Even though the existing Fusion sedan enjoyed record-breaking sales in 2011, Ford is launching an all-new version of the popular midsizer at the Detroit show. Scheduled to hit dealers this summer, the 2013 Fusion wears an upscale new design that previews future Ford styling trends.
"The new Fusion is starting from a position of strength," said Ford president of the Americas Mark Fields. "We really thought the time was right to change how people think about midsize sedans."
The car’s aggressive, angular styling elements were foreshadowed by the Evos concept that bowed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. They include skinny headlights, polygonal LED taillights, a large hexagonal front grille, and a sweeping coupe-like roofline. Along with shorter overhangs and a marginally larger body, the new Fusion looks considerably more expensive and mature than the current model. This is essentially version 2.0 of Ford’s “Kinetic” design language, and all the brand’s future products will be designed in a similar vein.
The key story underhood is fuel efficiency so, as in the 2013 Ford Escape, only four-cylinder engines are available. The base mill is a carryover 170-hp 2.5-liter inline-four, which has been mildly fettled to improve its efficiency. The volume engines are a pair of direct-injected, turbocharged EcoBoost engines, a 1.6-liter with 179 hp and a 2.0-liter with 237 hp. The 1.6 comes with a new engine stop-start system that can boost city fuel economy by ten percent, while the 2.0 is the only Fusion trim available with all-wheel drive.
There also will be two electrified versions of the new sedan, the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi. Ford expects these extra-efficient models to draw in customers concerned about saving money at the pump. "Gas prices continuing to be high has really shifted the opinion of drivers," said Ford electrification engineer Sherif Marakby.
The Fusion Hybrid uses a new, third-generation version of Ford’s hybrid drivetrain. It couples a 2.0-liter inline-four engine with an electric motor/generator, and should return about 47/44 mpg (city/highway). The Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid that can travel primarily on electrical power during city driving, but uses a mix of gasoline and electric propulsion for longer trips. Ford hasn’t yet specified the car’s electric-only range, but the overall range on gasoline and electricity is about 500 miles.
Among the tech highlights for the new Fusion is the fact that Sync voice recognition becomes standard on all models, and a new camera-based lane-keep system is available. The latter vibrates the steering wheel and can gently steer the car if the driver drifts out of his or her lane at speeds above 40 mph.
For more on the 2013 Ford Fusion, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Detroit Show homepage.