2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport
Ford injects the Fusion with a serious dose of Vitamin HP
Economies of scale is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
A curious way to begin a review, but bear with us. Economies of scale is defined as the cost advantages that companies enjoy due to size, output, or scale of operation, with cost per unit of output generally decreasing with increasing scale as fixed costs are spread out over more units of output. In the Fusion’s case, that mouthful simply means that it will get a really powerful engine from the F-150 and Edge SUV which makes Ford’s investment in its development make more sense to the bean counters. That engine is the twice turbocharged 2.7 litre V6, complete with direct injection and an ultra-tough compacted graphite iron engine clock, something you’d normally associate with racing applications.
OK then- let’s have the numbers.
Under the hood of the Fusion, the 2.7 V6 makes 325 horsepower and a truculent 380 lbs/ft. of torque. That kind of output would be impressive no matter the context, but in the family sedan space it easily vaults the Fusion to the top of the heap. To put into perspective how much muscle it’s got, consider that the next most powerful competitor is the VW Passat with its 3.6 litre V6 which manages to spit out 280 horses- the Honda Accord V6 makes a hair less at 278. The torque figure of 380 simply pulverizes anything else in the class- nothing comes close. With that much snort at your right foot’s disposal, vaporized front tires would be a stab of the throttle away. To make the husky output of the 2.7 accessible, Ford fitted the Fusion Sport with all-wheel drive to get it all that power to the ground. There’s even a neat little display you can select that shows you in real time where the power is being shuffled to.
The Fusion Sport is winning the horsepower race pretty handily.
Not only is the Fusion Sport the first mainstream family sedan to crack the 300 horsepower barrier, but it looks like it’ll hold the distinction of the segment’s Grand Poobah for the foreseeable future. While other manufacturers are making plans to discontinue their six cylinder offerings for the next generation of their models, Ford is marching in the other direction by offering such a powerhouse of an engine. Boosted four cylinder engines make big power for their size, but it will be difficult for them to match the brawn of the 2.7.
Any other tricks up the Fusion’s sleeve?
Other than the burly engine, the Fusion Sport’s other party trick is called Continuously Controlled Damping with pothole detection. Cribbed from the Lincoln folks down the hall, this electronically controlled suspension system reads the road you’re driving on and makes adjustments every two milliseconds, which is fast. Without geeking out and diving into an overtly technical explanation on how these work, put it this way: the suspension reacts to give you the best body control and comfort in any situation. Select Sport mode, and these dampers tense up accordingly but do not in any way hurt the ride at all- in fact, they make it more supple no matter what deriving mode you’ve selected. They also offer pothole detection, which does exactly as the name implies. Admittedly, we were skeptical about this and were ready to dismiss it as a gimmick. Yet driving down familiar stretches of scabrous pavement, it just…worked. We’d love to see this bit of kit trickle down to other Ford models in the future.
What other goodies does Ford kick in?
There’s a few more niceties that come with the Fusion Sport that are worth noting. Inside, you’re treated to an interior finished in Dark Earth Miko Suede and Leather seating surfaces which are comfortable but grippy enough to hold you in place when you show the Fusion some corners (a little more side bolstering would be welcome, however.) A good amount of room in the console area results from Ford switching from a traditional gear level to a rotary knob- we just wish that you’d get the gear you asked for in a timelier fashion when performing 3-point turns in haste. A full suite of driver aids is at your disposal, but we most appreciated the Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go- this is only a couple of notches below autonomous driving (you still must keep your hands on the wheel at all times) and worked commendably well in a traffic jam we found ourselves in. On the outside, the Fusion Sport features full LED lighting which pierces the darkness with authority and looks pretty cool as well. Upping the attitude factor slightly is a black mesh grille up front with quad exhaust tips in the back.
Now that Ford has opened the horsepower floodgates, can we expect an ST or even an RS version?
There’s been no mention of any such performance model from the Blue Oval as of yet, but with the Fusion Sport appearing to scratch the surface of what’s possible from this platform, we remain cautiously optimistic. Just as is the case with the Focus, whenever we get behind the wheel of one we always remark on how good the chassis is inherently and that it would be a fine candidate for more power and other go fast bits: enter the Ford Focus RS which we had the pleasure of testing recently and are still swooning over that one. It’s a similar situation with the Fusion- even the most basic versions are good to drive and feel like there’s a good dose of athleticism waiting to be exploited. While the thought of a Fusion with Drift Mode is a tantalizing prospect, it’s clear that this model lineup is more than adept at upping the ante where horsepower and handling are concerned. We’re issuing a call to action for all enthusiasts intrigued by this possibly as much as we are: please remind Ford that there’s a whole bunch of stuff from their own performance parts bin that is already paid for and lying around. See what we mean about the beauty of economies of scale?
2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport- Specifications
- Price as tested: $44,488
- Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger sedan
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/all-wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Engine: 2.7 litre twin-turbo V6, DOHC, 24 valves
- Horsepower: 325 @ 5,500 rpm
- Torque (lbs-ft.): 380 @ 3,500 rpm
- Curb weight: 1,558 kg (3,435 lbs)
- Observed Fuel Consumption: 11/100km (21 mpg)