Ever since the Ford Taurus died its slow, painful death, Ford has been struggling to replace it with a competitive entry in the midsize-sedan arena, with little success. For a struggling domestic automaker, the midsize sedan market can mean huge sales and a path toward recovery -- should it get the formula right. With that in mind, the Blue Oval has released details of its all-new 2010 Ford Fusion -- a car that will go head-to-head with the best in the business from Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet.
The most immediate difference between new and old is in the styling department. A gargantuan love-it-or-hate-it three-bar chrome grille sits out front, while a more aggressive-looking lower air intake is flanked by two (much larger) foglamps. We like the sharp, angular look to the headlights that transform the Fusion away from the model's current, rather mundane appearance.
Powering the new Fusion will be a range of I-4 and V-6 engines. Expect an all-new 2.5L inline-four to provide power in the base model, cranking out 172 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque and allowing a 9.5-sec sprint from 0-to-60 mph. The engine features a new block, pistons, heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, and camshaft -- all in an effort to make more power, while reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy. According to Ford, the new I-4 will have more power than the four-cylinder Toyota Camry, while besting economy levels set by the Camry and the Honda Accord.
Next up the food chain is the midlevel Fusion with a 3.0L V-6 good for 240 hp (250 hp in E85 spec) that knocks 2.5 sec off the 0-to-60-mph run, dropping it to 7.0 sec flat. We don't have fuel-economy figures yet, but Ford is integrating an "aggressive" fuel shut-off program on deceleration.
The top-level 2010 Fusion Sport will feature a 3.5L Duratec V-6 (the same unit used in the Flex) that will curiously offer the same output as the 3.0L unit -- 240 hp. Ford did not give us details on the torque rating for that unit, but we speculate it may be considerably more than the 3.0L motor. Ford also wouldn't give us any acceleration figures on that top-level engine, but did note that all-wheel drive would be available with the 3.0L and 3.5L six-cylinder engine options.