Preview: 2013 Ford Fusion

What do blue jeans, soybeans and plastic bottles have in common? Believe it or not, the 2013 Ford Fusion.

 

The 2013 Fusion is all-new, and has been redesigned using sustainable materials in an effort to reduce petroleum-based content. Here’s where and how these unique materials will be used in the sedan:

 

  • Denim. Post-industrial, recycled cotton from more than two average-sized pairs of blue jeans will serve as sound-absorbing material in the Fusion, helping to reduce unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise.
     
  • Plastic bottles. Select Fusion models will contain the equivalent of nearly 39 recycled plastic bottles, which are melted and reformulated into chips, and then textured into fiber from which fabric is created for cloth seats.
     
  • Soybeans. Like other Ford vehicles built in North America, the foam used in the Fusion’s seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints is made from soy-based material that is equal to about 31,250 soybeans.

 

In addition to these materials, the manufacturer is using recycled car battery casings for various vehicle components, such as the Fusion’s fender splash shields. In doing so, Ford estimates that it will use nearly 2 million pounds of recycled plastic annually.

 

In addition to have sustainability appeal, the 2013 Fusion is also equipped with a laundry list of technology, including:

 

  • Auto Start-Stop, which improves fuel efficiency by about 3.5 percent. With the Fusion’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, it is estimated that this feature will help drivers save up to $1,100 over five years based on today’s fuel prices.
     
  • Lane-Keeping System, which alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel if the car drifts out of its lane. If the driver does not respond, this technology kicks in to correct the vehicle’s lane position.
     
  • Driver Alert System, which recognizes and alerts drowsy drivers to stop and rest until they can safely drive again.
     
  • Adaptive cruise control, which measures the distance and speed of the vehicle ahead in order to maintain a safe follow distance. This is supplemented with collision warning, which provides a visual and audio alert to prompt a driver to steer or brake to avoid a crash.
     
  • Active park assist, which uses sensors to assist drivers when parallel parking.
     
  • Blind Spot Information System, which displays a warning light when another vehicle is in the vehicle’s blind spot.

 

As a mid-size sedan, the Fusion faces stiff competition against vehicles including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Nissan Altima, among others. However, the improvements Ford has made to the vehicle are sure to help the Fusion distinguish itself in this highly competitive class.

 

AAA has not yet completed a behind-the-wheel review of the sedan, but Ford’s thoughtful approach in fusing sustainability with the latest technology helps the 2013 Fusion to deliver a solid first impression.

 

The 2013 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid will appear in showrooms this fall. According to Ford, the base model will start at $21,700, while the hybrid model will start at $27,200. Safety ratings are not yet available.

 

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