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Archive for the ‘Ford Fusion’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Top Midsize Sedans of 2018

New steering rack mounting and revised suspension geometry for better handling

SUVs have become the toast of the automotive world these days that it’s hard to argue against anyone who wants to buy one. It’s just that even though SUVs continue to grow in popularity, it can’t replicate the suave styling and sophistication of some of the most popular midsize sedans on the market today. The best midsize sedans are often those that give you the best of all words. They’re stylish, powerful, comfortable, and spacious. Some even combine all those qualities in one package. SUVs have these qualities, too, but they’re often a product of customers needing them as opposed to wanting them.

With midsize sedans, especially the luxury types, you don’t need space because you have a family to fit inside it, you want the space because you want to show off your ride to your friends. Likewise, you don’t need it to be powerful for your next weekend getaway. You want it to be powerful, so it grabs the attention of the people around you. In here is a list of the best midsize sedans of 2018. Pay attention to who made it because there’s a good chance that if you’re in the market for one, you’ll end up getting one of these models.

PostHeaderIcon 10 Best Used Cars For New Drivers

While most modern cars pack in the safety features and offer plenty of value-per-dollar, there are some out there that seem to stand above the rest. If you’re scouring the used market looking for just the right ride for your new driver, fear not, as we’ve put together a list that outlines ten models that are just a few years old, but still come with just about everything you could want.

Each entry also includes a rundown on crashworthiness, as tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that conducts research on almost all new cars.

So with that, read on for our list of the ten best-used cars for new drivers.

PostHeaderIcon 8 Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans of 2018 Under $35,000

There are no clear favorites when choosing the best all-wheel-drive sedan under $35,000. The important thing to remember here is to know what your preferences are. The Ford Fusion SE ($23,500), for example, is regarded for having a good amount of interior space to go with one of the most spacious trunk spaces — 16 cubic feet — among all sedans in its class. It also has a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. If you’re not particularly into cavernous trunk spaces and instead prefer sedans that are known for their power and handling, the two Subarus could be in your future. The WRX ($26,995) has the most powerful base engine — a turbo-four unit that produces 268 horsepower — of its class, and while its fuel economy ratings aren’t anything to write about — 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway — it’s still regarded as one of the most dynamic cars in its class to drive.

The Subaru Legacy ($22,195), on the other hand, doesn’t have as powerful of an engine as the WRX. It’s 175-horsepower, four-cylinder unit is uninspiring compared to the WRX, but that’s likely a product of the Legacy sitting below its fellow Subie on the automaker’s totem pole. Still, the Legacy has a pretty spacious interior and returns one of the best fuel economy ratings among all models in its segment at 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Then there’s the Kia Stinger ($31,900), a car many people consider as one of the future stars of its segment. Maybe it’s a byproduct of the Stinger being a new model that still gives it a fresh odor among buyers, but a big part of the Stinger’s appeal rests on its all-around quality. This model really is a star-in-the-making. Even with just the base version, you’re already getting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower at its disposal. Combine that with its own large cargo area — a whopping 23.3 cubic feet of space — and an engaging and athletic drive that’s pure fun for all of us, and it’s no wonder why the Stinger is one of the most sought-after all-wheel-drive models in the market today. All that despite the sedan only returning an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Four models in and the choices are about to get more difficult once you bring in Germany’s finest into the fold. The Audi A3 Premium and the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic may be visitors from the Old Continent, but you’re going to quickly realize how at-home they make you feel once you get either one of them. The A3 Premium ($31,950) is one of the cheapest compact luxury cars on the market. In fact, the difference in price between the Stinger and the A3 Premium is a measly $50. As promising as the Stinger is, there’s a big population of people who will prefer an established model over an upstart. The A3 Premium is the base unit of the family, but it doesn’t feel like one, thanks in large part to having its fair share of luxury amenities. From leather upholstery to a panoramic sunroof to a 10-speaker audio system, they’re all there as standard equipment. About the only downside of the Audi sedan is that the Quattro all-wheel-drive system doesn’t come standard across the whole lineup. You’ll need to upgrade to the Quattro to have the most fun in the sedan. Doing so comes at the expense of a lower fuel economy rating — 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway — but that’s ultimately a small price to pay for all the fun you’re going to have driving it.

If the A3 isn’t your cup of tea, the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic ($32,700 plus $2,000 to get the 4Matic AWD system) is a solid, albeit slightly more expensive option. Nobody needs to remind you what kind of model you have when you’re driving a Mercedes. The CLA 250 4Matic is teeming with luxury like only Mercedes can provide. It doesn’t have the same power figures as the A3 Premium — a four-cylinder turbocharged engine produces only 208 horsepower — but it does get some of its appeal back by how engaging it is to drive and by having one of the highest fuel economy ratings — 24 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway — of any sedan in its class. The last two sedans we’ll mention are both American bred, but like all the models we’ve mentioned, these two are special for entirely different reasons. The Chrysler 300 Touring ($28,995 plus $2,500 for an AWD version), for example, packs a punch with its 292-horsepower V-6 engine. It’s also one of the bigger sedans in its class, and that size comes into play in the spacious interior. Its fuel economy rating is average — 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway — but if you look past that, you’ll come to realize that the 300, despite all the negativity surrounding it, is a pretty fun ride, as well. Unfortunately for the 300, it’s still not as fun to drive as the Dodge Charger ($28,995). The meaty sports sedan packs a similar V-6 unit with an identical 292-horsepower output as the 300 Touring, but make no mistake; the Charger is a completely different animal when it comes to driving dynamics. Some people may not like it because it’s a little too wild for their capabilities, but those who have seen the Charger in action can vouch for what it’s capable of. Ultimately, choosing one sedan among these intriguing options is an exercise in futility. But if I were to choose one, my money’s going to the Kia Stinger. It isn’t as established as some of the other models here, but when you combine everything it has to offer with its starting price, there’s no better value for money than Kia’s new performance-oriented sedan.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Wants to Take on Subaru With a Sport Wagon Named Fusion

The Ford Fusion sedan is not long for this world, but just as the sedan is set to be axed in the coming years, the “Fusion” nameplate will live on in another form. Word has it that Ford is looking to use the name on a high-roofed sport wagon that the company is developing to compete against the Subaru Outback. There’s no timetable on when the Fusion Sport Wagon is going to arrive but look for its debut to happen shortly after the Fusion sedan gets the heave-ho from Ford early next decade.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Wants to Take on Subaru With a Sport Wagon Named Fusion

The Ford Fusion sedan is not long for this world, but just as the sedan is set to be axed in the coming years, the “Fusion” nameplate will live on in another form. Word has it that Ford is looking to use the name on a high-roofed sport wagon that the company is developing to compete against the Subaru Outback. There’s no timetable on when the Fusion Sport Wagon is going to arrive but look for its debut to happen shortly after the Fusion sedan gets the heave-ho from Ford early next decade.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Wants to Take on Subaru With a Sport Wagon Named Fusion

The Ford Fusion sedan is not long for this world, but just as the sedan is set to be axed in the coming years, the “Fusion” nameplate will live on in another form. Word has it that Ford is looking to use the name on a high-roofed sport wagon that the company is developing to compete against the Subaru Outback. There’s no timetable on when the Fusion Sport Wagon is going to arrive but look for its debut to happen shortly after the Fusion sedan gets the heave-ho from Ford early next decade.

PostHeaderIcon Ford to Announce What Cars Get the Axe in the Near Future

Just a week ago Ford Announced that it would be cutting a number of its products in order to recover from its falling profit Margins. What products will be cut remains to be seen, however, we’ll get full disclosure about the product cuts later this year. While nothing is certain, models like the Ford Taurus, C-Max, and even the Lincoln MKZ are all suspect with low sales numbers and falling interest. Of course, Ford is on a mission to cut out $14 billion in costs, and the SUV craze is going strong, so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. There’s a lot more to it, though, so keep reading to find out more.


2017 Lincoln MKZ - image 655938
“Part of this plan includes cutting costs amounting to $14 billion, as well as simplifying orderable products”

Ford CEO Jim Hackett didn’t divulge more details about the product cuts, but the temperature within Ford suggests that the company is keen on adopting Hackett’s plan to build “smart vehicles for a smart world.” Part of this plan includes cutting costs amounting to $14 billion, as well as simplifying orderable products, and streamlining the entire model lineup to feature higher-margin segments that can be profitable in all parts of the world.

The company’s chief financial officer, Bob Shanks, said that the company’s 2017 pretax profits fell 19 percent to $8.4 billion. That reduced the company’s operating profit margin to five percent from 6.7 percent in 2016. In addition, the company’s fourth-quarter adjusted pretax profits also fell 19 percent to $1.7 billion, a product of higher of steel and aluminum prices, as well as adverse currency rates. The company’s fortunes in Europe weren’t all that different as its pretax profit dropped by an incredible 66 percent to just $56 million in the fourth quarter. The numbers are worse for the entire year as the company’s pretax profit fell by a staggering 81 percent to just $234 million.

Some things needed to change for Ford to reverse the negative momentum. It just so happened that small cars will pay the price for that. Ford’s new direction adds weight to persistent rumors of the demise of Ford’s sedans. Last month, rumors surfaced that Ford was seriously considering cutting the Fusion sedan from its U.S. lineup. Sales of the sedan are still strong, but they’ve dropped significantly relative to its sales volume in past years. The Fusion example is a small sample of a growing trend throughout the industry. Sedans are losing their appeal because more customers now prefer crossovers and SUVs.


2014 Ford Fusion - image 525001
“The numbers are worse for the entire year as the company’s pretax profit fell by a staggering 81 percent to just $234 million.”

That said, small cars aren’t going to be completely extinct from Ford’s global lineup. The Fusion, for example, will still be sold in the Chinese market. The European market will also still get its share of small cars, beginning with the new Focus hatchback, which is scheduled to debut later this year. But for the most part, these small cars will likely play supplementary roles to crossovers, SUVs, and self-driving cars that Ford’s planning to turn into the foundation of its vehicular lineup.

References

Ford Taurus


2013 Ford Taurus - image 399396

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Taurus.

Ford C-Max


2013 Ford C-Max - image 509485

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford C-Max.

Ford Fusion


2014 Ford Fusion - image 525009

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Lincoln MKZ


2017 Lincoln MKZ - image 726176

Read our full review on the 2017 Lincoln MKZ.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon The Ford Fusion Hangs in Limbo as Mid-Cycle Refresh is Cancelled

The future of the Ford Fusion in the U.S. just got murkier. Barely a month after word got out of the Fusion’s unsteady future in the U.S., a new report from The Detroit News paints a cloudier future for Ford’s best-selling U.S. sedan. According to the report, Ford is canceling the redesign program for the mid-size sedan. More importantly, the automaker is said to be reevaluating the future of the model in our shores, effectively throwing the status of the Fusion in a state of limbo.


The Ford Fusion Hangs in Limbo as Mid-Cycle Refresh is Cancelled - image 661258
“Sales of the Fusion have fallen by as much as 22 percent in the last year alone”

The alarm bells started ringing a month ago when Automotive News reported about Ford’s concerns with the Fusion’s sales volume in the last couple of years. While it’s still regarded as the company’s best-selling U.S. sedan, sales of the Fusion have fallen by as much as 22 percent in the last year alone. The relatively poor result has, in some ways, become a microcosm of the entire sedan market, which is slowly being swallowed up the rise in popularity of the crossover and SUV segments.

This new report puts the sedan in an even bigger spotlight because it’s talking about canceling the redesign program altogether. Granted, this kind of step isn’t new in the auto industry, so it doesn’t mean that Ford is killing off the Fusion nameplate entirely. The company could be buying some time to discuss what options it has moving forward.


The Ford Fusion Hangs in Limbo as Mid-Cycle Refresh is Cancelled - image 661257
“It’s already been established that the company won’t build the sedan in its Mexico facility and won’t export it from China”

Still, it doesn’t bode well for the sedan when its scheduled redesign has been put on the shelves. It doesn’t help that another Ford sedan — the Taurus — has a cloudy future of its own. The bigwigs at Ford will have a big decision on their hands to determine the fate of its top-selling sedan in the U.S. It’s already been established that the company won’t build the sedan in its Mexico facility and won’t export it from China. Whatever options Ford has left is going to determine whether the Fusion still has a future in the U.S.

References

Ford Fusion


The Ford Fusion Hangs in Limbo as Mid-Cycle Refresh is Cancelled - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan

As the rest of the world looks to hybrid powertrains to help eke out extra mpg at the pump, even law enforcement agencies are getting in on the trend. Adding an extra large battery to a police responder sedan comes with several benefits, all while keeping all the important gear needed to get the job done. Ford’s been providing vehicles to law enforcement since 1950, so it makes sense that the Blue Oval is getting ahead of the game with this electrically assisted four-door. We saw it on the show floor at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and got a nice selection of exclusive photos, so read on for more details on this latest workhorse for the five-o.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan special.

What Makes The Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan Special


2018 Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan - image 750813
“Based on the standard civilian-spec Ford Fusion, this Ford is purpose-built for police enforcement duty, from the exterior, to the interior, to the accessories”

Based on the standard civilian-spec Ford Fusion, this Ford is purpose-built for police enforcement duty, from the exterior, to the interior, to the accessories. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine, which is paired with an 88-kW electric A/C motor and 1.4-kW lithium-ion battery pack. Together, the combo makes upwards of 188 horsepower, matching the civvy-spec iteration in terms of output. Fuel returns see a slight decrease to 38 mpg, most likely due to the heavy-duty equipment. You can also put it into all-electric mode to save ever more gas when operating in a “non-pursuit” application.

At the end of the day, this Ford should save tax payers a few bucks when it comes to the fuel bill, while also enabling less downtime to fill up the gas tank, which equals more time on the beat.


2018 Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan - image 750805
“Put all the numbers together, and you get a grand total of 1,551 gallons saved per year, or $3,877 in annual fuel costs assuming a $2.50 average cost per gallon. Then, of course, there are the environmental benefits.”

To put a few numbers to the mpg savings, Ford calculated that the average police interceptor is driven 20,000 miles per year. With an average of 18 mpg, that’s 1,111 gallons of fuel consumed a year. By contrast, this hybrid averages 38 mpg, which equates to 526 gallons of fuel burned a year – a significant savings of 585 gallons of fuel per year.

What’s more, the average police car spends roughly 61 percent of its time idling. Cops can’t switch off the engine, as it’s required to power all the extra accessories (lights, radios, etc.). That means the car idles for almost 5 hours in an 8-hour shift. The hybrid helps quite a bit here as well, saving upwards of 966 gallons of fuel per year.

Put those numbers together, and you get a grand total of 1,551 gallons saved per year, or $3,877 in annual fuel costs assuming a $2.50 average cost per gallon. Then, of course, there are the environmental benefits, with the hybrid cutting a whopping 27,421 pounds of CO2 output per year.


2018 Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan - image 750814
“The Ford hybrid is ready for action thanks to a heavy-duty suspension system”

Moving beyond the fuel savings, the Ford hybrid is ready for action thanks to a heavy-duty suspension system. As a pursuit-rated vehicle, its been tested for an 8.0-inch curb impact, 30-mph railroad crossing, and reverse J-turn maneuvers. It can also traverse up to 18 inches of water at 15 mph, and 10 inches of water at 40 mph.

Of front, you’ll notice the sizable ramming bar, perfect for performing a pit maneuver on a perp who’s unwilling to pull over. There’s also the requisite black and white exterior graphics.

Step into the cabin, and you’ll find slim seat bolsters for the front seats, which helps to accommodate the standard police duty belt. The seats are also covered in wear-friendly cloth upholstery, and there are anti-stab plates inside the seats to protect against unruly rear-seated passengers. In back, there’s heavy-duty, stain-resistant vinyl for the rear seats and floor, while the console gets a custom plate for easy mounting of whatever gear might be needed. There’s also an auxiliary power distribution box in the trunk.

Optional gear includes a driver’s side spot lamp, ballistic door panels, noise suppression bonds, and a storage vault in the trunk. Several lighting packages are offered as well, with red and blue up top and in the nose.

References

Ford Fusion


2017 Ford Fusion - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

The Ford Fusion has been around for 11 years, having first been introduced in 2006. It’s done well to represent Ford’s foray in the mid-size sedan segment, but with sales of midsize sedans down across the board in 2017, Ford may be thinking of cutting the Fusion completely from its lineup. There’s been no word on the status of the Fusion moving forward, but recent reports have cast serious doubts on the future of the model in the U.S.


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661263
“Sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year”

To be clear, Ford has not stopped selling the Fusion in the U.S. It’s still very much available for those who’d like to spend at least $22,000 on it. But the state of affairs among midsize sedans in the U.S. paints an alarming picture. Simply put, it hasn’t been a good year for the segment as some brands have posted year-over-year sales drops on their respective models. In Ford’s case, sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year. To date, Ford has sold 192,170 units of the Fusion compared to 246,708 units in the first 11 months of 2016.

The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward. Ford confirmed as much when it announced that it’s going to stop building the Fusion in its production facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. A Ford representative quickly added fuel to the fire when he told Automotive News that the company has “no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe.”


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661257
“The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward”

Assuming that’s the case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Ford is going to offer the Fusion if it’s not going to be built in Mexico and it’s not going to be exported in China. The answer is likely that Ford will stop selling the Fusion in the U.S. altogether. New CEO Jim Hackett even alluded to it in a wink-wink manner when he responded to an Automotive News question about the Fusion’s status by simply saying, “I’m giving you a hint.”

Put all these “hints” together, and it does look like we’ve seen the last of the Ford Fusion in our shores for the time being.

References

Ford Fusion


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

The Ford Fusion has been around for 11 years, having first been introduced in 2006. It’s done well to represent Ford’s foray in the mid-size sedan segment, but with sales of midsize sedans down across the board in 2017, Ford may be thinking of cutting the Fusion completely from its lineup. There’s been no word on the status of the Fusion moving forward, but recent reports have cast serious doubts on the future of the model in the U.S.


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661263
“Sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year”

To be clear, Ford has not stopped selling the Fusion in the U.S. It’s still very much available for those who’d like to spend at least $22,000 on it. But the state of affairs among midsize sedans in the U.S. paints an alarming picture. Simply put, it hasn’t been a good year for the segment as some brands have posted year-over-year sales drops on their respective models. In Ford’s case, sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year. To date, Ford has sold 192,170 units of the Fusion compared to 246,708 units in the first 11 months of 2016.

The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward. Ford confirmed as much when it announced that it’s going to stop building the Fusion in its production facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. A Ford representative quickly added fuel to the fire when he told Automotive News that the company has “no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe.”


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661257
“The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward”

Assuming that’s the case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Ford is going to offer the Fusion if it’s not going to be built in Mexico and it’s not going to be exported in China. The answer is likely that Ford will stop selling the Fusion in the U.S. altogether. New CEO Jim Hackett even alluded to it in a wink-wink manner when he responded to an Automotive News question about the Fusion’s status by simply saying, “I’m giving you a hint.”

Put all these “hints” together, and it does look like we’ve seen the last of the Ford Fusion in our shores for the time being.

References

Ford Fusion


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Delivers Hybrid Police Car To The Boys In Blue

Ford just revealed its new Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, framed as an efficient means of transport for “police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other non-pursuit law enforcement personnel.” It’s the first-ever plug-in hybrid police vehicle from the Blue Oval, and it comes with the gear to get the job done without burning too much of the dino juice.


Ford Delivers Hybrid Police Car To The Boys In Blue - image 746649
“The hybrid comes equipped with a plug-in 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, enabling a battery-only mode that’ll go 21 miles per charge on electron power alone”

Of course, Ford provides all kinds of models for use by government and law enforcement personnel, but as Ford police brand marketing manager Stephen Tyler points out, “This is the first Ford police vehicle that can potentially get through an entire shift using no gasoline whatsoever.”

Based on the Ford Fusion Energi four-door, the hybrid comes equipped with a plug-in 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, enabling a battery-only mode that’ll go 21 miles per charge on electron power alone. Top speed using just the batteries clocks in at 85 mph. Kick over the ICE, and the hybrid will offer over 500 miles of range. Keeping the pack topped off is a 3.3-kW charger, which manages a full charge in two-and-a-half hours when plugged into a 240-volt source, or 7 hours from a standard 120-volt source.

“The interior gets heavy-duty cloth and smaller side bolsters for rugged utility and increased comfort, respectively”

So then – what makes this thing uniquely equipped for police duty? For starters, the interior gets heavy-duty cloth and smaller side bolsters for rugged utility and increased comfort, respectively. The seats also include rear “anti-stab” plates for added security, plus an equipment-friendly reinforced top tray, a metal console mounting plate, red and white overhead lighting, an engine idle feature, unique wheels made from alloy, and an auxiliary power outlet in the trunk

Options include a driver spot lamp, a trunk storage vault, a trunk ventilation system, disabled rear-door controls feature, and a “dark-car” feature that kills all interior lighting for surveillance purposes. And of course, you can’t forget the requisite exterior emergency police lighting as well.

Order books open next month, with sales commencing next summer.

References

Ford Fusion


2017 Ford Fusion - image 710818

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi.

6sp701264.Ford $13.64 Billion

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Does Ford have a Side Hustle? $1 Million in Pot Found Inside New Ford Fusions

Imagine this: It’s Monday morning, and you just got to work at your local Ford dealer. A new shipment of Ford Fusions just got dropped off, so it’s on you to go out and inspect each one to make sure they are as they should be. The first few check out fine, then you go to check the spare tire of one and see that it’s wrapped up in trash bags and duct tape… “What the hell is that,” you think to yourself as you begin to remove the trash bag. It’s at this moment that you realize you’re not looking at a spare tire at all, but instead, a spare-tired sized, 30-pound brick of the finest Mexican swag. Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn’t it? Well, it should, but that exact thing recently happened at a Ford dealership in Warren Ohio. And, that wasn’t the only car found to contain large amounts of brick weed. So far, Authorities have found a total of 15 Ford Fusions packed with the stuff in Ohio and Pennsylvania, to the tune of about 480 pounds.

We’ve seen manufacturers do some pretty interesting things to entice buyers, but free pot? That has to be a first. So far, what’s actually happening is still a pretty big mystery. All 15 cars that were found to be laced with Mexico’s finest were all manufactured at the Sonora plant in Mexico and came across the border in the same rail car, passing through Arizona on their way to Ohio. Authorities have yet to determine where the pot was infused into the shipping chain, but they do know that someone dropped the ball on the receiving end and is now out a cool million in product – ouch. Ford and CSX have both gone on record saying they’ll support the investigation. Ford said it has already “confirmed” that the smuggling ring didn’t originate in its facilities, but that’s a lot of pot, and it certainly had to come from somewhere.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Fusion Sport Ballistic Concept by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America

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.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Fusion Autonomous Research Vehicles Start Testing At Night

If you’ve ever been broken down in the desert late at night without the luxury of supplemental lighting, you know that it doesn’t get any darker. You could even say night time in the desert is something that nightmares are made of. But, if you’re a self-driving Fusion Hybrid with autonomous capabilities, that darkness doesn’t matter.

See, instead of relying on cameras to detect the car’s position, Ford’s Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicles use the combination of high-resolution 3D maps, LiDAR, and radar to determine exactly where it is at. The beauty of this system is that it doesn’t need light to accurately pinpoint exactly where the vehicle is at, and that has now been proven as one of Ford’s Fusion Hybrid research vehicles has successfully navigated desert roads under the cover of complete darkness.

Jim McBride, Ford’s technical leader for autonomous vehicles, said, “Thanks to LiDAR, the test cars aren’t reliant on the sun shining, nor cameras detecting painted white lines on the asphalt. In fact, LiDAR allows autonomous cars to drive just as well in the dark as they do in the light of day.” For those of you who don’t know, the LiDAR system actually pulses a laser grid 2.8 million times per second, just to scan the surrounding environment. When the information is combined with information from the radar system and the high-resolution maps, the on-board computer knows the car’s precise location.

This most recent nighttime testing session took place at the Ford Arizona Proving Ground with Ford engineers strapped in for the ride. With night-vision goggles, the engineers monitored the self-driving Fusion, but did not have to intervene during the testing procedure. Wayne Williams, a research scientist and engineer for Ford, said, “Inside the car, I could feel it moving, but when I looked out the window, I only saw darkness. As I rode in the back seat, I was following the car’s progression in real time using computer monitoring. Sure enough, it stayed precisely on track along those winding roads.”

So, as it turns out, autonomous cars like Ford’s Fusion Hybrid research vehicles don’t need the light to see where they are going. This experiment does demonstrate how far autonomous technology has advanced, but I doubt we’ll be seeing any light-less cars, autonomous or not, anytime in the future.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Conducts First Ever Snow Tests Of Autonomous Vehicles

As automakers all over the world continue to race towards autonomous driving technology, one company has beaten all others in testing driverless cars in snowy conditions. Not that it’s an achievement of some sort, but Ford has done it, becoming the first automaker to do so since Google, another company that’s already testing autonomous vehicles in the snow, isn’t technically an automaker…yet.

In any event, Ford said that it’s been running sensor tests for more than a year now and these tests have led to prototypes of its driverless cars to drive by themselves in a controlled, snowy environment. So how exactly was Ford able to become the first automaker to do this? According to the company, it recalibrated an existing technology among driverless cars. The technology is called Light Detection and Ranging sensors, or LIDAR for short. These sensors are installed in a handful of sections in the body of the car to help build a detailed view of the environment around the car. They function just like radar in their ability to rapidly fire laser lights away from the car and measure how much light is reflected back. But, since these sensors don’t work well in snowy conditions, Ford reprogrammed the sensors to instead detect landmarks that are above the ground, including road signs, traffic lights, and even buildings. Once these landmarks are detected, the car is able to compare this info to a high-resolution map of the road that it already has stored in its computer, allowing the car to navigate the road by itself even during times when road visibility are at its worst.

You could say that it’s an achievement by Ford, and in some ways, it is. But, autonomous driving cars being able to navigate around snowy conditions is just another piece to this entire puzzle that Ford and a lot of other automakers are racing to finish first. It’s nice to see that the Blue Oval is putting in the work to ensure that it crosses that line first.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon 2016 NAIAS: Ford Fusion V6 Sport

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-1

At the 2016 Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) Ford unveiled a trio of new Fusion models, including a range-topping, nicely-specced Ford Fusion V6 Sport. The car is an all-wheel-drive sports sedan with some seriously high-end features.

On the performance front, the new Ford Fusion V6 Sport comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. But since power is nothing without control, it also gets continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning based on setup and road inputs. On top of all that, the car also comes with unique styling inside and out, with highlights such as deeper air intakes and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust outlets.

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-2

As for the other two new Fusion models, we have the hybrid version with a 2.0 liter gasoline engine and 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only and 500 miles in total, and we have the Fusion Platinum which is luxury model with features such as antiqued Cocoa leather, hand-wrapped steering wheel in premium Venetian leather, unique grille finished in Magnetic paint and 19-inch polished wheels. The new Fusion family will hit the showrooms in Summer 2016.

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-3

The post 2016 NAIAS: Ford Fusion V6 Sport appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2016 NAIAS: Ford Fusion V6 Sport

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-1

At the 2016 Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) Ford unveiled a trio of new Fusion models, including a range-topping, nicely-specced Ford Fusion V6 Sport. The car is an all-wheel-drive sports sedan with some seriously high-end features.

On the performance front, the new Ford Fusion V6 Sport comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. But since power is nothing without control, it also gets continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning based on setup and road inputs. On top of all that, the car also comes with unique styling inside and out, with highlights such as deeper air intakes and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust outlets.

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-2

As for the other two new Fusion models, we have the hybrid version with a 2.0 liter gasoline engine and 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only and 500 miles in total, and we have the Fusion Platinum which is luxury model with features such as antiqued Cocoa leather, hand-wrapped steering wheel in premium Venetian leather, unique grille finished in Magnetic paint and 19-inch polished wheels. The new Fusion family will hit the showrooms in Summer 2016.

Ford Fusion V6 Sport-3

The post 2016 NAIAS: Ford Fusion V6 Sport appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Fusion

Ford’s Fusion steps up its technology game for 2017. Inheriting the mainstream family-sedan mantle from the Taurus was no laughing matter for the Fusion, and when it debuted in 2006 it made its mark with impressive driving dynamics and a fresh new look for Ford. For 2017, the freshened second-generation Fusion retains its sport-sedan leanings while broadening the lineup and introducing features more common to luxury cars than family sedans.

It may not look like it at a glance, but there’s a lot going on with Ford’s bread-and-butter sedan. With three very distinct models, the Fusion seems to be heading down the same path that Ford’s endlessly-configurable F-Series has followed. The Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid offer maximum efficiency without sacrificing comfort or performance; the new Fusion Platinum has all of the high-tech toys including the new Ford SYNC3 system, advanced self-parking features, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control with full stop and go capabilities. The stop-and-go system can take over throttle and brake functions during heavy traffic, keeping the driver from stressing out during rush hour congestion. To keep a foot in the performance game, the Fusion V6 Sport features a twin-turbo V6 that nudges BMW levels of performance.

Updated 06/10/2016: Ford announced prices for the 2017 Fusion. Check the “Prices” section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Fusion.


PostHeaderIcon Video: Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR

The best commercial in this year’s Super Bowl won’t even take place during the game, but don’t worry, it will most certainly have cars. NBC Sports has released its advertisement ushering in the 2015 NASCAR season, and it does so with the unwavering Americanism of Nick Offerman – meat connoisseur, wood craftsman extraordinaire and Ron Swanson.

In “America, It’s Time For A Gut Check,” Offerman brings his usual comedy and machismo with one-liners like “Sure everybody at NASCAR gets a trophy/As long as they win the f***ing race” and “Where men and women compete together/Just like they did back in the 18-nevers.” AdWeek says that a 60-second version of the commercial will air immediately after the game, but you can see the full-length version right now. Trust me, it will be the best two minutes you’ll spend today, and you don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to get a kick out of it.

The true point of the ad, of course, is as a promotion for NBC Sports, which picks up coverage of the 2015 season starting on July 5.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Video: Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR originally appeared on topspeed.com on Saturday, 31 January 2015 18:00 EST.

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