Ford Drops Aston Martin Looks in Edgy New Fusion Family Sedan

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

2017 Fusion V6 Sport.

Source: Ford
  • Updated styling aimed at reviving once hot-selling midsize car
  • New Sport model offers twin-turbo, 325-horsepower engine

Ford Motor Co. is giving its 2017 Fusion family sedan a face-lift that excises the Aston Martin-style grille that helped make it a hit four years ago and replaces it with more racy styling and horsepower to counteract a swoon in sales.

The 2017 Fusion debuting at today’s Detroit auto show features an oval grille that gives it a resemblance to the Ford Focus compact car. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker also is rolling out a Fusion V6 Sport model with a twin turbo, 325-horsepower engine and an all-wheel-drive transmission.

Ford also updated hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Fusion to increase electric-drive time and fuel economy. The updated Fusion goes on sale in mid-2017, the automaker said in a statement.

Competitive Market

The Fusion shook up the staid family sedan market when it debuted in 2012 with looks that evoked the sexy Aston Martins featured in James Bond films. Sales soared 23 percent from 2011 to 2014, then fell 2.2 percent last year as compact sport-utility vehicles like the Ford Escape began replacing sedans as the family car of choice. Ford resorted to discounts to stoke demand for the Fusion.

“The Fusion was such a splash when it launched in that it was a bit surprising to see incentive levels creep up in this vehicle,” Eric Ibara, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in an e-mail. “The Fusion plays in a very competitive segment that is losing share to the sport utility segments. From this perspective, the freshened Fusion should help.”

The Sport model is tuned to offer a more responsive ride that reacts to the road, including anticipating potholes to soften the blow. It comes with a gloss black mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust pipes. The V6 Sport starts at $34,350, Ford said. The base model Fusion starts at $22,995.

Plug-In Battery

The hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will be partially powered by a 7.8-kilowatt lithium-ion battery. Ford said the Energi plug-in will be capable of going 19 miles on pure electric power before the 2.0-liter gasoline engine kicks in, giving it a driving range on one tank of gas that exceeds 500 miles. The Energi can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours, Ford said.

The hybrid model starts at $26,060, while the Energi plug-in hybrid has a base price of $33,995.

‘Right Time’

The changes Ford is making to the Fusion will get sales growing again, Raj Nair, chief technical officer, said in an interview.

“This is coming at exactly the right time,” Nair said. “It’s an important segment for us and that’s why continue to invest in the Fusion to keep it as fresh as possible. It’s done very well against its competitors in a segment that has given a little bit up to utilities.”

Ford also is adding a Platinum top trim level, with a starting price of $37,495. The interior of the all-wheel-drive model is swathed in “antiqued Cocoa leather,” while the steering wheel is wrapped in “Venetian leather,” Ford said. The model has a differentiated grille and 19-inch polished wheels, Ford said.


All new Fusion models will have Ford’s latest Sync infotainment system, which the automaker said has faster performance, more conversational voice recognition and a touchscreen inspired by smartphones.

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