories are good, great and adequate, but potentially, very good.

    The Toyota Prius crowd will protest. Prius is lower-priced, has about the same room inside, has a handy hatchback configuration, gets better mileage — and most of those attributes could improve when the 2010 Prius goes on sale in a few months — so how could Fusion be the best hybrid?

    Simple. Fusion drives better. A car is, after all, a driving machine. Brownie points for saving somewhat more fuel or offering a cargo-friendly hatchback, but driving feel is most important.

    And there, Fusion is without equal among hybrids.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    Pre-ordering doesn't guarantee anything. The price is still up to you and the dealer. I don't expect dealers to be asking more than MSRP but who knows.

    If you want to be one of the first to own one, you may have to pay MSRP. Or wait and see if the price drops - maybe it will, maybe it won't. It's a crap shoot. Personally I think enough people will want one not because of the hybrid label but just because they want a fusion and it happens to be the most fuel efficient model. As opposed to Prius buyers who are either looking for the hybrid label or seeking maximum fuel economy.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    The Prius sales declined because they directed sales away from the US as the currency got weaker. They produced and sold just as many in 2008 as they did in 2007, they just didn't ship as many to the US.

    Wow - are you dizzy from all that spinning? Sales were down, so they shipped less. Not the other way around.
  • Update:

    Went back to the Ford dealer today to see a model with the same paint and interior as the one pre-ordered. The dealer said he has been given 2/16/09 as the ETA for the first FFH. I got the impression, he wasn't very optimistic about that date.

    That sounds much sooner than Ford news releases indicate. If the ETA is that close, then the cars should be leaving the factory (in Mexico??) soon.

    :lemon: I hope not!!
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