2016 Detroit Auto Show Update: Ford Introduces the New Fusion Lineup
The Ford Fusion is quietly becoming a car that Honda and Toyota can no longer take for granted. I’ve seen a number of them, and have been impressed with fit, finish and technology. I have some friends who own them, and I take their favorable impression as gospel. To me, the Ford Fusion carries a little more excitement than a Honda or Toyota, and are fresher than a Nissan Altima. They’re roomier, and faster–always big for me. They always bring a lot of technology to the fore, and their engineers have found a way to make this tech easily accessible–for those who choose to engage with it.
At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Ford upped the Fusion’s ante in this segment.
Class-exclusive combination of all-wheel drive and twin-turbocharged V6 engine pushes Ford Fusion V6 Sport to leave other family sedans – including Honda Accord and Toyota Camry – in the dust; Fusion even out-powers the 2016 BMW 340
Fusion Energi is the plug-in hybrid that stands out in a crowd – allowing customers to drive extended distances using just electricity, then operating as a conventional gas engine-powered hybrid when the battery runs low
Fusion is the first Ford car in North America with a pedestrian detection system; other advanced technologies include hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking and SYNC® 3
Somewhat similar to the new Chevy Malibu, Ford is loading up this midsize with technology for the masses, at a price that the masses can afford. This is the inverse of how technology is usually introduced in a marque. The high-end models and drivers pay for it first before it trickled down to the models for the masses. In this case, the masses get the technology too. Good for the masses, better for the accountants.
With that, let’s take a look at the tech. First, the pedestrian detection system. Ford has been working on this since 2014. Introduced with Europe’s 2015 Ford Mondeo, it is part of an automated collision-avoidance system. Once the system is engaged, if you don’t begin braking to avoid the danger, the car will take over and do it for you. Hands-free parking is a handy feature. Using a combination of cameras and sensors, the car can parallel park as well as pull you into a spot at the grocery store. Cue car owners and insurance agents clapping for less claims. Then cut to the insurance company accountants booing for less justifiable reasons to jack up people’s rates. There’s blind-spot assist, lane assist and a host of other features that, provided you pay attention to them, can make driving safer.
Sync3 is the spine of Ford’s onboard communications and entertainment suite. Sync3 has overcome many of the communications problems owners had with it. Like the system not understanding a word they said. The voice recognition is easier to use–check out the video below. Owners can connect their smartphones to the system, control music, navigation, climate control, send text messages and more. Ford recently announced that CarPlay and/or Android Auto will be integrated with Sync 3 as well.
The new Fusion will feature 3 powertrains, all emphasizing power and economy.
“Fusion offers people a lot more car – including helpful technology, beautiful design and a more rewarding driving experience than other midsize sedans,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development.
Fusion V6 Sport: Fusion V6 Sport is a performance sedan unlike anything in the segment with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport is projected to make approximately 100 lb.-ft. of additional torque and nearly 50 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 engines in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord
Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi: New Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi lead America’s best-selling lineup of plug-in hybrids. New software in both hybrids delivers an even more refined and engaging drive for customers, while more efficient electric motors are expected to contribute to better fuel economy and a purer range of electric driving
Fusion Platinum: Fusion Platinum is designed for those seeking even greater levels of refinement and craftsmanship in a midsize sedan. With available award-winning 2.0-liter EcoBoost and all-wheel drive, the real story is the interior experience. Instrument and door trim panels are wrapped in antiqued Cocoa leather, and the hand-wrapped steering wheel is finished in premium Venetian leather. A unique grille finished in Magnetic paint makes for an upscale design and 19-inch polished wheels return confident performance
Lets unpack the bullets. First, it’s not necessarily about engine size. It’s about how efficiently the engine uses the power it has. This 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6 is the same one you’ll find in a Ford F-150. Let that sink in. A pickup truck. Second, the software improvement in Hybrid and Energi powertrains eliminates the CVT-type disconnect in the driving experience. These improvements harmonize engine rpm and vehicle speed, improving vehicle feel and ease of driving. Lastly, the Fusion Platinum can not only get you through snow and heavy weather; it does it economically, with style and comfort.
Overall, I can’t wait to see this new Fusion when Ford and the rest of the automotive industry sets up shop for the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. More will come.Click here for reuse options!
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