Fusion, the latest in Ford's new generation of small cars, offers a unique combination of tough sports-utility styling, flexible hatchback versatility and compact urban agility.
Based on the acclaimed new Fiesta, the bold looking Fusion is aimed squarely at modern urban families. These families require a car that gives them greater confidence whilst driving in town, has a practical interior package but is still small enough to move easily through city traffic.
"Our philosophy was to create a design for a new compact vehicle – with a small-car footprint – but taller and tougher then traditional small cars," explains Peter Fleet, marketing director, Ford Motor Company Limited. "These features coupled with Fusion's practical interior, make it ideal for the cut-and-thrust of modern urban life."
From the driver's seat the corners of the Fusion's prominent nose can be easily seen making it easy to thread through traffic and into tight parking spaces. Driver confidence is enhanced by deep windows and expansive front and rear windscreens which offer exceptional visibility.
The Fusion's muscular stance lends it an impervious air of urban robustness. The raised body height and wheel design are optimised for tackling everyday obstacles like speed humps and kerbs, while Fusion's chunky body-coloured bumpers and large headlight units imbue the small car with a large car sense of authority.
The rear seats have a simple 60-40 split-and-fold facility to swallow bulky objects – with the rear bench stowed flat and the back of the front passenger seat folded down, the Fusion can easily accommodate items up to 2.3m in length.
Easy access is facilitated by wide-opening doors and a high seating position – passengers step across rather than climb down into the cabin. And luggage gets preferential treatment too - the deep, wide boot has a low load lip to ease the loading and removal of heavy cumbersome objects.
Fusion's safety cell also contains crumple zones to absorb the impact of a crash as well a decoupling brake pedal to lower the potential risk of driver lower leg injuries. Other safety features include three-point seatbelts for all five passengers and the option of up to four further side and curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes.
The 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi – developed in conjunction with PSA Peugeot Citroen – produces 65bhp and a healthy 118lb ft or twist action. That is enough to propel the TDCi to 60mph in 15.5sec and onto a 98mph top speed. On the combined cycle the TDCi can travel 64.2miles on a gallon of fuel – enough for a potential 634mile range between fill ups. CO2 emission levels are similarly impressive at 116g/km.
The 1.4-litre Duratec petrol engine develops 79bhp and 91lb ft torque. The double-overhead cam unit returns 43.5mpg on the combined cycle – giving it a 429 mile range - and CO2 emission levels are a low 154g/km. The 1.4 Fusion sprints to 60mph in 13.7sec and onto a maximum speed of 101mph.
The range is topped by a 1.6-litre Duratec engine that generates 98bhp and 107lb ft or torque, enough to accelerate the Fusion to 60mph in a 10.9sec and give it a top speed of 111mph. Despite this sprightly performance the bigger engine is rated at an economical 42.8mpg on the combined cycle – which equates to a 422 mile range - and a low CO2 emissions level of 157g/km.
Fusion's bespoke MacPherson strut front suspension, mounted on a rigid, isolated subframe, has been tuned for a compliant city-friendly ride, as has the robust rear twist beam layout. Combined this with Fusion's sporty chassis and the result is a car that feels taut and agile while still possessing a cosseting ride quality.
Similarly, the power-assisted rack and pinion steering has been calibrated for prompt and accurate responses, the Fusion boast one of the smallest turning cirles in its class at 9.9metres. The front ventilated disk and rear drum brake set-up provides effortless braking performance.
Market and Value:
With a high level of standard equipment – twin dual stage airbags, central locking, power steering, radio and tape player, leather steering wheel, body-coloured bumpers – unique styling and a £9,995 entry price, the Fusion offers an unbeatable combination of style and value.
With no direct rivals the Fusion carves a unique market sector, allowing it to tap into a wide audience. The Fusion blend of peerless road presence, high level of passenger and load-carrying flexibility, strong safety, engaging driving dynamics and exceptional value for money will appeal to a wide urban audience that demands both style and functionality.
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