On the eve of the North American International Auto Show 2012, Ford has revealed in detail the all-new Ford Fusion (North America) / Mondeo (international markets) sedan.

Ford is heading to the front-lines with their newest piece of artillary to do battle with segment leaders Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. In an unprecedented offering, Ford is giving consumers a choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, each of which are expected to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. Furthermore, automatic start stop system, all-wheel drive and a choice between automatic and six-speed manual transmissions will be offered.

For gasoline, a direct injection 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine equipped with automatic start stop system will deliver a combined fuel economy figure of 31.5 mpg while the 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine will pump out 237 hp. The 1.6-liter represents the first time Ford has offered an automatic-transmission with an automatic start stop system.

The Fusion Hybrid's batteries are now lithium-ion instead of the previous nickel-metal hydride. Not only is weight saved and more power produced as a result, but maximum speed under electric-only power is rasied from 47 mph to 62 mph. The Hybrid also receives an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, which delivers 47 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway which beats out the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively.

Billed as the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid delivers more than 100 MPGe (mpg equivalency for electrified vehicles). This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid hits the market in the fall of this year.

For the design, Ford really wanted to capture a near premium-level. By keeping the exterior lines simple but sweeping the Fusion's profile sets it apart from the typical "three-box" designs synonymous with midsize sedans. Ford also strived to improve the visual quality of the interior with improved materials, elevated levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Chris Hamilton, chief exterior designer for the next-generation model. "Our design goal for the new car was to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice."

Additionally, the Fusion aims to deliver a sporty driving experience. "This really is a driver's car," said John Jraiche, program manager. "Fusion is even more fun to drive with specially tuned electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), a MacPherson strut front suspension and an all-new premium-level multilink rear suspension - comparable to Audi and BMW configurations."

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