2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid gains EV range and Co-Pilot360 safety tech

Ford's 2019 Fusion Hybrid has addressed two of the biggest complaints from would-be EV drivers, gaining all-electric range and a host of new tech in its latest update. The plug-in hybrid sedan is among the first of the automaker's vehicles to come with Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver-assistance technologies that include features like blind spot information and lane-keeping as standard.

Ford announced Co-Pilot360 last week, billing the system as the most comprehensive suite of active assistance tech to be fitted as standard among full-line brands. Features that are commonly paid options on other vehicles, like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and auto high-beam lighting, are standard as part of the system. It also includes a rear backup camera, and the 2019 Fusion can assist the driver with extra torque on the steering wheel if the car spots that it's drifting out of its lane.

It's not limited to the new Fusion Hybrid, mind. Co-Pilot360 will be standard across the 2019 Fusion line-up, which will include gas-only models too. Ford's 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine will now be standard on the Fusion SE and above, though the Fusion V6 Sport will keep its 325 horsepower six-cylinder engine with 380 lb-ft of torque.

What we're more interested in is the 2019 Fusion Hybrid. That pairs a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, linked by a CVT. Ford says the new plug-in hybrid is expected to manage 25 miles of EPA range from its 9.0 kWh li-ion battery pack, an improvement of almost 20-percent compared to the current model.

While that might not sound like much, according to Ford's research – based, it says, on data generated from existing plug-in hybrid owners – the 2019 Fusion Energi should have sufficient range for up to 80-percent of owners' commutes. That's assuming they recharge fully while at work, mind; if they can't, it's more like 48-percent.

Although Co-Pilot360 comes as standard, the 2019 Fusion will be offered with Co-Pilot360 Assist as an option. That includes adaptive cruise control and voice-activated navigation, along with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. Fusion SE trims and above get SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen, in addition to an embedded 4G LTE modem with WiFi hotspot support for up to ten devices.

Pairing SYNC 3 with the Ford+Alexa app bakes in Alexa's skills, and there's the recently-announced Waze integration too. Outside, there's tweaked front and rear styling – including LED taillamps and a new chrome mesh for the Fusion Titanium trim – and new wheel designs. Ford says the car will make its public debut in New York at the auto show next week, before arriving in dealerships by late summer. Pricing will be announced closer to that point.