With the Detroit press days fast approaching, we’re seeing plenty of online reveals before the actual thing happens in Cobo Hall. Earlier, we saw the sporty Dodge Dart and the 3-Series targeting Cadillac ATS, now it’s Ford’s turn with the new Fusion, making it a trio of good looking Americans. The Fusion is a D-segment entry in the popular American “midsize” segment with the Camry, Accord, Malibu and Sonata.
It’s a big departure from the current car in the looks department. Featuring a sleek silhouette and an Aston Martin-esque nose, the all-new Fusion is the latest model to come under the Blue Oval’s “One Ford” strategy, which calls for global models to suit every market. The Fiesta and Focus are the other main pillars in the strategy. Do see this Fusion as a preview of the next gen Ford Mondeo.
“Our vision for Fusion was clear – deliver the very best of what ‘One Ford’ stands for. We brought our global teams together around a blank slate with the charge to develop a midsize car with ground breaking design and jaw-dropping fuel economy – one that featured technologies to help make our customers safer and better drivers. This car is the result,” said Derrick Kuzak, Group VP of Global Product Development.
Drivetrain choices are extensive – customers can choose from hybrid and plug-in hybrid alternatives, a pair of EcoBoost four-cylinder turbos, a normally aspirated four-pot, an automatic start stop system, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, and a choice between automatic and manual six-speed transmissions.
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost is expected to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder non-hybrid fuel efficiency. The 2.0-litre EcoBoost paired with a paddle-shift six-speed auto on the other hand, is the performance option. The latter can be had with 19-inch wheels and AWD with the ability to send additional torque to the rear.
The Fusion Hybrid – 2010 North American Car of the Year – now comes with lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than the current nickel-metal hydride type, while raising max speed under electric-only power from 75 to 100 km/h.
It also features a new 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, downsized from the previous 2.5L while maintaining performance. Ford claims that fuel economy will outperform the Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively.
Want to go further? The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid will be launched this fall, and it’s aiming 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model, says Ford.
New tech features include Lane Keeping System, Adaptive cruise control, Active park assist, Blind Spot Information System, SYNC communications and entertainment system and the latest version of MyFord Touch.
The Mondeo is the best driver’s car in the non premium badged D-segment market, and the next one should have no problems maintaining the reputation. “This really is a driver’s car. Fusion is even more fun to drive with specially tuned electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), a MacPherson strut front suspension and an all-new premium-level multilink rear suspension – comparable to Audi and BMW configurations,” said John Jraiche, program manager.
The Fusion will be sold in S, SE and range-topping Titanium trim levels.