Engine shutoff is old news, but Ford is offering it in an effort to further improve fuel economy. That might not seem impressive, but it actually took so much engineering that the company filed 25 patents after the development process.
Hybrids can rely on electric power for their initial push from a stoplight, and gas-only cars featuring engine start-stop technology most frequently use a manual transmission, but Ford figured out how to get around that, allowing it to offer the system with an automatic, which is overwhelmingly preferred among American car buyers.
The problem is that an automatic transmission needs to maintain hydraulic pressure and that would normally stop with the engine. To counteract the problem, Ford’s engineers added an electrically-driven pump and stronger starter, all with the aim of making the transition to engine startup as seamless as possible.
Still, this isn’t even all that new. The Porsche Panamera has offered the same fuel-saving feature for years now, though presumably by different means considering the PR brouhaha Ford created.
Still, it’s hardly a fair comparison between the exclusive Panamera and the everyman Fusion.