Fans of Ford's Fusion cars are in for a treat as the American automaker unveiled two new models for the 2017 version of the midsize vehicle.
The latest additions to the lineup feature all new engines and top trim levels but they still have the same winning design that made the Ford Fusion a popular choice for customers.
Wade Jackson, brand manager for the Fusion line of cars, said Ford has made significant gains in sales since introducing the current upscale design for the 2013 model year. This has allowed the carmaker to steadily catch up to the sales lead of its top competitors such as the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.
In 2015, Ford was able to sell 300,170 Fusions in the United States, which is a 2 percent dip from 2014 sales. Toyota, on the other hand, sold close to 430,000 Camrys, while Honda sold 356,000 Accords, despite recording an 8 percent dip of its own.
Aside from making upgrades to the Fusion, Ford has also given the high-volume Escape crossover a makeover for the upcoming 2017 model year.
Ford said that the Fusion will now feature Sport and Platinum trim levels in addition to the S, SE and top-end Titanium trims that are already offered. The midsize car also has a hybrid and the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid versions available to customers.
The only thing missing is an ST version of Fusion as the car's design currently does not have contain performance elements that would allow it to gain such a distinction, according to Fusion chief engineer Bill Strickland.
Customers can purchase the new Fusion model in the summer starting at $22,995 including destination charges worth $875. The Sport version, which will be available later in the summer, starts at $34,350, while the Platinum version starts at $37,495.
Ford expects that the Sport and Platinum trims will account for about 8 to 10 percent of the total Fusion sales in the United States.
The carmaker's assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan will no longer handle the manufacture of Fusion cars after the 2016 model year as it shifts production for the new Lincoln Continental. Beginning with the 2017 model, Fusions will be built at Ford's facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. The shift in production is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.
Fusion V6 Sport
In line with the Fusion's reputation as a high-performance sedan, the V6 Sport version of the car has been fitted with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine capable of delivering up to 325 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
The all-wheel-drive Fusion Sport model can yield up to 100 pound-feet of added torque and close to 50 more horsepower compared to Honda Accord and Toyota Camry's 3.5-liter V6 engines.
While the V6 Sport version of the Ford Fusion is geared toward car owners that have a need for speed, the Platinum model is made for those that prefer a more refined and classier look for their sedan.
The Platinum trim Ford Fusion is fitted with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and an all-wheel-drive functionality for smooth driving.
The car's interior features door trim and instrument panels covered in antiqued Cocoa leather, while the steering wheel is hand-wrapped in high-quality Venetian leather.
Ford Fusion Platinum also comes with a unique grille in a Magnetic paint finish and 19-inch polished wheels, both of which enhance the upscale look and high-performance appeal of this midsize sedan.