• 2013 Ford Fusion offered with conventional, turbocharged EcoBoost, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains
  • Hybrid predicted to deliver 46 mpg in combined city/hwy driving
  • 500 hybrid patents in 10 years, many from one engineer

The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid promises to be an enticing redesign of an already popular vehicle. With sexy looks, innovative design and a multitude of drivetrains to meet the demands of an increasingly picky consumer, Ford need only deliver on price and performance to almost assuredly dominate the mid-size sedan market for the foreseeable future.

Of all the new Fusion's features, perhaps none is more stunning than the predicted 46 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving (44 hwy/47 city) for the hybrid. Of every non-rechargeable vehicle on the U.S. market, only the smaller Prius and the subcompact Prius C deliver better combined fuel economy (50 mpg for both). And let's face it, the Fusion is a much better looking and more functional vehicle. Even the new 2012 Camry Hybrid, the Fusion's closest competitor, only delivers 41 mpg combined.

To achieve this stunning fuel economy Ford attributes the work of its engineers over the last decade, who have increased the company's number of hybrid-related patents in that time from 10 to 500. Even in the economic downturn the company continued to develop these key technologies, predicting what needs a changing world would have during the long recovery. Ford specifically attributes many of the new patents to one engineer, Ming Kuang, who has a decidedly green bent.

"The work on the Fusion Hybrid is all about a commitment I made a long time ago to have a positive effect on our environment," said Kuang, technical leader in vehicle controls at Ford's Electrification Research and Advanced Engineering Department. "It's about helping make the world my children live in-and the world my children's children will live in-a better place."

Ford says that many of the 500 patents that deliver such high fuel economy in the 2013 Fusion Hybrid are already in use helping to increase fuel economy on many of the company's other vehicles. Not only do the patents cover such things as how the hybrid system works, they also help drivers become more cognizant of driving efficiently with intuitive and well-designed gauges and driver information systems.

What it means to you: The stellar mileage and 500 hybrid patents on the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid add up to the most fuel-efficient, non-rechargeable mid-size sedan in the U.S.

author photo

Nick Chambers is a "next generation" car enthusiast, recognized for his green automotive coverage in Gas 2.0, The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com. In addition, he's been syndicated in Matter Network, AP and Reuters.

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