Debuting earlier this year was one of the most awaited cars of the year, Ford’s entry into the hybrid market – the 2013 Ford Fusion. Introduced at the January 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the 2013 Ford Fusion will have cosmetic updates from previous models, including a sloping roofline and a “center stack” on the dash which incorporates a touch screen rather than buttons. In addition, the 2013 Ford Fusion will have technology features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist and a system that allows drivers to sync smart phones to access internet radio and text messages. Unlike previous versions of the Fusion, Ford is offering three different models – the traditional gas version, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, the Energi. According to Ford, the hybrid models are said to be more fuel efficient than competing makes with a miles per gallon rating of 47 in the city and 44 on the highway. In January of this year, Ford introduced a 2013 NASCAR Fusion prototype at the Charlotte, North Carolina Motor Speedway and hopes to take it on the road through the remainder of this year’s racing season.
Initially, Ford was giving a summer 2012 release date for the gas and hybrid versions and fall 2012 for the Energi. In the past few months, Ford moved the release date back to fall 2012 for the 2013 gas and Hybrid Fusions and early 2013 for the Energi with some locations receiving it later. As of May 2012, Ford, both in the press and on their corporate web site, has been vague on the actual release date. The latest buzz is that the gas and Hybrid versions will be release sometime after October 2012 with the plug-in hybrid being released in the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, the Ford site has released a configurator for the 2013 Ford Fusion that allows potential buyers to spec out the color and features of a model. The site has a disclaimer that the configurator is for “survey purposes only” with actual features announced at the time of the vehicle’s actual release. In addition to not announcing availability dates, Ford has also not released pricing although various sources have listed a base price for an entry level gas-powered Fusion anywhere $20,000 to $28,000 and a starting price of $27,000 to $30,000 for the hybrid. Again, disclaimers state the all pricing is subject to change before release date.