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Ford gives hybrids green gauges

Ford SmartGauge

Ford's SmartGauge lets you view a variety of fuel economy information.

(Credit: Ford)

Earlier we reported on the 2010 Ford Fusion, with photos of the model update. Today we have news of the hybrid version of the Fusion and the 2010 Mercury Milan, due to hit dealers in the first quarter of 2009. Both cars get a new generation of the full hybrid system currently used in the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Ford isn’t giving out many details about this new hybrid system beyond the fact that it will get 5 mpg more than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. However, Ford has shown off the instrument cluster for the cars, a new concept in helping driver’s learn about their cars and achieve maximum fuel economy.

We’ve long been fascinated by the power flow animations in current hybrid cars, which show when power is coming from the electric motor of gas engine. Ford takes this idea a step further, placing LCDs on either side of the speedometer. Similar to concept cars we’ve seen at many car shows, the LCDs can be configured to show different kinds of information. Ford breaks the different standard displays down like this:

  • Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
  • Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
  • Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
  • Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption

Originally posted at The Car Tech blog

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