I recently had the pleasure to be invited by Ford to represent Abduzeedo at the 2013 NAIAS - North American International Auto Show. For those not familiar with the event, NAIAS is a huge Auto Show that happens every year in Detroit where the automotive industry amazes us with their new models, concepts and much more. During my three day stay in Detroit, besides going to NAIAS, I had the opportunity to get to know more about Ford and some of their recently launched vehicles, including the new Ford Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid that will convince you that you can have a hybrid that looks good and delivers the experience you want.

I will certainly write a couple more articles about the event and the designs I've seen there, so stay tuned. Today I will write about the new Ford Fusion Energi, Ford’s newest plug-in hybrid that besides having an amazing design, counts with top of the market fuel efficiency and several interesting and new safety features.

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

During the event I had the pleasure of being introduced to J. Mays, which is Ford's Group Vice President of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer. I also had the chance to talk to Ehab Kaoud, Ford's Chief Designer, who talked to me about design, creativity and some steps of the process of designing a car.

Designing a car is a really delicate and long process. From sketches to clay models, prototype development and computer models to the concept and the manufacturing of the car you can have years of study, hard work and constant improvements to keep track of what the market needs. Designers inside the automotive industry are always on top of new technologies, materials, fuel efficiency and they also need to understand what do car owners want. They have to think about a lot of variations to design something now that they expect it will be a hit when it goes to the market in a couple years. And since designing a car is a long process, we definitely have to thank automotive designers for doing the amazing job of impressing us with new cars.

Today you will see here a few sketches and some pictures of the new Ford Fusion Energi, which I had the chance to test drive in Detroit. It was my first time driving a hybrid and I have to say I was totally impressed about how silent and responsive the car was, specially because I always had the feeling hybrid cars were slower, didn't have a lot of power.

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi
Test Drive Line Up - Photo by
Marcio Nel Cimatti

PS: And yes, in case you are wondering, I drove a lot of the cars in this line up, including a C-Max, Escape, Explorer, F-150, Super Duty and more ;)

Fusion Sketches

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Some features of the car include:

  • Capable of making trips of up to 620 miles without having to stop for gas or to recharge the battery when starting with a fully charged battery and full gas tank
  • Delivers up to 21 miles in electric-only mode (nearly triple the electric-only range of competition)
  • Eco cruise: Saves vehicle energy by relaxing acceleration compared to standard cruise control
  • EV mode button: Conveniently mounted on the console to the right of the shifter, allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes: all-electric, normal hybrid operation and conserve battery power for later use

Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Car Design: 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Every form of design is inspiring. From automotive design to package and web design, we can get inspired by shapes, colors and materials just by observing our everyday lives, which makes our job even more interesting and exciting. Being able to look around and find inspiration in cars, websites, books, houses and everything around you is a blast, it doesn't matter if you are a designer, developer, an artist or a simple writer. ;)

About the author of this post

I'm Gisele Muller, someone who loves communication, design, creativity, technology and everything in between. A brazilian current living in San Francisco Bay Area, USA. Twitter user: @gismullr