No more idling: Ford to offer "start-stop" feature on Fusion

Ford will offer buyers of its 2013 Fusion model the option to purchase a gas-saving feature that would shut off the car's engine when idling.

Demand for hybrid vehicles may be on the rise, but Ford is hoping to cater its 2013 Fusion model to customers eager for savings at the pump but not quite ready to give up a traditional gasoline-powered engine.

For an additional cost of $295, customers can purchase an automatic stop-start system with their 2013 Fusion, which enables the car to automatically shut off the engine when the car is idling. It will be the first non-hybrid U.S. car to offer the feature.

According to the automaker, people who tend to drive in areas with high congestion could see their fuel efficiency improve by unto 10 percent. On average, Ford said, drivers see a 3.5 percent efficiency boost with the technology. Though popular in Europe, American drivers have historically been more worried about wearing out their cars' starters than saving on gas, according to the Wall Street Journal. But with the steadily increasing price of gas, American drivers' priorities may be changing.

“We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and auto start-stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving,” said Samantha Hoyt, marketing manager for the Ford Fusion.

According to a study by the U.S. Treasury, American drivers burned an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of gas in 2011 as a result of traffic congestion.

The 2013 Ford Fusion hits the market this fall. Consumers will be able to choose from standard, hybrid or plug-in-hybrid varieties.

Photo: Ford

via [Wall Street Journal]

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