Friday, May 27, 2016

2017 Ford Fusion and Fusion Platinum

Introducing the first ever Fusion Platinum

I first saw the new Fusion Platinum trim package this past January at NAIAS in Detroit and I was impressed.  From its unique mesh grill to the all premium leather interior I knew this car was going to be special.  Flash forward to this past week and I got to drive this new car and marvel at the leap forward this redesign has for the car in terms of driving experience and pure luxury that the Platinum Trim delivers.


First up walking towards the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum you notice that it has an all new grill and headlamp fascia.  Sleeker and more refined with the iconic trapezoidal grill opening intact and as fashion forward shark-like as ever.


Opening the door is where you know that this is going to be a much different car than even the now mid-level Titanium.  Rich quilted Venetian leathers with beautiful real satin finished wood trim welcome you on first sight.  Everything, door panels, dash, steering wheel, and rear shelf are trimmed out in a rich cocoa leather that contrasts with the beige leather seats.  Its taking the Fusion which is a nicely equipped in its own right to the entry level luxury category.  Truly the most luxurious, tastefully done interior for has ever put in one of its cars.  None of its competitors offer a trim as nice and luxurious.

Slipping into the seats its possible to dial in the perfect position with the 8 way power seats.  Too hot or cold for you...they're heated and cooled in the Platinum.  Even the gear shift is missing this year in the Fusion, its a decidedly luxurious rotary dial for gear selection now with standard paddle shifters on the leather wrapped steering wheel.

Driving the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum is comfortingly familiar yet quieter than the outgoing generation.  Especially so in the Fusion Platinum where even wheel thump is deeply muted. The standard 2.0l Ecoboost of the Platinum makes it a quick performer that still yielded 25.6 mpg over the 20 mile loop that consisted of free flowing freeway, jammed crawling freeway, and urban driving.  This compares favorably to the EPA estimate of 21 City, 31 highway and 25 combined.

Handling is noticeably tighter and crisper with the Fusion Platinum and its standard 19" wheels compared to the base Fusions 17 inchers.  

I also drove the new Fusion Platinum Energi version.  This plug-in hybrid was nothing short of amazing compared to the last version of the Energi I drove a couple of years ago.  The off throttle regenerative capture is much more aggressive than in the past.  Driving the car its definitely noticeable that you aren't just coasting when you lift your foot from the throttle and the live driving coach even notes for you the increased electricity returned to the battery.  I left for my 20 mile loop with an indicated range of 16 miles and figured I would have to switch from EV mode to hybrid before I got back to my starting point.  I was wrong.  Between understanding how to brake to recoup lost energy via the regenerative braking coach and using the same on a long downhill grade I ended back with an indicated 2 miles range left. Add in the new all electric top speed of 85 its possible to do more in all electric mode than in the prior generation.

Worth noting is that this new generation Fusion has available Sync 3.  I really liked it and it is a noteworthy advance over the outgoing MyFord Touch system.  Getting around the screens is faster and easier than before.  The touch screen isn't as picky on precision pokes and reacts fast to your manual commands.  Even voice commands seems to be much more intuitive and fast reacting.   I really liked this new version of Sync.

Lastly, not available at last weeks Open House at Motor City hosted by Ford was the new Fusion Sport.  That should be available next fall and will be a leap ahead of its competition as well.  It will be equipped with a twin turbo 2.7l Ecoboost pumping out around 325 horsepower through all wheel drive and a specific sport tuned suspension.  Can't wait to drive that one!

Overall I have to admit I am totally smitten with the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum in particular.  That high end trim is understated pure luxury, and the standard 2.0L Ecoboost making 245 horsepower has ample power and a cheaper alternative than the Audi A4 I looked at recently.

For the Press release form NAIAS on the new for 2017 Fusion on sale now make the jump!

FORD UNVEILS SMARTEST, MOST TECHNOLOGY-PACKED FUSION EVER, INCLUDING HYBRID AND PLUG-IN HYBRID VERSIONS OF NEW SEDAN

  • Class-exclusive combination of all-wheel drive and twin-turbocharged V6 engine pushes Ford Fusion V6 Sport to leave other family sedans – including Honda Accord and Toyota Camry – in the dust; Fusion even out-powers the 2016 BMW 340
  • Fusion Energi is the plug-in hybrid that stands out in a crowd – allowing customers to drive extended distances using just electricity, then operating as a conventional gas engine-powered hybrid when the battery runs low
  • Fusion is the first Ford car in North America with a pedestrian detection system; other advanced technologies include hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking and SYNC® 3
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – The new Ford Fusion continues to be a game changer among midsize sedans, with the most technologically advanced lineup ever – including two hybrid models and a new all-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport engineered to leave other family sedans in the dust.
Fusion V6 Sport and the new Fusion Platinum add to a lineup featuring three EcoBoost® engine choices, along with two hybrids, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – something neither Toyota nor Honda offers midsize sedan shoppers.
“Fusion offers people a lot more car – including helpful technology, beautiful design and a more rewarding driving experience than other midsize sedans,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development.
  • Fusion V6 Sport: Fusion V6 Sport is a performance sedan unlike anything in the segment with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport is projected to make approximately 100 lb.-ft. of additional torque and nearly 50 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 engines in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord
  • Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi: New Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi lead America’s best-selling lineup of plug-in hybrids. New software in both hybrids delivers an even more refined and engaging drive for customers, while more efficient electric motors are expected to contribute to better fuel economy and a purer range of electric driving
  • Fusion Platinum: Fusion Platinum is designed for those seeking even greater levels of refinement and craftsmanship in a midsize sedan. With available award-winning 2.0-liter EcoBoost and all-wheel drive, the real story is the interior experience. Instrument and door trim panels are wrapped in antiqued Cocoa leather, and the hand-wrapped steering wheel is finished in premium Venetian leather. A unique grille finished in Magnetic paint makes for an upscale design and 19-inch polished wheels return confident performance
Together, Fusion V6 Sport, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi, and Fusion Platinum offer three different flavors of an award-winning lineup for midsize sedan customers.
Fusion V6 Sport adds continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning based on setup and road inputs. The system features pothole detection technology that, in less than the blink of an eye, adjusts the shock absorbers to greatly reduce the severity of impact transmitted to occupants. Power and handling are complemented by unique, performance-inspired style inside and out. The look is distinguished by an aggressive exterior with deeper air intakes and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust outlets.
Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi are technology-packed electrified vehicles that offer an advanced EcoGuide system to provide drivers real-time coaching to get even better fuel economy. Fusion Energi features a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. The car automatically switches to an efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing customers to drive more than 500 miles. 
Ford continues to innovate and evolve with its lithium-ion batteries that save weight and take up less space than the less sophisticated nickel-metal hydride batteries found in Toyota Camry Hybrid. Neither Camry nor Accord offers a plug-in hybrid.
Recharging Fusion Energi can be done overnight in just 2.5 hours. The car is smart enough to know when to begin charging to get electricity at the lowest price. It can even preheat or precool the cabin before drivers leave to save more fuel. 
Both electrified Fusions deliver impressive overall performance with electric-only speeds up to 85 mph. Regenerative braking captures up to 95 percent of the energy lost through heat during braking and recharges the hybrid battery on the move.
Meaningful technologyFusion is the most technologically advanced midsize car Ford has ever built in North America – the first car sold here with Ford’s pedestrian detection system. Fusion also has hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking capability. The new high-tech gear shift dial results in a roomier cabin with easy-to-reach bins.
Lane-keeping assist helps drivers maintain proper lane position using a small, forward-facing camera behind the rearview mirror that “looks” at the road ahead – monitoring lane lines to ensure the car is on course.
Available Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert includes sensors in the car’s rear quarter-panels that can detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic – unseen by the driver – is detected. BLIS® enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views. In combination with the standard rearview camera, BLIS makes for confident maneuvering in parking lots.
SYNC® 3, Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, is also available. It features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface. SYNC Connect, optional with SYNC 3, enables owners to remotely start their car, schedule future starts, or lock and unlock the car using their smartphone.
The new Fusion arrives at dealerships this summer. Fusion V6 Sport follows a few weeks later.