In late 2014, Ford announced the creation of Ford Performance, a new division that incorporates SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing into a single organization. The announcement also revealed plans to introduce 12 new performance vehicles by 2020, including refreshed versions of the 2015 Ford Focus ST, 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta ST, and the F-150 Raptor. FoMoCo has already launched the 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350, the new 2016 Ford Focus RS, and the second-generation 2017 Ford GT, but it seems a performance version of the Fusion sedan is also in the works.

Although the brand has yet to confirm such plans, a prototype our paparazzi spotted on the road recently suggests the midsize is indeed set to receive an ST badge.

Even though it will be the first Fusion to wear the red letters on its front grille, it’s not the first model to deliver enhanced performance. The first-gen Mondeo was offered with a 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter V-6 as the ST200 in Europe and the Contour SVT in the U.S., while the second-gen sedan has a 2002 Ford Mondeo ST220 version with a 223-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 under the hood.

The upcoming Fusion ST will likely be sold in Europe as the Mondeo ST, but until more info surfaces the Web, let’s have a closer look at the camouflaged prototype that just hit the streets.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Fusion ST.

  • 2017 Ford Fusion ST
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    37500 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford Fusion ST Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Ford Fusion ST Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Ford Fusion ST Exterior Spyshots
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Though most of the important bits front and rear are covered in black-and-white camo, it’s pretty obvious that this sedan is not a regular Fusion. Hints toward a more potent four-door are obvious upon close inspection. Notable telltale signs include the quad exhaust tips in the rear bumper and the bigger (probably 19-inch), black-painted wheels. The brake rotors and the calipers also seem different that regular Fusion units, with the latter even looking similar in design to what we can find on the Focus ST. As for aerodynamic enhancements, it’s hard to tell whether the front bumper is different because of the camouflage, but the rear does feature a small spoiler atop the trunk lid.

Interior

The ST’s interior will most likely mirror the standard Fusion’s, but include a few extras such as a special instrument cluster, a sportier steering wheel, and Recaro sports seats. Given the Fusion ST is likely to arrive with the face-lifted Fusion, a number of technology upgrades are also on the table.

Drivetrain

2017 Ford Fusion ST Exterior Spyshots
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Although both the Fiesta ST and Focus ST are powered by four-cylinder engines, word on the street has it the Fusion ST will get Ford’s new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. Introduced in 2015 on the 2015 Ford Edge crossover and 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, and then added to the 2016 Lincoln MKX. The six-cylinder, for which FoMoCo invested half a billion dollars in the Lima, Ohio plant, cranks out between 315 and 335 horsepower in the aforementioned models.

In the Fusion ST, however, the 2.7-liter isn’t likely to produce more than 300 horsepower. With the most powerful Fusion now rated at 240 horses and 270 pound-feet, an output of around 290 or 300 horsepower and some 310 pound-feet of twist should be more than enough for a performance model. Charging from 0 to 60 mph should take less than six seconds, while top speed will probably be 155 mph.

On the other hand, to use the 2.7-liter V-6 for the Fusion ST would be rather weird considering all current ST model are powered by four-bangers. While taking the Focus ST’s 2.0-liter to 300 horses would be a bit of a stretch, the sedan could do well with the Mustang’s 2.3-liter four-pot. The unit cranks out 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet in the Mustang EcoBoost and would make the Fusion ST quite the peppy four-door.

Industry sources claim the Fusion ST will also receive four-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission only, but it would be really strange for Ford not to offer a three-pedal option too.

Prices

It’s too early to talk about pricing, especially since the ST will be based on the face-lifted Fusion, which is likely to be a tad more expensive than the current model. However, judging by the premium you have to pay for the Focus ST compared to the standard model, I’d say the Fusion ST could start from around $30,000 before options. Expect the production model to be unveiled sometime in 2016 and go on sale for the 2017 model year.

Competition

2015 Chrysler 200S by Mopar

2015 Chrysler 200S Mopar High Resolution Exterior
- image 574211

Finding a proper competitor for the upcoming Fusion ST is impossible at this point. There are no performance mid-size sedans on the U.S. market right now. Be it the 2016 Mazda6, 2016 Honda Accord, 2012 Volkswagen Passat or 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, they all lack the power to go against a 300-horsepower Fusion, and the necessary chassis updates. Then there’s the Chrysler 200S by Mopar.

It’s not exactly sportier than the standard model, given there are no performance updates, but Mopar’s kit does add sportier bumpers and side sills, a quad-exhaust setup, new wheels, and a suspension lowering kit. What’s more, the 200S’ 3.6-liter V-6 is plenty powerful at 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Until some other company makes a performance mid-size, the 200S by Mopar is your best option against the Fusion ST.

Find out more about the Chrysler 200S by Mopar here.

Conclusion

2017 Ford Fusion ST Exterior Spyshots
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Looking at the niche the Fusion competes in, and it’s by no means small, the ST will be a vehicle that drives into uncharted territory rather than being an answer to another performance product. Because we live in an era in which most car makers are very cautious, the Fusion ST kind of raises the question, "What is Ford aiming for here?" Ford has already announced plans to further expand its performance car portofolio, but the Fusion ST didn’t seem a priority until now, as no other player in the entry-level midsize segment offers a performance-oriented sedan. Is the Fusion ST a bad idea? No way! There’s no such thing as too many performance sedans, and the fact that the Fusion competes in a segment packed with mild family cars makes it that much better. The Fusion ST might just start a new performance war that will benefit customers in need of a performance family car, but without the premium sticker of an Audi S6.

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Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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