The 2013 Ford Fusion hasn't even gone on sale yet and it's made a bunch of connections: an appointment with NASCAR's Sprint Cup, star of its own music video, and a date with Ryan Seacrest. Now Ford has paired it with the Space Shuttle, but not for nothing: the MAR M246 nickel-cobalt-tungsten superalloy used for the turbochargers of the new Fusion is the same compound used in the high-pressure turbo pumps of the Space Shuttle's main engines.

Sure, the Fusion is still in a different league when it comes to certain comparators, like its 237 horsepower versus the Shuttle's 19.5 million. But does claim a few crowns, such as its 190,000 rpm maximum vs. the Shuttle's 28,120 (we're assuming Ford means the speed its turbocharger spins), and the Fusion gets much better gas mileage.

Both the full infographic and the press release can be seen below below, or you can click on the image above to see it in full size.

Ford Fusion versus space shuttle infographic

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Rocket Ship Superalloy Technology Aids Ford Fusion 2.0-Liter Turbo Durability

• Modified superalloy used in Space Shuttle main engine helps performance and durability of Ford Fusion 2.0-liter EcoBoost® turbo

• Material supports upper limit of temperature extremes for commercial turbochargers; used on Fusion and Focus ST EcoBoost turbos

• Integrated exhaust manifold casting combines cylinder head with exhaust manifold to aid cooling, direct more energy to the turbo faster


DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 16, 2012 – Enthusiasts will say the all-new Ford Fusion equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost® turbo engine is a rocket ship. Fusion engineers will tell you parts of its engine depend on technology from one.

To prolong turbo life and combat thermal fatigue, powertrain engineers for the new Ford Fusion, in conjunction with a team at supplier BorgWarner, went to the upper limits of commercially available turbo materials when deciding on the turbine wheel for the turbocharger fitted to 2.0-liter EcoBoost variants.

The same material has been tried and tested in outer space, as a version of it was used on the Space Shuttle main engine's high-pressure fuel turbo pump and the blades of its high-pressure oxidizer turbo pump.

The upper temperature limit for the turbine wheel used on the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine in Edge and Explorer is 970 degrees Celsius (1,778 degrees Fahrenheit). But in the sporty 2.0-liter EcoBoost for Fusion and Focus ST, the addition of tungsten and cobalt gives the alloy an upper temperature limit of 1,050 degrees Celsius (1,922 degrees Fahrenheit).

The benefit of using such high-temperature alloy is that Fusion 2.0-liter drivers can enjoy enthusiastic and spirited driving for the life of the car without degrading turbo reliability or its mechanical integrity.

Fusion owners can highlight the fact that the BorgWarner K03 turbocharger features both water and oil cooling; when the engine is running, it is primarily oil-cooled, but after the engine is turned off, the water cooling system creates a thermal water siphon to help draw heat away from the turbocharger.

As a bonus, they might explain their Fusion 2.0-liter turbo's performance is further strengthened by an integrated exhaust manifold design that combines the cylinder head and exhaust manifold into one casting; this allows the creation of smaller internal passageways (reduced plenum volumes) that direct more exhaust gas energy into the turbo more quickly than a separate head and manifold assembly.

The Fusion turbo, they also can claim, is designed to run safely at speeds up to 190,000 rpm, and is the same turbo used in the new, high-performance Ford Focus ST.

More information regarding the Fusion 2.0-liter can be found at http://www.ford.com/cars/fusion/2013/.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 168,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.