Ford Fusion

Ford Fusion

Rob Riggle’s brand of humor can be a little over the top sometimes, but this new Ford commercial for the Super Bowl, doesn’t show that off.

Here we see a more subdued Riggle talking to a coffee-sipping Ford exec while describing the benefits of driving a Ford hybrid. At one point, Riggle even ventures into the world of mythology to make his point, comparing the hybrid to a griffin complete with a soliloquy about the griffin having the "head of an eagle, the body of a lion."

We don’t know if we can necessarily compare a Ford hybrid (maybe he was talking about a Fusion Hybrid ?) to that mythic creature, but we do see the point of Riggle’s comparison. If anything, he does a good job of selling his spiel, even though it doesn’t make much sense at all.

Oh, well. Guess that’s how Ford is going to roll with its set of ads for the Super Bowl. Maybe it has more up its sleeve, but this one, while pretty funny in a Rob Riggle kind of way, misses on what the #nearlydouble hashtag is trying to get across.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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The Ford Fusion is becoming one of the biggest hits for any American automaker who dares tussle with the best-selling Accord and Camry . A grunty and quick EcoBoost triple-cylinder 1.5-liter joins the engine and drive layout choices for 2014, which now reaches seven variations — an unprecedented total for any American car starting at just $22,000.

So this handsome Ford runs a three-banger in 1.5-liter EcoBoost specification? Will it have the speed of a lawnmower and the engine note of a go-kart? Nope and nope. This is a potent engine, with much more power at all revs than the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder. It’s also quite affordable to produce, so will hopefully take a larger percentage of Fusions than the pricier EcoBoost engine options.

Lastly, AWD is on the table with the top-spec 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Larger wheels look terrific, like they were milled from a solid block of aluminum, some swanky comfort and active safety tech, and a few new colors round out the Fusion’s updates for the new model year.

All this sounds good, but buying a Camry can be done blindfolded over the phone: are all these choices a recipe for confusion on American dealer lots?

Since becoming fans of the Fusion this summer with our Fusion Hybrid and Energi tester models, we’re happy to keep the Fusion rocking the sales charts.

Even so, the gasoline choices are fantastic for keen drivers: the manual box 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0-liter AWD are arguably even better vehicles for their lack of electrified tech.

Click past the jump to read all the latest updates for the 2014 Ford Fusion, one of the most confident and stylish midsize cars available.

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The Fusion Energi is the first in a large wave of mainstream, plug-in Fords in the mid-term future. The extra EV power doubles silent range and EPA efficiency of the already-stellar Fusion Hybrid for only about $6,000 more than a loaded Hybrid Titanium model.

Who killed the electric car? Was it you?

No, it was coal. Coal killed the electric car.

Until 2012, the idea of an electric car faced not only the technical challenges of building one but also the significant consumer hurdle of buying something without knowing the actual savings over gasoline.

Anyone who has ever gotten a $400 power bill for a hot summer month would certainly think twice about the cost and hassle of plugging in the car constantly. Consumers rightly wondered: How high could an EV charger spike that utility bill?

Large-scale U.S. energy shifts to natural gas power stations mean home electricity is at record lows and expected to stay low for years. ‘Natty G’ costs about a fifth as much as coal per megawatt and significant savings are coming to home users in the U.S. as well.

Suddenly, Ford ’s plug-in hybrid electric car not only satisfies Eco-minded hybrid buyers but also the hardcore-green BEV owners in Nissan Leaf and Tesla vehicles. There’s simply no drawback to this Fusion Energi PHEV when the equation is close to $1 of juice (very roughly) equaling $10 in gasoline.

Add in the peace of mind of a gasoline backup and less cord fumbling… and it all starts to make sense. The Chevrolet Volt the first to a market that also includes the Honda Accord Plug-in and low-tech Prius Plug-in .

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi including an exclusive video tech overview of the interior.

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The Fusion Hybrid finally cracks the code to unravel Toyota’s stranglehold on the eco market by offering consumers what they actually want: a gorgeous sedan shape, a quiet cabin and very good handling. These are all places where the Prius cannot compete. The Ford also runs lithium-ion batteries for a 47 mpg rating, despite costing just $27,000.

Ford’s most promising hybrid to date is joined by a plug-in model called the Fusion Energi. The Hybrid is the volume electrified sedan and packs some great technology into one of the most attractive midsize car shapes on the market.

The Hybrid might actually be the pick of the range that also includes a 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder in a new-for-2014 ‘S’ trim at the bottom of the range.

The Fusion Hybrid offers nearly all of the Energi’s benefits for about $10,000 less. This makes it a really viable contender among urban dwellers without access to a garage plug.

The 47/47/47 mpg across all EPA categories takes most of the headlines but the Fusion Hybrid also drives really nicely and is more balanced that the typical sedan, thanks the trunk-mounted battery pack helping even the weight distribution of this front-drive car.

Conventional Hybrid sedans are just starting to really move up the sales charts versus the dedicated Prius hatchback. Even among Prius owners, there is some latent desire for a classic large sedan’s refinement and handling. The Fusion Hybrid aces these criteria and many more, via a sophisticated suite of interior technologies and active safety options that are from a class above.

How will the Ford fare versus this fall’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid and the popular Toyota Camry Hybrid ?

Click past the jump for the first-drive review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid with highlights on the new features and equipment.

Over the past years, NASCAR race cars have barely resembled their production counterparts with teams opting to use branding stickers and logos as a way to put some distinguishable flavor to the cars themselves.

This year, however, Ford Racing is taking a different approach. Or should we say an approach that harkens back to the days when the phrase "stock car" actually meant something.

With the season-opening race at Daytona scheduled for this weekend, Ford Racing is giving its Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car a major overhaul and facelift, opting to go back to the method of designing the car to resemble the actual Fusion production model that it represented.

The video will show you how Ford managed to design the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car and the comparisons of the car from its production brother. Of course, it probably helped that the design of the race car was done by the Ford Design Center, something the division hasn’t done since the 60’s.

We’ve gotta say, this return to the stock car approach is a refreshing wrinkle to the 2013 NASCAR season. About the only thing different now is that the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car is powered by a Ford Racing-sourced 5.8-liter V-8 that develops in excess of 850 horsepower, as opposed to the production model which only has 237 ponies on tap.

The SEMA Auto Show is the theater of dreams for a lot of aftermarket companies. For a tuning firm like Ice Nine Group, SEMA is yet another platform for them to prove why they’re one of the best in what they do.

Surely, we remember what Ice Nine Group did last year with Vaughn Gittin Jr., right? In case you’ve forgotten, this Ford Mustang Bosch Iridium Edition RTR is all you need to remember.

For their offering at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, Ice Nine Group decided to give the new 2013 Ford Fusion some serious racing shine. And by serious, they even tapped Monster Energy Drink to be a partner in the build.

Ice Nine Group’s build is inspired by the V8 Supercars Series, which incidentally will make its debut on American soil next year. While this could be a preview build for the racing series - we highly doubt it, though - it certainly looks like a car that’s ready for some face time to go with dynamic performance out on the street.

Whatever the case may be, Ice Nine Group has made it known that this particular Fusion, complete with its aggressive green exterior and Monster graphics-laden body, will carry a slew of aerodynamic and performance modifications. We know what these guys are capable of, so we have enormously high expectations for this one.

In 2011, MRT Performance went to the SEMA Auto Show to present a fully customized Ford Mustang . That custom build caught our eye not only because of the two-tone orange and black paint finish, but also because it came packed with a comprehensive performance upgrade that included a ProCharger supercharger, an MRT stainless steel MaxFlow h-pipe and half-back exhaust system, and an H&R coilover performance suspension.

This year, MRT Performance is back at SEMA, except that this time, they’re trading chops and leaving the Mustang behind in favor of another vehicle from the Blue Oval: the 2013 Ford Fusion.

Instead of the orange and black set-up that they’ve come to use int he past, the tuning firm went for a blue-and-black paint scheme that gives the Fusion a far more aggressive look. Not to say that the hybrid sedan is a mundane car, but the colors speak to a more impressive profile. The program builds on the sporty style of the Fusion to go with enough performance upgrades to stand its ground at the SEMA show floor.

The fun and stylish street performer that will definitely catch your eye, while the performance stance and sounds from the newly installed Eco-Flow exhaust system will undoubtedly keep your attention. Rounding out the modifications are a new set of custom blue Forgestar wheels also play into the color’s well, creating a balanced and aesthetically pleasing look without going overboard.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will be well represented at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . That much appears to be evident with the release of a number of previews for the hybrid sedan, all of which come with their own unique modifications from a variety of aftermarket companies.

One of the SEMA-bound Fusion models comes from a team that’s no stranger to the SEMA floor: Tjin Edition .

Last year, Tjin Edition brought four models to SEMA. This year, we still don’t know how many they have under the sheets. What we do know is one of them is the Ford Fusion. For their take on the hybrid sedan, Tjin Edition started off by dressing up the Fusion in a DuPoint Beige paint finish to go with a 3D Carbon lip kit. There’s also a fancy set of 21" copper iForged Concave wheels wrapped in Falken tires, copper mirror caps, a Baer big brake upgrade with lime green brake calipers, and modified suspension from Pedders.

Inside, the modifications are also extensive, although full details are still being withheld. Tjin Edition does look like its bringing some more of that lime color as shown by the dress-up done on the steering wheel. The aftermarket company also installed a new Scosche Audio audio system to give the car some serious audio power. Par for the course on a car headed to SEMA, right?

Rounding out the modifications for the Fusion Tjin Edition is the addition of a custom turbo kit from Unique Fabrication and a side-exit exhaust system from Magnaflow. No word yet on how much of a performance boost this will generate, but we expect it to be on the up-and-up side.

In the early years of the automotive industry, the interior was simply somewhere to park your behind as you drove around. In the modern era, car interiors are becoming more like a second home, as they are now featuring climate control, TVs, huge sound systems, plush fabrics, and much more. Due to the constantly changing automotive world, automakers need to make sure that they are producing the best interiors possible, or risk losing sales to the competition.

Ford has taken this competition to a new level, as it is now using a robotic system to determine the quality of its cars’ interiors. This new robotic touch system is called Robotized Unit for Tactility and Haptics (RUTH). For those on the same vocabulary level as me and needing a more plain English description, this is a robot that uses sensors to determine the pain, pressure, or heat that a human’s skin would feel when touching something, which then turns that touch sensation into scalable data.

The above video shows Ford engineers describing RUTH as she touches and probes multiple points throughout the cabin of the all-new Ford Fusion . RUTH then uses data that Ford has collected from thousands of customers around the world and determines if the pieces it tests meet the collective wants of Ford buyers. From there, Ford engineers can adjust the texture, feel, softness, or even temperature of something in the cabin.

RUTH has been in commission in Ford North America since January 2012 and it looks like it is a complete success, at least according to the video. With advancements like this, it is easy to see why Ford was able to keep its head above water through the automotive recession.

Ford unveiled the new generation Fusion in early January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show and, right on cue, it has been followed by the NASCAR version. This is, in fact, the third time Ford has simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model. The first dual launch came in 1968, with the sleek fastback Ford Torino and then again in 2006 with the Fusion .

The NASCAR Ford Fusion features a very aggressive stance from the outside and the inside, but keeps the proportions found in the production Fusion. There are brand and design cues on the side of the vehicle and an identifiable front end grill with the distinctive look of a Ford.

"This is a seminal moment in the sport where we had a chance to get it right once again and make sure the race cars are race versions of street cars. And I am proud because I believe we have accomplished just that," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "The 2013 Fusion is a stunning car and the 2013 NASCAR Fusion is even more stunning and I can’t wait to see it perform on the track and connect with race fans."

The new NASCAR Ford Fusion will be enduring its testing season for the entire year and will then have its racing debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 in February.

UPDATE 05/23/12: Ford Racing has unveiled the first livery of the Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup race car. It bears the red and white colors of Motorcraft, which, if you didn’t know, is Ford’s spare parts division. Check out the Fusion’s new digs leading up to its maiden NASCAR voyage this season.

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