Sesquiterpenes are important materials in pharmaceuticals and industry. Metabolic engineering has been successfully used to produce these valuable compounds in microbial hosts. However, the microbial potential of sesquiterpene production is limited by the poor heterologous expression of plant sesquiterpene synthases and the deficient FPP precursor supply. In this study, we engineered E. coli to produce α-farnesene using a codon-optimized α-farnesene synthase and an exogenous MVA pathway. Codon optimization of α-farnesene synthase improved both the synthase expression and α-farnesene production. Augmentation of the metabolic flux for FPP synthesis conferred a 1.6- to 48.0-fold increase in α-farnesene production. An additional increase in α-farnesene production was achieved by the protein fusion of FPP synthase and α-farnesene synthase. The engineered E. coli strain was able to produce 380.0 mg/L of α-farnesene, which is an approximately 317-fold increase over the initial production of 1.2 mg/L.