Starting with the 2014 model year, the Ford Fusion mid-size sedan will come with six powertrain options now that a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is being added.
When that happens, it will all but replace the current 1.6-liter EcoBoost, which is currently the most popular choice among Fusion buyers. Shrinking the powerplant by that fraction will lead to a mild improvement in efficiency, but holds more important connotations for Ford outside North America.
That’s because a 1.5-liter engine will allow the maker to avoid a tax in China – where the Fusion is sold as the Mondeo – that targets powerplants above that displacement.
Despite fitting the 1.5-liter engine to the Fusion, its slightly larger EcoBoost sibling won’t disappear from the car, but it will only be available in trims with a manual transmission. That move will free Ford to redistribute the majority of its 1.6-liter EcoBoost mills into other high volume vehicles including the Escape as demand for the engine increases.
The 1.5-liter engine won’t be a step down, though. In fact, Ford says it integrates some of the same technology as the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine headed to the 2014 Fiesta sub-compact. That includes an integrated exhaust manifold that helps the engine warm faster by recapturing heat normally lost through the exhaust.
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