You can't help but notice the 2013 Ford Fusion, a midsize category-busting car hell-bent on improving suburban driveways around the world. The new Fusion is the first car that very clearly articulates the ONE Ford mantra (cars designed for a global market) and the company's Kinetic design language (which debuted on the Evos concept car launched in Fall 2011 in Frankfurt).
Ford sold Aston Martin (in 2007) and Jaguar (in 2008) along with the other brands in their Premier Automotive Group. Perhaps the best thing the come out of that experience was the importance of design and how it can elevate a very expensive hand made car as well as a car you'll find all over your neighborhood and in the parking lot at every mall. There was no shortage of comments at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit yesterday that the new Fusion looked "Aston-like" or "Jaguar-like," things you don't usually hear about the most crowded and pedestrian segment of the automobile market. Part of this may be attributed to the raised hexagonal grill, narrow lights and rear license plate surround, which Ford's VP of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer J Mays says "create a terrific stance." Sexing up the midsize market is good for Ford, and good for all customers who seek to be inspired by design regardless of price point.
The Fusion brings a new level of features to an inexpensive, accessible car—or, as Mays puts it, "a car you are proud to drive." Standard features include Ford's Sync voice-activated control system and a lane drifting warning system. Options include blind-spot warning and automated parallel parking systems—things you're more likely to see on high end luxury cars.
Ford offers the extremely fuel efficient Fusion in five different four cylinder engines—an existing gasoline engine, two new EcoBoost turbo engines, a hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Mays elaborates, "the mpg on this car is truly spectacular—26 mpg on the standard model, 47 mpg on the EcoBoost Hybrid, and 100 mpge on the Energi model. It's just game changing."
From what we've seen so far, Ford has come together to achieve something their competitors have failed to do—create an economy car that is desirable, practical, and affordable. I'm looking forward to road testing it.
The 2013 Ford Fusion will be available in the U.S. mid-2012 (with all models available by Fall 2012), and will be available in Asia and Europe as the Mondeo in 2013.