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2013 Ford Fusion Looks To Set The Bar For Midsize Sedans

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Filed under Auto Show, Automotive, Ford

The 2013 Ford Fusion.

For a long time, Ford’s midsize sedans were steeped in mediocrity. The Ford Tempo was a perfectly adequate people mover (that also came in coupe form), but it was far from inspiring, even in sporty GLS trim. The Ford Contour (excluding the Contour SVT) was more of the same, but it was saddled with the same bizarre ovoid styling as the Taurus from the same era. By the time the Fusion was introduced into the Ford lineup for the 2006 model year, it was easy enough to shrug off the domestic midsize sedan without a test drive, and buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord instead. After all, how good could the Fusion be?

Very good, as it turns out. Good enough to earn the car “Car of the Year” Honors from Motor Trend in 2010, while the Fusion Hybrid took North American Car of the Year honors the very same year. The Fusion is good enough to become the best selling car in Ford’s lineup, which is no minor feat considering the success of the Fiesta newly redesigned Focus.

The 2013 Ford Fusion.

Now that it’s time for an updated Fusion, Ford knows to proceed with caution. Change too much, and you risk alienating the consumers who’ve been buying the Fusion in recent years. Change too little, and you risk losing your competitive edge against import brands. Based on these recently released images from Ford, we’d say that the Dearborn automaker hit the nail on the head as far as styling goes.

The car’s styling borrows heavily from the drop-dead-gorgeous Evos concept car, and that’s a very good thing indeed. The front end almost has an Aston Martin feel to it, which isn’t something you’d expect in a mass-market family car. From the side, its sloping roofline seems inspired by Audi’s A7 four-door coupe, and even the rear seems to give a nod to the Evos. We haven’t seen the car in the flesh yet, but from the images provided we’d say that Ford’s designers have done a perfect job with the car’s exterior styling.

The 2013 Ford Fusion

Inside, the car has a similar feel to the new Focus. Opt for a higher-trim model, and it looks like you’ll get the full version of Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch systems. If safety is a concern, the new Fusion will be available with a lane keeping system, active cruise control, active park assist and a blind spot detection system, most of which used to exist exclusively on luxury sedans.

The 2013 Ford Fusion

Ford’s planning on a variety of powertrains, including both a hybrid variant (said to be good for 47 mpg city and 44 mpg highway) and a plug-in hybrid called the Fusion Energi. Ford is looking to earn the title of “world’s most fuel efficient midsize sedan” with the Energi, and it anticipated the car will return a rating of 100 miles-per-gallon equivalent, or 8 more MPGe than the Chevy Volt.

For enthusiasts, Ford is planning a 2.0-liter EcoBoost version with a paddle-shifted six speed automatic and all-wheel-drive. They aren’t releasing horsepower numbers just yet, but we know the same EcoBoost engine will be good for 274 horsepower under the hood of the upcoming Focus ST.

The 2013 Ford Fusion

Look for the 2013 Ford Fusion to begin hitting dealer showrooms by the third quarter of 2012. We can’t wait for a chance to drive one.

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