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Ford pushes cash-saving engine technology in 2013 Fusion

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There is an awful lot of excitement surrounding the 2013 Ford Fusion, and what’s not to like, really? The newest Fusion made a big splash at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, wowing show-goers with its dynamic design and sleek styling. But apart from the car’s dashing good looks, Ford has also been touting the Fusion’s unrivaled fuel economy, and one of the more interesting components of the latest Fusion’s overall fuel efficiency is the start-stop technology.

When the 2013 Ford Fusion launches later this year, it will be the first mid-size family sedan in North America to feature start-stop technology, which kills the engine when the car is not in motion. But not everyone will be excited at the prospect of their car’s engine shutting off at a stop light, which is why Ford has taken to explaining why the technology is important to drivers looking to save money on fuel, just how seamless the experience is, and if that fails, making it an optional add-on priced at $295 for those that would rather pass.

To be fair, the start-stop mechanism isn’t as scary as it sounds. Basically when the car is stopped or idle, the gas-powered engine shuts off. In a hybrid vehicle like the Toyota Prius that usually means the electric motor kicks in. Once you let your foot off the brake and hit the accelerator, the engine is back on and off you go. It might take some getting used to, but if you have any familiarity with hybrid vehicles then you’ll already be over the initial wave of anxiety felt when your engine shuts off while at a stop.

Of course the whole point behind the start-stop technology featured in the Fusion is to save money on gas. Ford estimates that owners with the optional feature will save “about $1,100 more than other mid-size sedan owners during five years of driving,” with urban and city drivers gaining the most benefit. And with gasoline prices in a constant state of flux, that number could very well jump even higher — all of a sudden that $295 investment doesn’t seem so bad.

Consumers interested in purchasing a 2013 Fusion will be able to choose from five different powertrains when the Fusion launches: a 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four cylinder, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder, as well as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid (Energi) versions. For now, Ford only has plans on implementing the start-stop feature in the 1.6-liter EcoBoost for non-hybrid models.

Fuel economy has been a huge focus for Ford as of late, and according the Blue Oval, when it launches, the 1.6-liter Fusion will be at the vanguard of fuel efficiency, offering drivers up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway.