In the first model year of the drastically upgraded, redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion, it was introduced with a new 178-horsepower, 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The little turbocharged engine is the Fusion’s volume seller. So why, in its second year, is Ford relegating the 1.6-liter engine to the back burner behind a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine? Further, how powerful is it going to be?
The second question is much easier, so we’ll get to that first. The new 1.5-liter engine makes an identical 178 horsepower, but it’s down 7 pound-feet of torque to 177 versus the 1.6-liter’s 184. At just over 3,300 pounds, that won’t make a huge difference in acceleration times. Ford hasn’t released final weight numbers for the 1.5-liter car; since the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder car weighs 100 pounds more and the EcoBoost 2.0-liter Ford Fusion clocks in at more than 3,500 pounds, it is possible that Ford shaves another few pounds off.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is rated at 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway with the six-speed manual transmission, one mpg higher in the city than the 2013 version equipped with an automatic transmission. We fully expect the 1.5-liter engine to improve upon those numbers, but Ford has not yet released figures on the engine.
At the time being, the 1.5-liter engine will come exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the 1.6-liter engine will continue on exclusively with a manual transmission.
This leads us to why Ford is shifting focus to this new engine. Overseas, cold start emissions are a large priority for pollution reduction. The 1.5-liter engine will improve upon the emissions output of carbon monoxide. This engine is vital for overseas markets, and Ford is sharing the progress with the U.S. The 1.5-liter engine has improved cooling, will warm up faster, is expected to be lighter, and should have better response with a shorter path from the turbocharger to the combustion chamber.
In addition to the new engine, Ford will offer two new colors for the Fusion, inflatable rear seatbelts that debuted on the 2012 Ford Explorer, and some new features on the top-level Fusion Titanium.
Expect to see the 2014 Ford Fusion arrive in dealerships this summer and fall. Since the ’14 Fiesta with a similar, yet smaller, 1.0-liter engine is arriving in the fall, don’t be surprised if the 1.5-liter engine arrives around then.