Beginning at the front, Ford has drawn the now standard razor blade grille out above the trapezoidal headlights, visually broadening the front of the car while stretching it a bit further down in the fascia. This freshened grille is combined with lower bumper styling elements reminiscent of the Euro-only Ford Mondeo along with a character line along the hood which all combine to creates new faces that's substantial without being too flashy, though there's an awful lot of chrome up there. We're not so sure about the tail end which mimics the shape of the headlights on the flagship Ford F-150. It's not offensive, but the sleek nose with the geometric shapes on the rear don't jive real well for us, but we can deal with it. Inside the interior gets materials upgrades in the dash, door panels, center console and the the new seats are a pretty comfy place to be. Cars equipped with the navigation screen get an upgrade to a huge eight inch touch screen with optional Sirius Travelink (which is the bees knees). Noise gets knocked down with the addition of an acoustic windscreen but pretty much everything else we like on the inside stays the same with a bit of a styling update. On the mechanical side the Fusion is much improved, with upgrades to the four cylinder, the V6, the transmission and the suspension. The base inline four gets bumped up from 2.3 liters to 2.5 liters along with output moving up to 175 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque. That engine can be had with a six speed automatic transmission or a six speed manual (Let us take a moment to declare "Woo Hoo!). That I4 combo package gets at least five miles per gallon better fuel economy than the outgoing 2.3 liter. The 3.0 liter Duratec V6 gets a one to two MPG bump in economy but more important it goes from 221 HP to 240 HP and 222 lb-ft of torque (250 HP on ethanol). That's nice and all, but hold onto your hats cause Ford is adding a Fusion Sport model to the lineup with a 3.5 liter V6 with 263 HP and 249 lb-ft of toque, that's going to be a spicy meatball. Unfortunately both of the V6's are only available with the six speed automatic. Suppose you can't have everything in life, at least the auto gets "Select Shift" so you can pretend you're a big boy with a real transmission. All models begin pushing into a more modern age with electric power steering while the suspension gets tweaks to improve ride and handling and to deal with the differences from that electric power steering. The cars also gets new gadgets like blind spot detection, a voice activated nav system, rear facing camera and that "Easy Fuel" capless filling system. All in all, the new Fusion is an impressive upgrade to an already good car and we'll get a closer look when it's unveiled at the LA Auto Show. We can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Sport model and that I4 with the six-speed to try out what will probably be a hugely entertaining passenger car.
NEW 2010 Ford Fusion offer leading fuel efficiency, smart new technologies LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2008 – Ford's new 2010 Fusion is set to shake up the cut-throat mid-size sedan segment when it goes on sale early next year, bringing an all-new hybrid that will deliver the best fuel economy of any sedan in America, unsurpassed 4-cylinder gasoline fuel economy, more power, class-exclusive technologies including a blind spot detection and warning system and Ford SYNC, plus the kind of proven quality and reliability that has been recognized by the top consumer groups and magazines. "With the new Ford Fusion, we are offering consumers more choice, even better fuel economy and the leading quality and reliability that they have come to expect," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development. "But that isn't all – we weren't satisfied with just matching the competition in the segment, we wanted to give consumers even more by delivering engaging driving dynamics and technologies that make the in-car experience more comfortable and connected." Designed to stand out Ford's attention to detail with the freshened Fusion begins with a new design that gives the car a look that is both sportier and more upscale as well as improved aerodynamics. The car's newly designed front end, including a powerfully domed hood, and new headlamps, grille and larger fog-lamp area further enhance the sporty nature of the 2010 Fusion. Aerodynamic enhancements and new underbody shields further boost Fusion's fuel economy. Overall, the wider, sportier look aims to make Fusion even more appealing to customers eager for a fun-to-drive mid-size sedan. With all models, the interior design team created a more contemporary, technical look with metallic new finishes on the instrument panel that carry through on the center console, doors and steering wheel. The all new instrument panel is finished with a soft upper and lower skin and has much less hard plastic than Japanese competitors. The instrument panel displays and switches have also been updated with a contemporary iced blue lighting. A redesigned leather wrapped steering wheel with form fitting palm swells, a new shifter, and wrapped and padded armrests increase the Fusion's sportiness and comfort at all key driver touch points. The seats received a makeover, as well. The seat contour has been revised, with more side support and overall a more comfortable seat with smoother bolsters and more-textural inserts. The seats also feature contrasting stitching and leather inserts to give the Fusion even more attitude, befitting this mid-size sedan. The gauge cluster has been designed with day time backlighting, a black lens, and 3-D elements to create a high tech jewel-like appearance, similar to a fine watch. Drivers will be greeted by a new "welcome" sequence that makes the Fusion seem as if it's coming to life. Gauge needles sweep back and forth as the lighting and new chimes come on. The ambient lighting system offers the option of illuminating the front and rear footwells and front cup holders. Fuel-efficient and more powerful powertrain lineup Both the inline four-cylinder and V-6 engines are upgraded for both improved fuel economy and power. The standard Fusion S model equipped with Ford's new 2.5-liter I-4 engine is expected to deliver at least a 5 mpg improvement versus the 2009 model on the highway, resulting in fuel economy that is at least 3 mpg better than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry. The 2.5-liter I-4 engine horsepower and torque also have been improved from the car's outgoing 2.3-liter 4-cylinger engine, jumping to 175 hp and 172 ft.-lbs. of torque from the previous 160 hp and 156 ft-lbs. As a result, 0-60 performance improves by more than a second, now topping Camry and Accord. The 2010 Fusion features an all six-speed transmission lineup, including for the new 2.5-liter I-4 engine, which is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The previous 2.3-liter I-4 in the Fusion was available with only five-speed transmissions. The additional gear on the I-4 provides better drivability and performance as well as fuel savings, said Matt Hettenhouse, Powertrain Team Leader for the Fusion. "The gear ratios and the overall span of the transmissions allow us to have a more-efficient and higher performing shift schedule," he said. The first gear can be made a little deeper, which provides smoother acceleration. At the top end, a higher gear allows the engine to run slower in highway conditions, which also aids fuel economy. Ford's proven Duratec30 3.0-liter V-6 engine was also improved on the 2010 model, delivering highway fuel economy gains of at least 1 mpg city and 2 mpg highway. Horsepower in the 3.0-liter V-6 also increased to 240 hp and 222 ft.,-lbs, up from 221 hp and 205 ft.-lbs. in the previous version. The 3.0-liter engine is now Flex Fuel-capable and can run on E-85 ethanol, which delivers even more horsepower – up to 250hp. For maximum performance, the Fusion Sport features a 3.5-liter V6 that has 263 hp and 249 ft-lbs of torque on runs on standard unleaded fuel. Front-wheel drive and on-demand all-wheel drive are available with models with a 3.0-liter engine and with the new Fusion Sport 3.5-liter engine. Both V6 engines are also available with SelectShift for individual gear control. The versatility in the powertrain systems creates a wide range of options for customers designed to fit every need. The 2010 Fusion now comes equipped with Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system on 2.5- and 3.0-liter models, improving the driving dynamics of the vehicle while delivering greater fuel savings because the steering system is operated by the electrical system rather than the engine. Additionally, EPAS provides customers with improved steering feel and reduced low-speed efforts that when coupled with a nearly 1 foot smaller turning circle for 2010 makes parking a cinch. Fusion's front stay bar and rear suspension link geometry have been revised to improve steering, handling, and ride. The suspension springs, shocks, and sta-bars have also been retuned to take full advantage of the revised geometry and new steering system. In addition to improvements in the 2010 Fusion's steering, handling and improved brake pedal feel, the Fusion team also took a look at how to improve the comfort of the car, including reducing wind noise and road noise. Acoustic windshield, thicker front door glass, new hood insulators, inner and outer dash absorbers, and carpet, revised sealing baffles, additional sound deadening in the trunk, and new interior headliner absorption material are among the improvements made for overall sound level and quality. Improved body and door sealing also contribute to Fusion's best-in-class standing in wind noise. Overall, the reduction in wind noise and road noise puts Fusion near some of the best luxury cars in terms of quietness and best-in-class speech intelligibility. Wind noise, for example, is 3 sones better than Camry and Accord. Models with the I-4 engine are class leaders in wind noise. New Sport model The base 2010 Ford Fusion already is a fun-to-drive mid-size car. With an even sportier look, a bigger, more-powerful engine, special 18 inch wheels and upgraded suspension tuning to go along with a distinctive interior, the new 2010 Ford Fusion Sport is a dynamic, welcome addition. "We're maintaining the fun-to-drive elements that made the Ford Fusion such a huge success and building on those," said Chief Engineer J.D. Shanahan. "Our 2010 models are even more fun to drive with better steering and handling. It's all exemplified by the Ford Fusion Sport with its 3.5-liter engine, 18-inch wheels and sport tuning." The 263-horsepower V-6 Duratec engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available. The sport-tuned air intake system provides the fun-to-drive, powerful and sporty powertrain sound attributes expected in the 2010 Ford Fusion Sport to complement the driving experience. Building off the improvements for the Fusion line, the 2010 Ford Fusion Sport also features a unique lower grille for a more functional look, larger beveled bright-tip dual exhausts, side rocker moldings, a decklid spoiler and unique Sport badging. Eighteen-inch painted aluminum wheels are standard. The interior reflects its sporty nature as well. As with the base models, the Fusion Sport's instrument panel and center console deliver a more-technical, content-driven look. Fusion Sport includes a Charcoal Black interior with a high tech soft touch dark gray finish available. Sport Blue or Sport Red interior accents are also available, depending on exterior color selected. These give the instrument panel and console a sportier look as well, which carries over to the seat inserts and contrast stitching. Overall, the Fusion Sport is a driver's car that is both comfortable and exhilarating at the same time. Exclusive technologies keep consumers connected New technology features available on the 2010 Fusion include: Blind Spot Information System (BLISTM) with Cross Traffic Alert, which can help provide extra confidence to drivers in parking lots by alerting drivers sooner of nearby traffic while backing out. It uses two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels. The radar detects moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side-view mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. An audible alert is sounded as well. SYNC: The voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players, providing customers hands-free cell phone and music selection capabilities – plus new 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report provided with no monthly fees. 911 Assist: When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system is ready to assist in placing a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag-deploying accident. The key advantage of SYNC 911 Assist is speed, as calls are placed directly to local 911 operators. Vehicle Health Report (VHR): SYNC gathers relevant information from the major vehicle control modules and packages diagnostic data into a usable format in a matter of minutes. That data packet is sent to Ford via an 800-number automatically dialed using the customer's paired and operable mobile phone. Voice-Activated Navigation, which integrates several functions including voice recognition destination entry, climate control and SIRIUS satellite radio into one easy-to-use system, displaying them on an 8-inch touch-screen display. The navigation system's text-to-speech function calls out street names while in route to a destination and reads incoming text messages when the system is linked to SYNC. The integrated DVD player is capable of reading CD-Audio, MP3 CDs, DVD, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM (for digital map updates). A music jukebox function stores more than 150 hours of music. The screen even can be customized with personal photos. SIRIUS Travel Link™, an industry-leading technology that, when combined with the voice-activated navigation system will provide users with real-time traffic data with accident and incident information, coast-to-coast weather data including current conditions and five-day forecasts, and fuel price information for over 120,000 gas stations. Travel Link also offers sports scores and schedules and a listing of more than 4,500 movie theaters with movie times, theater addresses, movie synopses and more. Reverse Camera System, which mounts a small camera on the decklid that is activated when Fusion is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the optional navigation screen on Fusions equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror vehicles without navigation. Ambient Lighting System allows drivers to customize the interior lighting to suit their mood through seven base colors – ice blue, purple, blue, orange, red, white and green. Sony-branded audio system. The Ford Fusion is the first mid-size sedan in North America to offer a Sony-branded audio system with surround sound and Sony DSP processing as a factory option. The Sony-branded audio system features 390 watts and 12 speakers that make substantial use of high-quality speaker materials, including polypropylene cones, three-layer soft dome tweeters and large neodymium magnets for most speakers in the system. EasyFuel™ Capless Fuel-Filler System also is standard. This industry-exclusive feature eliminates the need to touch dirty gas caps and helps to reduce evaporative emissions that create smog and global warming. When fueling is completed and the fuel pump nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut. Cabin Air Filter is standard for the first time on the Ford Fusion. The filter removes respiratory irritants and toxins caused by traffic and industrial pollution. The filter also provides an additional safeguard for the climate control system. With a bolder new design, class leading and unsurpassed fuel economy and performance depending on model, a host of segment-exclusive new features and technologies, improved drivability and comfort and even more choice across the lineup, the 2010 Ford Fusion is poised to win over even more mid-size car customers. Ford Fusion is built at Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant and will be in dealer showrooms in spring 2009.[via Ford]