2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Feature New Engines, 6-Speed Transmission, New Hybrid System

Jose Michael

The 2010 model year Fusion and Milan, which will arrive in showrooms next spring, will offer Ford’s all-new Duratec 2.5-liter I-4, producing 175 hp (130 kW); an enhanced 240 hp (179 kW) flex-fuel capable 3.0-liter V-6 with 19 more horsepower than its predecessor; and a high end 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 263 hp (196 kW) on the Fusion Sport model. Fusion models equipped with the 2.5-liter I-4 engine are expected to deliver at least 3 mpg better on the highway than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry.

All are paired with six-speed transmissions for up to a 10% fuel economy improvement and other new technologies aimed at improving performance while gaining fuel economy. The new lineup will also include Ford’s first sedan-based hybrid models. (Earlier post.) The more efficient hybrid system that debuts with the Fusion and Milan models delivers a more seamless driving experience and is expected to beat the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least 5 mpg in the city cycle, according to Ford.

The 2.5-liter I-4. First launched on the 2009 Ford Escape, the new Duratec 2.5-liter I-4 gives the 2010 Fusion 175 horsepower and 172 lb-ft (233 Nm) of torque, 14 more horsepower and 16 more lb-ft of torque than the preceding year’s 2.3-liter engine. The 2.5-liter uses intake variable cam timing (iVCT) technology to optimize valve timing, creating a broad torque curve that helps deliver increased power along with improved efficiency.

The powertrain also incorporates electronic throttle control (ETC), dual-mode crankshaft damping, new intake and exhaust manifolds, and a new underbody-only catalyst, which refine performance and contribute to greater fuel efficiency.

The 3.0-liter V-6. The improved 3.0-liter V-6 available on the 2010 Fusion delivers 19 more horsepower and 23 more lb-ft of torque for a total of 240 horsepower and 228 lb-ft (309 Nm) of torque.

The 3.0-liter features a new air induction system and ETC as well as an industry-first Cam Torque Actuated (CTA) iVCT technology that uses available camshaft torsional energy rather than pressurized oil to phase the camshafts. (Earlier post.) This allows for a smaller displacement oil pump versus traditional hydraulic VCT systems for improved fuel economy.

With this technology, we are taking energy that is in your engine today— energy that was previously wasted—and using it to make an engine more efficient. The cam torque actuated technology is a significant player in the 3.0-liter’s ability to provide customers fuel economy and performance.

—Steve Wilkie, supervisor of Cam Drive/VCT Design

This method uses torsional energy to move the camshafts similar to the way a hydraulic ratchet works. The system takes oil from one side of the phaser and channels it to the other side, rather than draining one side and filling the other as with a traditional hydraulic system. This allows the CTA system to work more efficiently at all engine speeds and it requires a smaller oil pump, which equates to lower parasitic energy loss.

CTA reduces oil pump flow requirements by approximately 25 percent, producing a fuel economy benefit up to 0.4 percent. In addition, the CTA-based system responds more quickly than a traditional hydraulic oil actuated VCT system, improving tip-in performance feel and contributing to horsepower gains.

The 3.0-liter is also flex-fuel capable and can run on E85, helping Ford deliver on a pledge made to double annual production of vehicles capable of running on renewable fuels by 2010.

The 3.5-liter V-6. The Duratec 3.5-liter V-6 joins the Fusion lineup for 2010, powering the Sport model with 263 hp and 249 lb-ft (338 Nm) of torque.

The 3.5-liter uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power and smooth operation at high RPMs. This engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle and an impressive broad torque curve with good power. A high 10.3:1 compression ratio and aluminum cylinder heads designed for high airflow and optimized combustion help complete the package, supporting the engine’s ability to deliver great performance and fuel economy, along with low emissions.

The Six-Speed Trans. The Fusion’s engines are paired with the 6F35-Mid automatic transmission. When the six-speed is paired with the 2.5-liter engine, the Fusion delivers a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency along with increased power. The 3.0-liter configurations gain a 4-6% efficiency.

The Ford transmission team made several specific modifications to the 6F35-Mid to optimize its performance for Fusion, including using unique final drive ratios for the 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter, developing an improved converter lock-up for lower operating temperatures and efficiency, recalibrating the converter clutch to accommodate a fuel-saving aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off system as well as other tweaks to diminish parasitic losses.

A SelectShift function on the 3.0-liter applications was also added to give customers the option of a fun-to-shift manual experience.

The Fusion incorporates other advanced fuel-saving and performance technologies, including:

  • Electric Power Steering (EPS). The 2010 Fusion has a rack- or belt-driven EPS system. Available on the 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter engines, energy consumption of an EPS system is typically less than 7% of a conventional hydraulic rack and pinion power steering system, contributing to less fuel consumption. Ford has committed to fit up to 90% of its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products with EPS by 2012 and first introduced a column-based EPS system on the 2008 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

  • Adaptive Spark Ignition. Included on the V-6 configurations, this system can sense what type of fuel is being injected into the motor and communicates the information to the powertrain control module (PCM), which adjusts the spark accordingly. The ignition system features two knock sensors rather than one to further improve performance. These two sensors detect the presence of uncontrolled burning in the chambers more accurately, so the control module can retard engine timing as needed to eliminate the potential for engine knock and pinging.

  • Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-off. The 3.0-liter V-6 also regulates its gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off for an efficiency improvement of approximately 1%. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal to slow down, the system temporarily turns off the fuel. The flow of fuel seamlessly resumes when the vehicle reaches a low speed or when the driver accelerates again. The system uses the transmission to keep the engine running at a low, more efficient operating point whenever possible. This system will be added to the 2.5-liter lineup later in the 2010 model year.

The new hybrid system. The hybrid system for the Fusion and Milan hybrids supports operation in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 47 mph; a smaller, lighter NiMH high-volt battery has greater charge capacity and range than the previous generation battery. The hybrids have a range of more than 700 miles of city driving on a single tank of gas.

The next-generation hybrid system features:

  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 hp/116 kW with 136 lb-ft/184 Nm of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT.

  • Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT), which allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa. The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.

  • Enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.

  • Wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions.

  • A smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20% more power. Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air.

  • An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently.

  • A new high-efficiency converter provides 14% increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features.

  • Smarter climate control system monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin; it also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.

  • The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94% energy recovery is achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving.

  • A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.

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