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Ford Preparing Six Fusion Concepts for SEMA

Source: Ford Motor Company | Published: Mon Oct 24, 2005

Ford steps up its aggressive reentry into the mid-size sedan market at the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show with the debut of six new 2006 Ford Fusions tuned by aftermarket design and performance shops. The cars showcase customizing possibilities for Fusion just as Ford is ramping up the launch of its hot new sedan.

“The 2006 Ford Fusion stands out from other midsize sedans with its bold design cues, stance and strong sense of direction, and with the addition of some aftermarket ‘tuning,’ you have a recipe for one hot sports sedan,” says Melvin Betancourt, Design Manager, Ford Vehicle Personalization.

“Driving a Fusion is about breaking free from convention to enjoy life with style and attitude. That’s why we’re launching the car with the marketing theme, ‘Life in Drive,’ and why we developed these cars for SEMA” adds Jyarland Daniels Jones, Fusion brand manager. “No one lives ‘Life in Drive’ more literally than customers who tune and customize their vehicles.”

The six firms selected to build Fusions for the SEMA show include:

Fusion’s bold design was inspired by the Ford 427 concept car that was first shown to media at the SEMA Show in 2002. Fusion takes several design cues from the 427, especially its chromed three-bar grille and multi-element projector-beam headlamps. The concept car also inspired Fusion's optional charcoal-black leather trimmed interior with contrasting-color seat stitching.

“Many of the Fusion’s design cues, including the bold use of chrome, the projector-beam headlamps and clear lens tail lamps, were first showcased on SEMA project vehicles,” says Betancourt. “The reason Ford Design supports SEMA projects and travels to the show are to identify future design trends and take a look at what SEMA member companies can do to further enhance our products and gain consumer attention.”

Design direction on several of the Fusion SEMA project vehicles heads toward playing up the sport sedan look and feel of the car. Designers from 3d Carbon and Street Scene Equipment are aiming to convey a European high-performance sport sedan look, with concentration on applying a road-hugging stance and keeping the clean lines of the original design.

For the performance market, Fusion offers a great platform for modification in both powertrain and chassis. Both FocusSport and Draxas are enhancing the 2.3L Duratec 4-cylinder engine with turbochargers, leveraging their prior experience with the Focus and satisfying sport compact performance enthusiasts. HPA Motorsports and H&R Springs both have 221-horsepower 3.0-liter Duratec V-6-powered Fusions and are concentrating on enhancing the driving dynamics of the car through suspension upgrades, in addition to applying a unique look.

“Fusion will fill a gap in Ford’s line-up for that younger customer looking for a vehicle that expresses their own personality and achievements,” continues Jones. “Our work with these SEMA members showcases the appeal of Fusion for all types of customers, whether looking for expressive style, or for a sport compact performance enthusiast moving up from a Focus.”

Fusion which has been arriving at Ford dealerships nationwide all month, has a base price $17,795 (MSRP). Fusion’s three trim levels, three powertrain choices, three wheel and tire packages and four distinct audio systems – including a host of other available features and options – allow for owners to customize the vehicle to their personal tastes. In particular, Ford made sure that customers could specify both the 160 horsepower I-4 and the 221 horsepower V-6 versions of the car with the same slate of available options – realizing that engine choice should not dictate how richly optioned a car can be.

“People are surprised to learn that Fusion is a Ford. But they’ll get over their shock soon enough and start planning how to personalize their rides,” says Jones. “Sport compacts and SUVs have been the trend in customization lately, but I think it’s about time for all that to change. Just as Fusion is a game changer in the mid-size sedan segment, I think these SEMA Fusions will spark interest in a new trend.”

After the SEMA Show, some of the tuner Fusions will travel the country to major auto shows, including the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January.

Six New 2006 Ford Fusions Tuned by Aftermarket Shops Photo Gallery
2006 Ford Fusion V6
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