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2010 FORD FUSION HYBIRD TO PACE FORD 400 FIELD; FIRST EVER HYBRID PACE CAR IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP


  • The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2010 Ford Fusion Sport have been chosen to be the official pace cars of the Ford 400, the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale and the final race of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid will be the first hybrid electric vehicle ever to lead the field to the green flag at a NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
  • Both the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Sport will be decked out in NASCAR-inspired camouflage paint schemes; the cars will be unveiled at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on Nov. 19.
  • 2010 Fusion Hybrid is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy, beating the Toyota Camry Hybrid by at least 5 mpg, and will drive more than 700 miles on a tank of gas in city driving.

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 9, 2008 – NASCAR Sprint Cup officials will leave it to a green car to lead the field to the green flag next Sunday at the season-ending Ford 400 – marking a NASCAR Sprint Cup first.

The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, featuring the debut of Ford’s next-generation hybrid system, along with the all-new Fusion Sport will pace the Ford 400, which concludes Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


“Miami is an international city with a flair for what’s new,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. “And with the evolution of Ford Championship Weekend into one of the highest-profile events in sports, the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami is the perfect spot for a historical racing first—the Fusion Hybrid Pace Car.”

The Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Fusion Sport will both be in NASCAR-inspired camouflage for the race. Miami-area race fans and the national television audience on ABC will be the first to see the cars, since they won’t be officially unveiled until the Los Angeles International Auto Show three days later. They will be available in dealer showrooms in the spring of 2009.

After the Fusion Hybrid leads the field to the green flag, the 263-horsepower Fusion Sport will be the pace car for the remainder of the Ford 400.

“The new Ford Fusion ups the ante in the mid-size sedan segment with outstanding fuel economy but retains what made it standout from the competition from the beginning – the fun-to-drive factor,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas, who will wave the green flag at the start of Sunday’s Ford 400. “The Fusion Hybrid pacing the Ford 400 showcases exactly what our customers want, fuel economy and fun – and we’re pleased to be able to offer racing fans a glimpse of what’s to come at Sunday’s race.”

The new product teases are welcome news to Ford NASCAR star Carl Edwards, a winner of eight NASCAR Sprint Cup wins this year and currently second in the championship standings.

“It’s really appropriate that Ford is bringing the 2010 Fusion Hybrid to pace the Ford 400,” he said. “The Fusion already gets great fuel mileage. And I sure know that my NASCAR Fusion gets great fuel mileage after the way we recently won the Texas race. But for Ford to come out with a hybrid version of the Fusion, that’s best-in-class in terms of fuel economy, is really cool.”
“It makes a great car even better,” Edwards continued. “I just hope that I can be on the pole next week at Homestead, so I can be running up right behind it at the start of the race.”

More than 700 Miles of City Driving
The Ford Fusion Hybrid can operate in electric mode at speeds up to 47 mph with a range of more than 700 miles of city driving on a single tank of gas. A smaller, lighter high-volt battery has greater charge capacity and range than Ford’s current generation battery, as found in the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, which is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet.
“Because our hybrid can run at a much higher speed in electric mode, you can do so much more in city-driving situations,” said Gil Portalatin, Hybrid Applications Manager. “Under the right conditions, you can drive in your neighborhood or mall parking lots without using a drop of gasoline.”
The more efficient next-generation hybrid system delivers a more seamless driving experience and is expected to achieve class-leading fuel economy, besting the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least five mpg in city driving.

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid has already been recognized for its significance in advancing “green” technology and improving environmental performance by the Green Car Journal. The Fusion Hybrid has been named one of Green Car Journal’s Top 5 for 2009, being a finalist for the magazine’s top award, Green Car of the Year, which is scheduled to beannounced at the L.A. Auto Show.

The Innovation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide
Pushing a vehicle to the limit takes on a new meaning in the new 2010 Ford Fusion, thanks to Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide – an innovative new instrument cluster that provides real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency.

The instrument cluster’s unique design uses two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant miles-per-gallon.

“SmartGauge with EcoGuide gives the customer real-world feedback to make the most of their hybrids,” said Portalatin. “Unique to Ford and Mercury hybrid sedans, this instrument cluster acts as a good ‘coach,’ engaging drivers real-time to help them achieve maximum fuel economy.”

Long-term fuel efficiency can be displayed in two ways – either as a traditional chart or using an innovative display that shows “efficiency leaves,” which is an animation of growing green leaves on vines projected on the right side of the cluster. The more efficient a customer is, the more lush and bountiful the leaves become, creating a visual reward for the driver’s efforts.

The “efficiency leaves” were the inspiration for the Fusion Hybrid Pace Car’s camouflage design, which showcases green leaves growing from the front grille down the length of vehicle.

EPA-Smart Way Cars
The 2009 Ford Fusion is among the vehicles that have received SmartWay certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a partner of NASCAR. The SmartWay designation is earned by vehicles meeting EPA-set Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Scores.

Among NASCAR’s vehicle partners, a variety of makes and models have received the EPA SmartWay designation, providing drivers with a range of options whether they’re looking for a compact car, mid-size sedan or sport utility vehicle.

Consumers visiting the Ford displays at Homestead will see a variety of these EPA SmartWay vehicles, including the 2009 Fusion, 2009 Taurus and the 2009 Focus.

Fusion in NASCAR
Ford has sponsored a racing version of the Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2006. It has captured 22 series wins since its debut, including 10 this season.

The 2010 model NASCAR Fusion will make its competition debut at the 2009 Daytona 500 in February and will be unveiled to consumers during Ford Championship Weekend.

The Fusion made its debut as a pace car in the series on Oct. 9, 2005, at Kansas Speedway. It also paced the field prior to that season’s Ford Championship Weekend.

Ford has 591 wins overall in NASCAR’s top division. Seven different drivers have captured eight Cup championships, and Ford has won 15 manufacturers’ championships.
 

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^ I can hardly wait for the official unveiling of the Milan, MKZ and Fusion.

I caught a fast glimpse of the 2010 Fusion rear on TV and the only thing I can tell you is that the tail lamps are probably going to look like that of the '05-'07 Focus but like I said it was just a short glimpse so I really can't for sure say that's what they will look like.

I certainly enjoyed seeing history being made though. :D Also it was nice to see Edsel Ford II there.
 

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well, I can't find any pix of the pacecars online (yet) tho attached one of the opening ceremonial lap by 3 F-150's and a huge stars'n'stripes

&
a slight blow-up of the old AutoCosmos Fusion rendering

What I saw of the rear...
there was a clear lens part of the tail lights in approx. the placement shown in the rendering - maybe a bit higher (they had white strobes flashing)
but the clear parts seemed truly horizontal / not slanted
and a bit more pointy (could they points on the inner part?)
couldn't see the bottom edge quick enough to know how close it is to the AU-Falcon
& the trunk seemed flush / not sculpted in the middle like in the rendering


edit
found some interviews with the Nascar guys who have driven the 2010 Fusion Hybrid
Motorsport.com - Homestead: Ford drivers comment on Fusion Hybrid

Carl Edwards -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
HOW WAS THE FORD FUSION HYBRID TO DRIVE? "If it didn't have all those gauges which told me what was going on with the electrical system, I wouldn't have known that was a hybrid vehicle. It has a ton of power -- almost 200 horsepower. Amazingly it only has a quarter tank of gas, yet it said it would go another 150 miles. That is pretty cool."

Greg Biffle -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FORD FUSION HYBRID TECHNOLOGY? "It has an accessory bar, which is kind of cool actually, so if you have the AC on, the headlights, and the windshield wipers, it has a gauge on how much accessory power you are using. So you can elect if you want to turn the AC on or roll the windows down, the AC power comes down. It is a gauge to know how green you are being, so to speak..."
HOW WAS THE FORD FUSION HYBRID TO DRIVE? "It was pretty wild. You put it in gear and let up on the brake pedal and it is not running, but it starts moving like a car would be in gear. It just starts rolling away. What is really neat about it is it is so quiet. If you think about the noise when you're at a traffic light, think about yourself in traffic. Everybody sits in traffic. Move up three feet, stop. Move up three feet, stop. Move up two-car lengths, stop. You're never giving it any gas because it isn't running that entire time. Then when the traffic clears and it is time to go, you just give it some gas. Until that point you don't. You can probably drive to lunch without using any gas..."
 

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When does this picture embargo end? I heard MKZ pictures are going to be posted 11/18. I am dying here! I think Ford told the camera men at the Ford 500 race to not get any closeups or shots of the rear of the car, I was on the edge of my seat trying to get a glimpse of it. I don't understand since it was for advertising. Has anyone else found any pictures from the race? My search turned up nothing. Maybe we will see more tomorrow.
 

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^ Great find Fusionwagon thanks for posting.

The rear kinda reminds me of the '05 - '07 Focus more so the lights than anything else and like I've said before the front end looks pretty and unique cool but I'm still not a big fan of it. But overall it's still a good looking car but in my opinion the 2010 Milan looks much better.
 
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