Electric and hybrid cars are getting more and more common, but if old school muscle is what you really love to drive you might not be giving these cars a second look. Steve Ling, Ford’s Strategy & Electrification U.S. Marketing Manager, thinks you should start paying these rides some attention.
I met Steve to talk about Ford’s Fusion Energi in a pretty unlikely place: surrounded by classic muscle cars at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast auto auction. The Fusion’s appearance here was no mistake, in fact it’s part of Ford’s effort to talk to all kinds of auto enthusiasts about their electric vehicle program.
What the Fusion doesn’t have in classic muscle form it makes up for in luxury. The 2017 model comes in a new Platinum trim level, with a detailed and comfortable interior giving its luxury class competition a run for its money. There are plenty of options under the hood as well, including hybrid or plug in hybrid with a 1.5L EcoBoost.
Steve talked about the Fusion’s powertrain setup, describing it as the best of both worlds solution that can work for many people. The plug-in hybrid has a combined range of 610 miles, with 21 miles in electric only mode. Once that 21 miles is surpassed the gas engine kicks in to drive the car and help recharge the batteries. Steve hopes that consumers who might not have driven a hybrid before can feel comfortable behind the wheel, explaining “you don’t give up anything, you have plenty of power…and you don’t have any of that range anxiety.”
Ford is achieving this range thanks to an efficient, calibrated electric engine. They’ve been making hybrids since 2004, so this experience helps them produce vehicles that perform. In addition to focusing on their vehicles’ performance Ford is working with corporations and municipalities to increase the availability of charging stations, helping to make driving a plug-in car that much more convenient.
If you’re still worried about finding a place to charge your car Ford’s app will help you find the nearest place to plug in. This app also does things like let you start your car remotely so it’s nice and toasty on those cold winter mornings. The technology of the app is complimented by the SYNC 3 entertainment system which can help teach you to drive more efficiently with the battery coach feature.
The technology behind this car is cool, but what may be even better is the low maintenance factor of a hybrid. The electric engine needs very little attention, and Ford even warranties the batteries for the Fusion for 8 years or 100,000 miles.
You may be used to driving an old school hotrod where the closest thing to luxury is pulling a lever to slide the seat back, and fuel efficiency means not flooring it at a green light. But even die hard muscle car fanatics need a car to drive for the every day. So why not save your gas money for your vintage V8, and think about getting behind the wheel of a hybrid the next time you’re running around town. You really can have the best of both worlds!