For 2010, the Ford Fusion returns in S, SE and SEL trim levels, with Sport and Hybrid models now added to the mix. Both 4- and 6-cylinder models are again available, with 4-cylinder models coming standard with front-wheel drive and V6 models featuring an available all-wheel drive system.
The base-level S borrows its new 2.5-liter 175-horsepower 4-cylinder engine from the Ford Escape, using an electrically-operated throttle control, new intake and exhaust manifolds and variable cam timing to achieve a broad torque curve and increased fuel economy. The 3.0-liter V6 returns in the SE and SEL, this year receiving a boost up to 240 horsepower thanks to a new air induction system and Ford's Cam Torque Actuated variable valve timing. This new technology uses torsional energy rather than pressurized oil to phase the cams, allowing for a smaller oil pump and helping achieve an increase in power as well as a claimed 2 mpg increase in highway fuel economy. The 3.0-liter V6 is now also capable of running on E85.
A Sport model is also available, which features a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter version of Ford's Duratec V6 previously available in the Lincoln MKZ--the Fusion's platform twin. The engine uses a compact and lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for increased peak power and smooth operation, and despite a rather high 10.3:1 compression ratio, does not require premium fuel like some of its competitors. The Sport also gets revised suspension and steering components, 18-inch wheels and unique styling cues inside and out.
Also new for 2010 is the addition of a hybrid model, which features an Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and an innovative nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery, making a combined 191 net horsepower. The hybrid Fusion can run on either one or both of its power sources, with the electric motor alone capable of propelling the car to 47 mph. It requires no plug-in charging, and Ford claims it's the most fuel-efficient hybrid sedan in America at 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
All models get either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission, with the manual standard in front-wheel drive S and SE models and the automatic the only choice in 3.0-liter V6 versions. The hybrid is the only exception, as it's only available with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Front wheel drive is standard on 4-cylinder and Sport models, while all-wheel drive is available on the Sport and standard on the V6 SEL.
Options on the S include remote engine start on automatic-equipped versions as well as heavy-duty floor mats, which can be added across the model line. Stepping up to the SE adds the availability of a sunroof, Ford's Sync system and an automatic dimming rearview mirror. The Sport model comes with the same available options as those available on the SEL, but can also be had with a blind spot warning indicator, a back-up camera, and a Sony sound system with 12 speakers and a 6-disc CD changer. SEL and Sport versions are also available with a voice-activated hard-drive-based navigation system.
For 2010, the Ford Fusion gets freshened styling, as well as a host of powertrain improvements and additions. A 3-bar grille and more angular headlamps have been added to the nose and an aggressive-looking front lower air intake is also now fitted, with large fog lamps mounted to either side. All engines receive a boost in power, and the 3.0-liter V6 is now capable of running on E85 fuel. A new Fusion Sport is available, featuring a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, and a gas/electric hybrid makes its debut this year, featuring a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder paired with an electric motor. A 6-speed manual and automatic are now available, up from only five speeds in 2009, and a new blind spot alert system is available.