Predicting the 2009 Fusion

Ford readies a breakthrough sedan

By Igor Holas


When Nissan released their 2001 Altima, it took the market by storm. An even bigger storm ensued when the new 2007 Altima was released. Ford hoped the 2006 Fusion would do the same, but after that did not perform to expectations, Ford is stepping up the effort with a redesigned 2009 Fusion that will go on sale early next year. And let me tell you: Ford is aiming high; very high.

Let’s start with the basics – the Fusion was released in 2005 as a 2006 model and has been largely positively received by the press. The sales, however, have not been satisfactory with most months clocking in at a mere twelve to fifteen thousand units sold; while at the same time the Toyota Camry sells most than twice as many units. The core criticisms of the Fusion circled around mediocre engines and interiors – the engines were on par at release, but were quickly outclassed with the 2007 Toyota Camry and 2007 Nissan Altima, and later releases offered more power and better fuel economy. The interior, while handsome to look at, and made of good materials, looks cheap in the base models, and was not always put together properly. Ford is addressing both of these issues, and adding a new exterior and a set of powertrains that will surely surprise many.

On the surface, the 2009 Fusion will sport a new look with a more aggressive front fascia. The three bar grille will be more pronounced and the headlamps will look a little more dynamic. Also new, the headlights will sport projectors – a new trend in the class providing more sophisticated looks and better lighting of the road. The tail end will also sport a new look eliminating the chromed lamps and the blocky design for a more fluid, interesting look. By the way, the picture above is not speculation, but an official sketch leaked from inside Ford a couple months back.

On the inside the Fusion will have an all new interior, eschewing the “brick” stereo and other switchgear vices of current Fords. Instead, the 2009 Fusion will sport an elegant center console with “poke through” switchgear showcased by recent Fords such as the 2008 Focus or 2009 Flex. Overall, the materials, craftsmanship and amenities will all be upgraded, especially in the base models. Of course, the Sync wireless will be added and most likely so will the new generation of Navigation system showcased by the Ford Flex. Additionally, with chassis and suspension tuning and better sound isolation, the new Fusion will be much quieter and more composed in all sorts of driving situations.

Finally, under the hood, Ford will offer five all-new powertrains; two of which are quite exotic. On the bottom, the new Fusion will sport an all new 2.5 liter four-cylinder that will improve power and mileage over the current four-cylinder engine. The second engine will be the much coveted and much-clamored-for 3.5l V6 used in the Taurus and Edge – this engine is both more powerful and more economical than the current V6 offered in the Fusion. The third system offered will be a standard parallel full hybrid with a continuously variable transmission. This will be a brand new system dubbed “Gen II” – which is modeled after the Escape hybrid, but offers more US-sourced technology, better packaging flexibility, and better fuel efficiency. This system will debut with the Fusion and then spread across Ford’s lineup in the US and abroad.

The final two engines are the reason for excitement, however. Ford will offer two Twin Force engines, positioned as alternatives to both the four and the six cylinder engines while delivering excellent mileage. The smaller of the duo will deliver between 170-200 horsepower, and in preliminary testing, is approaching a fuel efficiency rating of 30 miles-per-gallon in the city and 40 miles-per-gallon on the highway. And while the final rating will likely be a bit shy of the nice numbers above, the Fusion with this engine will still deliver mileage in the compact-car territory. The displacement of this smaller Twin Force engine has not been revealed yet, but most likely will be a 1.6 or 1.8 liter. The larger of the Twin Force duo will be a version of the 2.5l four cylinder delivering over 260hp, and over 30 miles per gallon highway.

This far ahead of the November release at the Los Angeles Auto Show, plenty of information about the 2009 Fusion is still unknown or only speculated. However the information known points to a new more modern and sophisticated exterior look, a new better appointed interior and an excellent lineup of engines. And in light of this information, the new Fusion sure looks promising; hopefully consumers will notice this time.

COPYRIGHT – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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  1. Based on the two sketches above, I applaud the way the front end design has been taken further, building upon the decent looks of the 06 Fusion headlights. In back, however, I like the aluminium-looking plate on the center of the trunk lid but wish they went stronger on the taillights. The 06’s tail and reverse lamps could have been stretched a bit, in a way that could relate more to the front lamps.

  2. If Ford can really pull off the HP and MPG numbers being rumored, it will be a long-needed coup. I own a Ford Contour and have been pretty satisfied with it and have thought about trading it in, but when I look at the current Ford line up nothing really catches my eye. I was really disappointed in the Escape redesign, which somehow neglected to update the tired powertrain. And the current Fusion/Milan is not a big enough step forward to convince me to plunk down $20,000+ when I can still get from point A to point B just fine in my Contour. Significant improvements to the interior/exterior, power, and fuel economy are exactly what would convince me to buy one, and I’m sure there are others that feel the same way.

  3. I like the looks of the revised front end, but the rear end reminds me too much of a Buick LaCrosse.

    I agree with Anonymous above that pulling off those HP and MPG numbers would be quite the coup. Power AND mileage = nice!

  4. It seems a bit generic to me, but it’s hard to say with just that corner shot.

  5. Old news.
    The 2010 Ford Fusion will be the next generation Fusion. 1 month after the 2009 renders went public, Ford announced that its going ahead with the “FordOne” globalization plan. Thats why the Mazda6 went from being a 2008 Next gen, to a 2009, because FoMoCo is switching to the EUCD for both Fusion and 6, and dropping the CD338.
    But some of this information is still accurate, the renders are no longer going to resemble the final product.

  6. I think its a big big big big mistake mistake mistake mistake to get rod of the stacked headlights! I for one will not purchase a Ford were the front end looks like a 2008 Honda Accord or a 2007 Toyota Camary. Seems to me Ford is just copying styleing from several different Japanese cars. Why cant Ford come up with something different and all its own. Why cant Ford put TAIL FINS on all Fords including the F150! I would also place the 5.4L V8 from Mustang Cobra KR concept into the Fusion. Can you image a 500hp Fusion?

  7. I’s assuming the Mazda twin gets the same changes or is that assumption incorrect? Will there be more differences between the future platform-sharing cars then there are now?

  8. What the heck are you talking about,saying that “Ford hoped the 2006 Fusion would do the same, but after that did not perform to expectations”? According to this article:“The Fusion has set a new-car sales record in each of the last 6 months and has exceeded Ford’s expectations,” said George Pipas, Ford Motor Co. manager, sales analysis. “We projected we would sell 130,000 and we actually sold 142, 500 in its first year of sales.” Please check your facts before posting.

  9. “What the heck are you talking about,saying that “Ford hoped the 2006 Fusion would do the same, but after that did not perform to expectations”? According to this article:”The Fusion has set a new-car sales record in each of the last 6 months and has exceeded Ford’s expectations,” said George Pipas, Ford Motor Co. manager, sales analysis. “We projected we would sell 130,000 and we actually sold 142, 500 in its first year of sales.” Please check your facts before posting.”

    I think you interpreted the author’s statement incorrectly when he said “Ford hoped the 2006 Fusion would do the same”. I’m pretty sure he meant Ford hoped it would match the Altima’s numbers, which, of course, it didn’t do, since the Altima sold 232,457 copies in 2006. So, while it may have met Ford’s internal expectations, it didn’t even come close to matching the Nissan Altima (and of course was even further away from the Camry, the class sales leader at 448,445 cars sold in 2006) in terms of sales. Fusion sales were respectable at 142,502 in 2006, but they were nowhere near the volume needed to qualify it as a huge hit in the market. Which is what Ford was hoping for.

    You should read the text more carefully, and then check your facts before posting comments.

  10. you go red-eye that’s some ownage imo

  11. I would love to see a version of the Fusion with a clean diesel in it. Just referencing similar-sized cars in Europe, I think you could probably coax 40 mpg out of it.

  12. Forget that pesky internal combustion engine, go electric, brother. Now that would be a great engine to offer.

  13. Not really ownage. Ford’s Hermisillo plant doesn’t have the capacity to build in the volumes that the Camry is sold in. Ford’s new strategy is not market share. I’m not sure why people can’t figure that out. Ford’s new strategy is profit. Toyota can keep stealing market share and see how much fun it is to try to manage a company that huge.

  14. Personally, I’m confident the fusion already has the style and appearance advantage over 80%of cars made today. I agree with UAW…..please don’t “toyotize” the front headlamps, that’s classic ford design, same for the rear. If ford only refreshed the interior a bit(’92 LTD style steering wheel) and give it a dose of sleek sports car feel, along with the Dura35, it would blow the imports away, I can only imagine how many it would leave in it’s wake if it had a twinforce…..however, I doubt the fusion will ever get 40mpg. 36 MIGHT be plausible with some radical efficiency design, but not 40. And if it ever does, I’ll bow down to it lol.

  15. Isn’t there a completely different Fusion sold in Europe, a much smaller car that is NOT based on the Mazda6 platform? I’m confused, are we getting that car now in 2009?

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