For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Model: Transit Connect
Trim: AdvanceTrac RSC
Drive Type: No Transmission
Aurora, Illinois, United States
Your Mileage May Vary
As difficult as it is to write this, I was actually excited about the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. With the beautiful looks of the newest midsize fighter from Ford and a fuel economy estimate capable of shaming even the stalwart Camry Hybrid, the battery-augmented four-door seemed like a recipe for unabashed success. But appearances love nothing more than swapping our boundless enthusiasm for cold platters of disappointment. The 2013 Fusion Hybrid gets hobbled right out of the gate with a lofty price tag, and real-world driving keeps the sedan from even approaching those EPA figures.
With so many excellent midsize hybrids on the market, is there any reason to consider the newest Fusion Hybrid? Are sharp aesthetics, a well-executed interior and capable driving dynamics enough to overcome the machine's shortfalls? Not from where I'm standing.
For the second year in a row, Ford has taken top honors in International Engine of the Year voting. As was the case last year, it is Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that earns the automaker the accolade, achieving the highest-ever accumulated score in the 15 years that the award has been handed out.
A panel of 87 automotive journalists from 35 countries are responsible for choosing the world's best engines, and this is only the third time an automaker has managed back-to-back victories. Voters were impressed by the "Baby EcoBoost" engine's power output - 123 horsepower between 1,400 and 4,500 rpm, 148 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm - and its compact size; Ford has demonstrated that the package is small enough to fit in the overhead bin of a passenger airplane.
Currently, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is offered in the European Fiesta, B-MAX, Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, and Ford plans to put the engine in the Transit Connect, Transit Courier, Tourneo Connect, Tourneo Courier, Mondeo and EcoSport in short order. In North America, the Fiesta will be the first vehicle to offer the 1.0L EcoBoost later this year.
Ford operates a number of performance divisions around the world. There's SVT in the US, Team RS in Europe and Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) in Australia. But the Blue Oval has been steadily integrating its performance operations into one unit, and here we might have our first indication of what it will be called.
A reader at Jalopnik sent in a survey in which respondents were asked to gauge the name for a new performance brand from a "major automotive manufacturer," and while the identity of that automaker was not disclosed, according to the survey, the automaker is considering the name 999 for its new go-fast unit.
As our compatriots point out, the 999 was Ford's first racecar, a rudimentary chassis with a 19-liter inline-four campaigned by Henry Ford around the turn of the 20th century. (Ford also used the number to designate a Fusion fuel-cell racer a few years back.) That could prove the tie-in Dearborn is looking for in rebranding its performance operations worldwide, replacing the letters SVT, RS and FPV globally under one name.