Ford's 2010 update for the Fusion gets a handsomely updated front end and the long-awaited hybrid model joins the lineup. We've got details.

Ford's popular Fusion mid-size sedan receives its first significant update for 2010, with new engines, styling updates and the long-anticipated hybrid model finally becoming available. The Fusion's twin-under-the-skin, the Mercury Milan, also benefits from this round of revisions. Ford has released photos of the Fusion's new face.

The most obvious update is the new styling, which takes the Fusion's bold, chromy front end styling and makes it even bolder. The headlights flow into the larger grille, and the hood has a "power dome" bulge similar to the one that characterizes Ford's truck lineup.

The cool stuff is under the skin, however. The 175-horsepower 2.5 liter four-cylinder Duratec engine is all-new, and the 3.0 V6 gets a 19-horsepower boost. Both engines are more fuel-efficient. The Fusion Sport gets the 263-horse 3.5 liter V6 that does duty in the larger Taurus and Flex, providing a performance upgrade for the Fusion lineup. Six-speed transmissions are used across the board.

The Fusion Hybrid also bows, featuring dual-mode gasoline-electric powerplants similar to those used in the second-generation Escape Hybrid SUV. Ford claims up to 47mpg in mixed driving and a 700-mile fuel range in city driving. The Fusion Hybrid also features a slick new instrument cluster, called the SmartGauge with EcoGuide in Ford's convoluted marketing-speak. What it is, is a pair of LCD screens on either side of the analog speedometer that provide information to help Fusion Hybrid drivers maximize their fuel economy. Selectable data screens allow the driver to monitor the car's performance and status. The multi-tiered display is similar to those that have been popping up on concept cars for a few years now, and it's likely that the concept will migrate over time to non-hybrid models.

No pricing or sales information has been released for the 2010 Fusion at this time.

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