Ford’s bread-and-butter model gets a does of the aftermarket life

The SEMA auto show traditionally attracts a who’s who list of aftermarket companies and, in some occasions, these tuners collaborate with automakers to build some nifty concepts that consumers would probably otherwise not see in any other auto show. Such is the case with this particular concept vehicle prepared by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America for Ford’s resident four-door sedan for the masses, the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Known mostly for building roof air-conditioning and heating systems, Webasto stepped out of its element in designing and developing this particular program. There’s a full menu of upgrades to the Fusion, from the exterior, interior, powertrain, and right down to the sedan’s chassis. The result may not be evident based on the single rendering of the car so far, but the modifications are impressive enough to give the Fusion a sportier and more performance-oriented identity.

Like most SEMA offerings, Webasto’s Fusion Sport Ballistic concept is unlikely to translate into a production unit anytime soon. But it does provide unique possibilities for the Fusion that owners and prospective customers probably didn’t know it had. It may not have the status and appeal that other Blue Oval models have, but it is more capable than most people think. This concept proves that, and then some.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Exterior

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Ballistic Concept by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America
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The photo doesn’t do justice to the amount of modifications given to the Fusion’s exterior. Take for example the front chin spoiler and side splitters added to the car. Webasto used Kevlar for those components, ensuring that they’re stronger and lighter at the same time. Webasto also added a special heat extractor hood that serves the Fusion well given the amount of modifications given to its powertrain. On the cosmetic side, the sedan gets a Ballistic White metallic custom paint that Webasto commissioned from MRT Performance and shadow tinted glass to keep the dressed up cabin away from the prying eyes of the public.

Finishing off the exterior upgrades is a new set of 20-inch BB3 wheels from Modulare and wrapped in 245/35/20 Toyo Proxes T1 tires.

Interior

Keeping with the theme of the exterior, Webasto’s interior upgrades for the Fusion are largely defined by the same Ballistic White metallic finish of the interior trim and the custom leather and suede surfaces. And of course, no interior upgrade from Webasto would be complete without its very own H735-III comfort in-built sunroof.

Drivetrain

First, let’s look at the stats. The 2017 Ford Fusion is powered by a 2.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 325 horsepower. That’s an impressive number, but Webasto took it a step further by adding an engine preheater and comfort control to go with JMS’s BoostMAX plug-and-play boost controller solution and a PedalMAX throttle, ensuring that the Fusion can accelerate off the block quicker and maintain higher speeds without compromising its handling and driving capabilities. Complementing these changes is an engine calibration performed by SCT Performance and the addition of an axle-back exhaust supplied by MRT Performance. No word on how much extra power the Fusion gets from these significant upgrades, but rest assured, it’s a lot more than 325 ponies.

Suspension and Brakes

With all the modifications given to the car’s drivetrain, it’s only fitting that the whole program also includes upgrades to the suspension to maintain an optimum level of handling and drivability. Webasto sought to do just that by adding H&R’s suspension kit and installing a forged aluminum brake kit from Rotora, stainless steel-braided brake lines, and ceramic brake pads from H2.

Conclusion

You would think that the Ford Fusion, even with a 325-horsepower V-6, is a mild-mannered four-door sedan. While that description may be accurate in some regard, Webasto makes it obsolete with an all-encompassing program that improves everything about the sedan. Here’s to hoping then that this program becomes a reality at some point in the future. I’d venture a guess that it’s going to be a popular choice among those looking for some aftermarket love for their Fusions.

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