2006 FORD FUSION DELIVERS BOLD DESIGN, NIMBLE DRIVING DYNAMICS
The 2006 Ford Fusion breathes a fresh attitude into the American mid-size car. It distinguishes itself in what is the most competitive of vehicle segments with its standout exterior design and engaging driving dynamics. Fusion brings to the segment good fuel economy, advanced safety, clean emissions and roomy interior space – all at an attractive value.
The design of the Fusion was inspired by the Ford 427 concept, a runaway hit with recent auto show crowds.
Fusion takes several design cues from the 427, especially its bold three-bar grille and multi-element projector-beam headlamps. The concept car also inspired Fusion's optional charcoal-black leather interior with contrasting oatmeal-colored seat stitching.
The new Fusion takes a central position between the award-winning Focus and the flagship Five Hundred sedan. As J Mays, group vice president, Design and chief creative officer, puts it, "Even standing still, the Fusion looks like it's ready to burst out of the blocks. The strong, muscular three-bar chrome grille sets the tone for a bold new look that will change the mid-size sedan segment."
Inside, Fusion challenges the class leaders in roominess, including front shoulder room, rear seat legroom and trunk space.
A choice of three distinct interior themes allows customers to personalize their driving environment.
On all models, a variety of high-end features are available, including tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, heated front seats and a six-disc in-dash CD player that also reads MP3-encoded audio discs.
GREAT TO DRIVE
Satisfying ride and rewarding handling begin with a stiff chassis, and Fusion boasts torsional rigidity 12.7 percent higher than the already outstanding base architecture. This allows the four-wheel independent suspension to absorb driving harshness and respond more precisely to steering inputs.
"The Fusion's steering is responsive and agile," explains Brian Vought, Fusion chief engineer. "We spent a lot of time to get just the right steering feel."
Four-wheel power disc brakes are standard on Fusion, and a 4-sensor, 3-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) is optional.
The soul of any driver's car is its engine, and Fusion offers a choice of Ford's 2.3-liter Duratec 23 I-4 or 3.0-liter Duratec 30 V-6. Both feature all-aluminum construction, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, intake Variable Cam Timing (i-VCT) and electronic throttle control to deliver smooth, spirited performance, along with good fuel economy and emissions ratings.
The four-cylinder engine delivers 160 horsepower, and can be paired with a five-speed manual or automatic transaxle. Also good news for the environment, the Duratec 23 I-4 will be rated as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in California . It will be the Ford brand's third PZEV application, after the Escape Hybrid and Focus PZEV. The standard Duratec 23 and five-speed manual returns 23 miles per gallon (mpg) city, and 31 mpg highway.
For even more power, there's the 221-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6, which is paired with an advanced six-speed automatic transaxle. With this wide 6:1 overall span – versus the 4.5:1 for a typical five-speed – the six-speed automatic delivers impressive performance as well as 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.
ADVANCED SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
Fusion benefits from some of the latest safety technologies available – from cutting-edge metallurgy to air bags. For example, the Fusion is designed to meet stringent new side-impact tests.
Fusion's B-pillars are made by welding two blanks of steel end-to-end – resulting in a stronger top of the vehicle and more flexible bottom. This facilitates energy absorption during a crash below the level of the occupants. The strong steel structure at the torso level and above helps prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment.
Inside, Fusion has a long list of advanced safety technologies to protect occupants. They include Ford's Personal Safety System™ with dual deployment front air bags, energy-absorbing safety belts and load-limiting retractors.
PEOPLE AND CARGO CAPABLE
Inside, engineers set out to maximize the spaciousness of Ford's all-new CD3 architecture for all occupants, stretching the width 30 millimeter (1.18 inches) and the length 55 millimeter (2.17 inches) to challenge the class leaders in key interior dimensions such as front shoulder room, rear-seat legroom and trunk space.
Fusion designers also worked hard to ensure passengers can slip into the back seat with ease. In a packaging exercise, the designers even donned size 14 shoes to confirm that someone with that foot size could enter and exit without brushing the B-pillar scuff plate or the back of the front seat. Their goal was achieved by pushing the rear door as far back toward the C-pillar as possible. It's this kind of attention to detail that contributes to the overall package ingenuity of the Fusion, including such standard ergonomic niceties as a height-adjustable driver's seat and a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel.
In addition to carrying people in comfort, Fusion is capable of making quick work of cargo. Its roomy 15.8-cubic-foot trunk boasts a flat load floor and low liftover height with compact decklid hinges that won't crush boxes or groceries. What's more, the rear seats feature a standard 60/40 split and fold-flat function with spring assist, allowing pass-through access to handle extra long items and provide best-in-class storage space.
DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT, SMART MANUFACTURING
The 2006 Ford Fusion is the company's first fully "digital" car. It was completely designed, engineered and tested for manufacture in a digital environment – using the most advanced design tools available for precision, quality and efficiency.
By drawing on these new tools and the company's global product development resources, Fusion's engineering team was able to bring the Fusion to market faster than traditional vehicle-development programs.
ON SALE IN 2005
Fusion is the first vehicle from Ford's new CD3 architecture, which will eventually be the basis for up to ten unique vehicles in North America and approximately 800,000 vehicles annually over time.
Fusion will be built at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico .
The vehicle will go on sale in the U.S. , Canada and Mexico beginning in the fall of 2005.
FUSION LEADS FORD INTO THE FUTURE
Fusion will continue to make news well into the future with significant drivetrain advances.
A year after launch, an optional all-wheel-drive system will be offered.
Later, a hybrid powertrain will be added – making Fusion the fifth full hybrid in the Ford Motor Company stable, following the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, and Mercury Milan Hybrid.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 327,000 employees and 110 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and Hertz. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.