Ford Unveils Fusion Plus | Part Four

Ford Fusion Plus

 

Fusion Plus: Exterior Enhancements

“Fusion Plus evolves the original Fusion idea significantly,” said Chris Bird, Director of Design Ford of Europe. “Its exterior has been enhanced by all-around body kit and larger wheels to give the vehicle a greater road presence.”

A clear, distinctive two box exterior design sets Fusion Plus apart from other tall, high package cars, in order to give the driver a clear view of all four corners of the car. The bonnet has been profiled to allow drivers – even those of small stature –to see a minimum of 50 per cent of its surface area, maximising Fusion Plus’s superior driving and parking manoeuvrability in tight city traffic.

The front bumper includes Ford's signature trapezoidal lower grille. Its unique upper grille has a unique light metallic grey centre section and satin aluminium surround, and its bodyside mouldings, bumper inserts and tailgate handle are all body-coloured. These design features make Fusion Plus more imposing visually.

The rear end design of Fusion Plus features the distinctive maximum depth tailgate of the standard Fusion. This large rear door is designed to give an exceptionally low luggage liftover height from outside the car of 534 mm, as well as almost zero liftover when removing luggage from the boot.

An all-round, self-colour body kit has been added, which contributes to the vehicle’s purposeful stance. The body kit gives the new Fusion Plus a more planted appearance and adds a dynamic and sporty touch to the exterior.

Dark-tinted privacy glass is featured from the B-pillar rearwards, allowing rear-seat passengers optimal viewing of their entertainment screen.

Another element differentiating Fusion Plus is its unique set of 16-inch alloy wheels. Mounted with 55 series tyres, these larger wheels give the car an athletic stance. Fusion Plus will be available in eight body colours.

Powertrain Choice And Drivability

Fusion Plus will be launched with a strong line-up of contemporary and powerful engines that provide lower emissions, refinement and good real-world fuel economy.

The 1.4-litre 68 PS Duratorq TDCi, a new-generation common-rail diesel engine, delivers robust low-end torque for responsive acceleration, especially important in urban driving conditions, along with the drivability and refinement of a modern petrol engine. Fuel consumption for the Fusion Plus TDCi is targeted, in litres per 100 kilometres, at 5.2 urban (54.3 mpg), 3.9 extra urban (72.4 mpg) and 4.4 combined (64.2 mpg). Emissions of CO2 are targeted at 116 grams per kilometre.

Fusion Plus is also available with two Duratec 16V petrol engines, a powerful 1.6-litre 100 PS unit and a frugal, responsive 1.4-litre 80 PS variant. Both engines feature advanced combustion technology, low weight, low internal friction and new levels of refinement.

The top-of-the-range 100 PS Duratec 16V has been designed to be fun to drive and economical at the fuel station. In litres per 100 kilometres, the 1.6-litre variant is targeted at 9.0 urban (31.4 mpg), 5.3 extra urban (53.3 mpg) and 6.6 combined (42.8 mpg). Emissions of CO2 are targeted at 157 grams per kilometre.

The smaller-displacement, 80 PS Duratec 16V offers good performance and fuel economy, combined with robust low-end torque especially suited to city driving. In litres per 100 kilometres, the 1.4-litre Duratec is targeted at 8.5 urban (33.2 mpg), 5.3 extra urban (53.3 mpg) and 6.5 combined (43.5 mpg). Emissions of CO2 are targeted at 154 grams per kilometre.

Further enhancing the refinement and drivability of Fusion Plus is Ford’s five-speed advanced manual transmission, Durashift EST (Electronic Shift Technology), which is available as an option on models equipped with either the Duratec 16V 1.4-litre petrol engine or the 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engine.

An electro-mechanical adaptation of the Ford iB5 manual transmission, it offers considerable benefits over traditional automatic transmissions currently on the market. Consisting of two modes – “Auto Shift Mode” (ASM) and “Select Shift Mode” (SSM) – Durashift EST offers Fusion Plus drivers the benefits of both automatic and manual drive in one system, with a new-style gear lever control that does away with the need for a clutch pedal.

The system includes built-in protection modes like clutch overheat protection and creep prevention to help increase transmission durability and drivability. There are unique operational modes as well. These include downhill and uphill detection, which provide optimal shift sequences on a gradient, fast-off detection for smooth acceleration in uncertain situations, and a sophisticated curve detection mode which makes sure the vehicle follows as closely as possible the driver’s intentions while curving. Durashift EST enhances the driving quality of the new Fusion Plus by providing a exceptionally easy-to-use manual transmission with the comfort of an optional automatic mode, without sacrificing performance feel or fuel economy.

continues... | Part Five
Published 23 February 2003 Melanie Carter
 

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