Flat Rock Assembly, previously AutoAlliance, has been building the Mustang since 2005. Now the Fusion has been added as well. Which perhaps suggests that the upcoming 2015 Mustang will share its center stack electronics with the Fusion. In the following video, note the scenes of 2012 Mustangs on the assembly line:
Ford Press Release follows:
Ford Opens New Era at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Source of 1,200 New Jobs and U.S. Production Home of All-New Fusion
- Ford celebrates opening of a new era at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, new U.S. production home of the 2013 Ford Fusion as well as the iconic Mustang
- Supporting its Fusion production growth plans, Ford is adding 1,200 jobs, a second production shift, and investing $555 million, taking full management control of the former AutoAlliance International plant
- Upgraded Flat Rock Assembly Plant will feature a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop and an upgraded paint shop with an environmentally friendly 3-Wet paint process when production begins in 2013
- On sale this fall, the 2013 Fusion offers customers the power of choice with the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize car segment
While it may not be a definitive “enthusiast” car (although Cobb Tuning could undoubtedly teach the 2 liter EcoBoost a few things), the new Fusion will certainly be a nice drive. Here’s a worthwhile video from Engineering TV introducing the Fusion at CES earlier this month.
Engineering TV is not an automotive website, but you will find the occasional topic including NAIAS coverage. Subscribe to their RSS feed to keep an eye on their news.
- Now a Ford of Europe product instead of reusing the 1st-gen Mazda6 platform
- MacPherson strut front suspension replaces double A-Arm suspension. New multi-link rear. Stabilizer bars fr/rr standard.
- No specific enthusiast model, however it is expected that the hereditary Mondeo handling remains intact
Range of 16- to 19-inch wheels, best tire 235/40-19.
- Base weights range from 3323 to 3427 pounds
- Reuses existing 2.5 liter DOHC 4 cylinder (port injection); 1.6 and 2.0 liter EcoBoost DOHC 4 cylinders (direct injection).
- AWD available with the 2 liter EcoBoost
- New: 2 liter DOHC 4 cylinder Atkinson engine (port injection) in hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms.
Ford Press Release follows:
New Ford Fusion Brings More Technology, Expected Triple Crown of Best-in-Class Gas, Hybrid, Plug-In Efficiency
- New Ford Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, each with expected top fuel economy, underscoring Ford’s commitment to give customers the power of choice
- With seven must-have technologies, including a Lane Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and MyFord Touch®, the all-new Ford Fusion shows how Ford is delivering features customers truly want and value
- Customers can choose from Fusion’s widest-ever portfolio of fuel-efficient powertrains including EcoBoost™, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines; automatic and manual transmission offerings; and auto start stop technology
- Revealed in North America as the midsize Fusion sedan, this all-new car signals the next-generation Ford Mondeo for world markets
DETROIT, Jan. 9, 2012 – Ford’s all-new Fusion brings alive the next generation of more expressive vehicles from Ford and is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions – each expected to deliver top fuel economy and an engaging driving experience.
Featuring a sleek silhouette and fresh face, the all-new Fusion is the latest in a series of vehicles from Ford – following the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small cars – developed to satisfy customers everywhere who want leading fuel efficiency, helpful technologies and game-changing looks.
“Our vision for Fusion was clear – deliver the very best of what One Ford stands for,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. “We brought our global teams together around a blank slate with the charge to develop a midsize car with groundbreaking design and jaw-dropping fuel economy – one that featured technologies to help make our customers safer and better drivers. This car is the result.”
- Lane Keeping System: This class-exclusive technology consists of three elements to help a driver maintain proper lane position. Using a small, forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror, the system “looks” down the road, monitoring lane lines to determine that the car is on course. The system will alert a driver if drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping is detected. The second element warns a driver with a steering wheel vibration if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings. Finally, lane keeping aid will actually apply pressure on the steering to help bring the car back into proper lane position
- Adaptive cruise control: Using forward-looking radar, this system “looks” down the road when activated, slowing the Fusion when slower traffic is detected ahead. Adaptive cruise control enables collision warning with brake support to help slow the car if the potential of a crash is detected
- Active park assist: Employing sensors, this technology can identify a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the trajectory and steer the car to properly position it within the spot. All a driver need do is operate accelerator and brake pedals
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert: Sensors in both Fusion rear quarter-panels are able to detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic – unseen by the driver – is detected. BLIS technology enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views, such as between two large vans
- Silhouette innovation: Fusion’s sleek profile sets it apart from the powertrain/cabin/trunk “three-box” designs synonymous with midsize sedans
- Perceived efficiency: Fusion character lines sweeping to the rear and thin roof pillars suggest the car is nimble and light on its feet
- Refined surface language: Fusion demonstrates that a tasteful, well-executed design does not require add-ons or visual clutter
- Technical graphics: Fusion’s functional design elements such as headlamps, LED taillamps and polished exhaust tips communicate enhanced technological capability
- New face: Fusion signals the next evolution in Ford global design language for midsize cars and smaller
Auto Forum lays claim to the first real images of the 2013 Fusion (North American markets)/Mondeo (worldwide outside of N.A.) Fusion – before the press embargo ended. Although they are fuzzy, they are certainly the real thing.
Our opinion: the Fusion/Mondeo is beautiful, and is an aggressive first use of the new Ford design language as previewed in the Evos show car. And don’t think there isn’t anything in the 2013 Fusion/Mondeo for enthusiasts: the optional 240 horsepower EcoBoost 2 liter 4 cylinder and the class-leading Mondeo handling (likely maintained despite the replacement of the current double A-arm front suspension with a less-expensive MacPherson strut) will make for a nice driver’s car. The current Fusion used the Mazda6 platform, which unfortunately was never fully exploited by Ford for its handling potential as it was in the excellent MazdaSpeed6.
Looking forward, a stretched version of this platform will eventually replace the morbidly obese Taurus and will perhaps finally deliver a platform truly worthy of the SHO name. And undoubtedly the Evos design language will make an appearance in the new 2015 Mustang. The mission given the designers of that car will be to break with the current “retro” styling and deliver a crisp new Mustang that will appeal to buyers around the world. We’d be thrilled to take the front and back (but not side) of the Evos show car as the new Mustang for 2015.
But back to the Fusion/Mondeo: we’re just days away from the official introduction at the 2012 NAIAS show by Ford, so stay tuned to these pages for the full story then.
Ford’s marketing and sales plans are obviously working very well. One important fact hidden inside the following press release is that Ford customers are buying their small cars more fully loaded than expected. Small cars are the reality of today and tomorrow - and loading them with options means consumers are seeing their small size as more than acceptable. In fact they are desirable as long as buyers can get the options they expect (and which Ford has usually limited to large vehicles and SUVs until now). This means that the North American market is starting to look like Europe where cars the size of the Fusion has always been seen as mainline products. You’ll note that the European versions of the Fiesta, Escort/Focus, and Mondeo (Contour) have always been more fully appointed than their American cousins: far better interior materials, a greater range of options, and a broad range of engines and transmissions. The North American Contour, for example, was a striped Mondeo – most of the options in the European dealer brochures we have in our collection were never available or considered for the Contour, even in the watered-down SVT form. That left us with a less-than-desirable product that never saw its true potential. That is going to change: we’ve already seen the European Fiesta which will land here unchanged. It’s loaded with luxurious features in all models, and offers the full range of options including a navigation system. Smart American consumers will buy the size car they need, then load it up with the options they want. Leather, sunroof, HID headlamps, navigation, and the Ford/Microsoft Sync system will predominate. What you used to have to by an Expedition for will be available right down to the Fiesta. And eventually electric powertrains too
Ford’s marketing and sales plans are obviously working very well. One important fact hidden inside the following press release is that Ford customers are buying their small cars more fully loaded than expected. Small cars are the reality of today and tomorrow - and loading them with options means consumers are seeing their small size as more than acceptable. In fact they are desirable as long as buyers can get the options they expect (and which Ford has usually limited to large vehicles and SUVs until now).
This means that the North American market is starting to look like Europe where cars the size of the Fusion has always been seen as mainline products. You’ll note that the European versions of the Fiesta, Escort/Focus, and Mondeo (Contour) have always been more fully appointed than their American cousins: far better interior materials, a greater range of options, and a broad range of engines and transmissions. The North American Contour, for example, was a striped Mondeo – most of the options in the European dealer brochures we have in our collection were never available or considered for the Contour, even in the watered-down SVT form. That left us with a less-than-desirable product that never saw its true potential.
That is going to change: we’ve already seen the European Fiesta which will land here unchanged. It’s loaded with luxurious features in all models, and offers the full range of options including a navigation system.
Smart American consumers will buy the size car they need, then load it up with the options they want. Leather, sunroof, HID headlamps, navigation, and the Ford/Microsoft Sync system will predominate. What you used to have to by an Expedition for will be available right down to the Fiesta. And eventually electric powertrains too
A question enthusiasts will be asking themselves when they see the shear size and bulk of the new 2010 Taurus SHO is how it compares to the original SHO.
But Ford pulled a fast one on us for 2010 with the introduction of the Fusion Sport. While the Taurus SHO has grown considerably from the original Taurus SHO (202″ vs 188″ in 1989) and in weight (4150 pounds vs 3380), the new Fusion Sport is almost identical to the original 1989 Taurus SHO in length (190 vs 188) and weight (3591 vs 3380). There is a slight weight increase, but this is to be expected given the considerable evolution of Government safety standards in the past 20 years.
So we have to ask ourselves: is the new 2010 Fusion Sport more SHO than the 2010 Taurus SHO?
Clearly Ford has done considerably more work making the Taurus into a SHO than they did making the Fusion into a Fusion Sport. It shows up in the model-specific engine and suspension tuning in the SHO, whereas in the Fusion there is some minor suspension tuning for the Sport. But, by and large, the Fusion Sport was built from the existing 3.5 liter Lincoln MKZ. And as we all know, the Fusion is simply a last-gen Mazda6 “version 1.5″ – which is actually a very good thing since that car had all the right pieces and worked very well in MazdaSpeed6 form.
But the bulk and weight of the new SHO will work against it’s dynamics, and the light weight and trim size of the Fusion will work for it. Driving dynamics suffer from shear size and bulk and the physics of mass can only be mitigated so far by good suspension tuning. 4150 pounds of SHO are going to be a difficult car to toss around a set of switchback roads, much less a racetrack. Some enthusiasts are asking themselves if the SHO should have been Fusion based. Why wasn’t it? Simple: the Taurus is here to stay for several years, while the Fusion is very close to the end of it’s lifespan. In the 2013 timeframe, if not a year earlier, we’ll get the new Mondeo and that will replace the current Fusion. The current Mondeo does not have a V-6 option and it’s likely that the next one won’t either. So any major investments in the current Fusion would have been wasted money for so short a run.
The technical specs ultimately answers the best part of our question. The table below compares the three cars. If you think the original SHO could never be bettered, look again: the 2010 Fusion Sport has far more power and torque, a better suspension, bigger brakes, wheels, and tires, more gears (although unfortunately an automatic) – and certainly better quality. What it won’t do is to capture the hearts of Taurus SHO enthusiasts like the last one did. We will have to wait a few years to see if the 2010 Taurus SHO will earn their respect.
|2010 SHO Gen 4
2010 – 2015?
(2013 same size and weight)
|2010 Fusion Sport
2010 – 2012?
|1989 SHO Gen 1
1989 – 1991
|Assembly||Chicago, Illinois||Hermosillo, Mexico||Hapeville, Georgia
|Special models||optional SHO Performance Package||1991: “SHO Plus” 212A with composite raised hood, spoiler, white only.|
|Layout||Front transverse engine/ all-wheel drive||Front transverse engine/Front wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional.||Front transverse engine/ Front wheel drive|
|type||3.5 liter DOHC V-6, aluminum block and heads. Upgraded block over conventional 3.5. Upgraded exhaust valves.||3.5 liter DOHC V-6, aluminum block and heads. DAMB, 4 valves per cylinder.||3 liter DOHC V-6, iron block and aluminum heads (with Manual)|
|bore||3.6 (92.5)||3.6 (92.5)||3.62 (92.0)|
|stroke||3.4 (86.7)||3.4 (86.7)|
|source||Engine 100% by Ford, branded “EcoBoost”||Built by Ford in Lima, Ohio||Total engine by Yamaha|
|crankshaft||forged steel, upgraded.||forged steel|
|connecting rods||Upgraded cracked powder metal||cracked powder metal|
|pistons||High temperature pressure cast aluminum alloy with low-friction coated skirts and low-tension rings. Pistons are specific to the EcoBoost engine. Pistons are cooled by oil jet sprayed underneath at 25 PSI.||high temp cast aluminum allow with low-friction coated skirts and low tension rings.|
|HP||365 @ 5500 RPM||263 @ 6250 RPM||220 @ 6200 RPM|
|Torque||350 @ 3500 RPM||249 @ 4500 RPM||200 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM|
|redline||6200 RPM||6750||7000 RPM|
|intake||Twin-turbocharged (max 170,000 RPM), variable boost to max of 8 to 12 PSI. Intercooled, direct injected. Oil lubricated, water cooled (passive reverse thermal siphoning after shutdown). Honeywell GT015.
Variable intake cam timing. 65 MM throttle body.
|Naturally aspirated. Composite intake manifold. 65mm electronic throttle body. 37mm valves, variable timing on intake side only.||Naturally aspirated. Dual-runner with high-speed equalizer and low/high secondary runner changeover at 3950 RPM. Single throttle body.|
|exhaust||31mm valves. cast iron manifolds|
|injection||Direct injected, 1 injector per cylinder. Mechanical pump driven by cam with a single piston and electronic valve. Operates between 200 and 2150 PSI.||Port sequential fuel injection, 1 injector per cylinder||Port sequential fuel injection, 1 injector per cylinder|
|ignition||Ford individual pencil coil mounted on spark plug||Ford individual pencil coil mounted on spark plug. Adapative Spark ignition senses quality of fuel via two knock sensors rather than 1.||Ford coil-pack, 2 per engine|
|Computer||next-gen Ford||Ford EEC-IV|
|oil w/filter||6 quarts, 5W20 with 7500 mile interval||5.5 quarts, 5W20 with 7500 mile interval||5 qts|
|fuel tank||19 gals.||17.5 gals. FWD
16.5 gals. AWD
|fuel||87 octane (minimum); 91 octane (recommended)||87 octane||91 octane Premium|
|Federal Standards||Tier II/Bin 5 tailpipe; T2e evaporative|
|California Standards||ULEVII tailpipe; L2e evaporative|
|Type||6-speed 6F-55 automatic with paddle shift activation (enhanced shifting map with optional SHO Performance Package). Upgrades over 6F-50 include a 41.5 mm versus 31.5 mm ring gear. Also wider and thicker transfer and final drive gears, improve input and output carriers, and a new differential case. Drive ratios also different. Clutches and clutch piston material upgraded. Thicker thrust washers. Heat treatment upgraded on turbine shaft. Upgraded torque converter.||6-speed 6F35-Mid automatic w/SelectShift||5-speed manual overdrive transmission|
|Source||Ford/GM joint venture||Ford/GM joint venture||Mazda MTX-4|
|Gear (MPH @ RPM)|
|1st||4.484:1||4.148:1||3.21 (44 @7000)|
|2nd||2.872:1||2.370:1||2.09 (67 @7000)|
|3rd||1.842:1||1.556:1||1.38 (101 @7000)|
|4th||1.414:1||1.155:1||1.02 (137 @7000)|
|5th||1.000:1||0.859:1||0.74 (143 @ 5350)|
|final drive||2.77:1 (3.16 with optional SHO Performance Package)||3.33:1||3.74|
|differentials (number)||AWD (simple Haldex): 3 (open, variable, open)||standard: 1 (open)
optional AWD (simple Haldex): 3 (open, variable, open)
|fr||Macpherson strut and rear-facing L-shaped lower control arm with isolated sub-frame||Independent short and long arm (SLA) with rearward-rfacing lower control arms and stabilizer bar||strut, lower control arm, coil springs. Anti-roll bar.|
|rr||“SR1″ (upgraded from 2009 Taurus specification to allow for more travel) Independent multi-link suspension with vertically-mounted coil-over shocks, stamped steel lower control arms and cast aluminum upper control arms. Fully isolated sub-frame.||Multilink fully independent with lower control arms and stabilizer bars||independent, strut, multi-link 1 trailing and 2 lateral, Coil springs. Anti-roll bar.|
|wheels||19×8.5 painted aluminum (standard)
20×8.5 painted aluminum (optional with SHO Performance Package)
|18×7.5″ painted aluminum wheels||15×6 (89-90); 16×6 (91-95)|
|tires||255/45ZR-19 Goodyear Eagle all-season (standard)
255/40ZR-20 Michelin (summer, optional with SHO Performance Package)
|225/45-18 all-season||215/65-15; 215/60-16|
|Four-wheel discs with ABS (4-channel), EBC, ESC (with sport mode)||4-wheel power disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Advantrac Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control||4-wheel disc w/ vacuum power assist and ABS|
|fr||vented 13.5″, 2-piston calipers.
Optional SHO Performance Package includes upgrades.
|299x25mm (11.8″) vented, 39.8 cm2 swept area||vented 10.0 x 1″|
|rr||solid 12.75″, 1-piston calipers.
Optional SHO Performance Package includes upgrades.
|279x10mm (11″) solid, 21.95 cm2 swept area||vented 10.0″|
|type||electronic power rack and pinion EPAS (recalibrated with optional SHO Performance Package)||electronic power rack and pinion EPAS||Hydraulic power assist rack & pinion|
|Width||76.2||72.2 (excluding mirrors)|
|Coefficient of Drag (Cd)|
|Power-to-weight ration (lbs/hp)||11.3 HP/pound||13.6 HP/pound (FWD)
14.5 HP/pound (AWD)
|Seats||Leather-trimmed with “Miko” suede inserts.
Optional: Multi-Contour Seats with Active Motion
By: John Fossen | Ford Communications Network
DEARBORN, Sept. 12, 2005 – From the very beginning of the vehicle program, Ford wanted to ensure that its new Fusion sedan had the horses to compete in the mid-size car market against the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The task was clear: boost the output on both Duratec V-6 and I-4 engines while still meeting or exceeding fuel economy, emissions and cost targets. Mission accomplished.
The 3.0-liter Duratec 30 V-6 boasts 221 horsepower while producing 205 foot-pounds of torque. The output surpasses Toyota’s 3.0-liter V-6 in the Camry, which is rated at 190 horsepower and 197 foot-pounds of torque. The Duratec 30 also is very competitive with the Honda Accord’s 3.0-liter V-6 and with Toyota’s larger displacement 3.3-liter V-6.
“It took a total team effort from our component engineers, engine performance and development team and air induction/exhaust group to meet the program objectives,” said Bob Rose, supervisor, Duratec 30 V-6 engine programs for the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr. “In fact, we exceeded expectations.”
According to Rose, Ford engineers improved the Duratec 30 V-6 with 37 new parts. The two most important features that helped achieve the engine output are variable intake cam timing (VCT) and the work done to minimize air induction and exhaust losses, resulting in improved horsepower.
“VCT allows an engine to operate more efficiently, which improves performance,” said Rose. “And the total power loss due to air induction and exhaust was only 7.7 percent. That’s very good. Typically it’s around 10 percent.”
Other engine features include aluminum cylinder block and cylinder heads, electronic throttle control, electric exhaust gas recirculation control and extensive use of aluminum for covers and other engine components.
A similar effort on the Duratec 23 – the 2.3-liter I-4 the base engine on Fusion – resulted in 160 horsepower and 156 foot-pounds of torque.
“The engine outputs for Fusion are fully competitive with other entries in the midsize segment, and, when coupled with our 6-speed and 5-speed transmissions, are truly world-class powertrains,” said David Cantrell, powertrain launch manager for Fusion, Milan and Zephyr.
This type of event is very typical in marketing… I’ve helped put these on in my own field of work. But they are usually held far earlier in the development process and multiple times during different stages of development.
One can only hope that Ford has been doing these all along. Ford has an incredibly long path back to any kind of position of leadership in this area.
IMHO, this is an easy competitor against the Altima, and maybe the Camry under some circumstances. But not the Accord – it’s far too up-market, the design, quality, value, and resale are all beyond question.
Ford puts focus on Fusion
Automaker tries to gain traction in midsize car market to compete with Camry, Accord.
Years of painstaking work by Ford Motor Co. designers and engineers had reached the point of no return as a jury of eight consumers passed judgment on the 2006 Ford Fusion.
A successor to the Taurus, the aging sedan that once dominated the midsize car segment, Fusion is Ford’s long-awaited answer to today’s leading marques — the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
So Ford arranged a comparison of the Fusion and its competitors, disguising the make and model of each. After examining the cars, jurors were told which was which…
[Continue at link above]
Build a 2006 Fusion Ford has a “Build Your Vehicle” site for the 2006 Fusion up on the web early – acknowledging that it is early and that the prices may change. This is a new practice by Ford, supposedly to help perfect the ordering process and option combinations for the fall of 2005 (2006 MY). Hmmm… interesting… I tried to hack the URL to “2006 Mustang” and “2007 Cobra”, but it didn’t work. ;-) Here’s the car I built. I am more than a little shocked that I had to “pay” extra to specify anti-lock brakes. I’m also unhappy that the V-6 is only available with an automatic… although the new 6-speed auto box is certainly a good choice.
Ford has a “Build Your Vehicle” site for the 2006 Fusion up on the web early – acknowledging that it is early and that the prices may change. This is a new practice by Ford, supposedly to help perfect the ordering process and option combinations for the fall of 2005 (2006 MY).
Hmmm… interesting… I tried to hack the URL to “2006 Mustang” and “2007 Cobra”, but it didn’t work. ;-)
Here’s the car I built. I am more than a little shocked that I had to “pay” extra to specify anti-lock brakes. I’m also unhappy that the V-6 is only available with an automatic… although the new 6-speed auto box is certainly a good choice.