2010 Ford Fusion: Shiny, Happy Mid-Size SedanS

You ever seen "A Christmas Story?" Remember the end of the movie? You know, at the Chinese restaurant — the duck? Yeah, I kind of feel like the 2010 Ford Fusion may be making a similar facial expression, at least according to these new spy photos of a new mule shot by the boys at KGP. What the photos also show is how Ford's trying to breathe some life into their current fascia-blanco Gillette-looking lineup with a little bit of the "kinetic" look they're trying elsewhere the Ford brand is sold. We actually kind of like it — especially that new character line running along the front bumper. It's much more of a "Bold Move" than what we were expecting out of the 2009 Ford Fusion. We'll also be interested to see what the new headlights will look like. Yeah, that bold smiling grinnin' grille's going to necessitate a movement of the headlights up and over to accommodate. All we know is that this is starting to get interesting. Full spy report from KGP after the jump.

We may have gotten one step closer to revealing the face of the new Ford Fusion with our first shots of a mule completely free of the usual heavy vinyl camouflage. Up until now, even the earliest, rough Fusion mules were wearing the heavy front bras, covering their makeshift grilles and front bumpers. Now we can fully assess lines residing beneath the camouflage.

While the front fascia revealed here is obviously an approximation of the true finished destined for the revamped Fusion, the outlines, cut lines, shapes and relationships are still very telling, as they're designed to provide a close representation of the final product. Only then can the data gathered from such mules be of significant value for the development teams. With that in mind, let's assess what we see on this mule:

Judging from this mule, it appears that Ford's three-bar grille design may survive, but the look is very different from the current Fusion. The mules grille looks much bolder than the current model, with the top grille slat dipping down in the center for something of a "smiley" look. The grille dips down into the front bumper, while the outer edges of the bumper slant upward as they reach the side of the car. Such a slant would necessitate reshaped headlights, to accommodate the new bumper shape.

This mule shows cut lines for tall air-inlets at the outer edges of the front bumper, which will also hold place for fog lamps. The shape and positioning of the inlets match perfectly the details seen beneath the camo on prior Fusion prototypes.

It also appears that the changes will go a bit further than just the front fascia, as a new sharp character line on the front bumper can be seen wrapping around toward the front fender. The new surface development suggests may mean that the new Fusion will be getting some chunkier front fenders, making the redesign a bit more extensive than a mere mid-cycle facelift. We'll have to wait and see a more finished prototype to confirm this.