By on July 11, 2018

Image: Ford

The attractive Ford Fusion seems to be on track to linger around a bit longer than its passenger car stablemates, even in its current form. Focus, Taurus, and Fiesta production should wrap up by the middle of next year, with the Fusion’s end date currently shrouded by haze. All signs point to the current midsize sedan ending its run in 2021.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a new Fusion waiting to replace it.

According to sources with insider knowledge of Ford’s product plans, the Fusion name will live on, but the vehicle it’s affixed to will not boast a trunk. Instead, the name will grace the exterior of a high-roofed five-door vehicle built on the same platform, the sources told Bloomberg. A “sport wagon” of some sort, though perhaps a crossover-ized hatch is a better descriptor.

It’s a vehicle your author instantly envisioned after hearing that Ford planned to chop its existing passenger car offerings down to one (Mustang), with the Focus reappearing in faux-crossover “Active” guise. Why not pull the same stunt with the Fusion?

Ford spokesman Mike Levine told Bloomberg that the Fusion name will likely live on after the existing model leaves the market.

The Blue Oval apparently has Subaru’s perennially popular Outback in mind as the future Fusion’s main challenger. This implies that the wagon-like vehicle will boast at least an inch or two of added suspension lift, body cladding, and all-wheel drive, at least as an option. Subaru (or Ford) isn’t alone in this kind of thinking — just look at the soft-roaders coming out of Volvo and Buick.

Shortly after the automaker’s big announcement, CEO Jim Hackett said, “We want to give [the public] what they’re telling us they really want. We’re simply reinventing the American car.”

That the public wants — as sales stats show — are vehicles with utility to spare, and traditional sedans and coupes do not fit the bill. Nor do regular hatchbacks, it would seem. A next-gen Fusion with a higher seating position, pretensions of ruggedness and athleticism, and useable cargo volume behind the rear seats seems like a no-brainer. Yes, its existence might drain some sales from the compact Escape crossover, but the overall effect would be to retain some owners who aren’t in the market for a full-on CUV. Meet them halfway instead.

The price ranges of both vehicles would likely overlap in a big way. Meanwhile, the Fusion name holds plenty of brand equity, and dealers who spoke to Bloomberg back this up.

“We don’t want anyone to think we’re leaving anything,” Hackett said in May. “We’re just moving to a modern version. This is an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford.”

As Ford prepares the Fusion’s replacement, assuming it’s a go, the current Fusion soldiers on, aided by the fact it’s the only hybrid or plug-in hybrid passenger car in the brand’s lineup. Care for a gas-electric taxi?

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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40 Comments on “The Ford Fusion Will Ride Again, but You Might Not Recognize It: Report...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I wonder if this will kill the rumored Mustang based CUV?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      The Mach1 or whatever they are going to call it would be a BEV and separate from this. Every time Ford announces a CUV or SUV, I would just expect that it is in addition to what already exists. They will be adding a bunch of CUVs and SUVs over the next five years.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        And it is not based whatsoever on the Mustang. But, let 600-top-posts dream. If this announcement were from Dodge, well, that’d be awesome. Wait. A new product from Dodge? Now that is funny.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    it’s worth noting the Fusion nameplate was in use in Europe until 2012 for an MPV-like vehicle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Fusion_(Europe)

  • avatar
    scott25

    Don’t understand why people are trying to compete with the Outback. It’s success is nothing to do with its form, and all to do with 2 decades of marketing. Also aided by the fact that generally the only non-European brand wagon fanatics will consider is Subaru. Volvo is the only brand that could truly compete with the Outback, and the Golf Alltrack should have some success as well. Ford and Buick will only meet with failure.

    • 0 avatar
      bking12762

      scott25-Regarding the Outback/Subaru, I too used to feel that way about the product. I used to joke with my wife about their advertising. But after purchasing a 2018 Outback for her I have changed my mind and have to disagree that it’s success is due SOLELY to marketing. It provides excellent utility, fuel mileage (28 mpg lifetime), quite ride, and moderately good build quality, etc. I do wish it had more power but it is more than enough for my bride. We have taken it off-road a few times and not only did it perform well, but it offers the opportunity to take roads that we wouldn’t even consider with her Honda Accord. It is a very good compromise of a car. I think one can credit its success to marketing AND other features/benefits many are buying. Even in Phoenix they are omnipresent, so their appeal is certainly not regional.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Did Ford specifically say it is targeting the Outback? Did Buick? Or are they just trying to sell a wagon that has some appeal to people beyond the 18 who would actually buy it if they called it that?

      Can you name a few non-European wagons offered by someone other than Subaru? Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      PJmacgee

      As much as I (and bking12762, maybe) goofed on the new (new in 2009) bloated Outback body style…I am also now the owner of a 2018. They updated the looks juuust enough to fix the worst of the styling blunders, and it really has a nice ride quality. I’ve been up some moderately awful Colorado forest roads and it does exactly as advertised, serenely, softly sprung and pretty solid structure. Adaptive headlights are excellent, and have been recognized as such in safety ratings. The 3.6 doesn’t like to be hustled for sure, but it has a pleasant amount of grunt for around town and crawling up forest trails. (28mpg lifetime so far)

      It’s not *just* the marketing. But some decent non-European (aka fragile/overpriced) competition is always welcome too.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Ford should bring back their 1957 Nucleon concept as the next generation Fusion. A small bit of uranium could generate clean nuclear power for the life of the vehicle – way better range than some wimpy EV. I’m sure it would also be a popular export item to markets such as Iran and N. Korea.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Don’t understand all the negativity. This should be popular if executed correctly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’ll be the only slightly contrarian by saying take the Buick route over the true Outback route. I know the Buick basically only has about as much ground clearance as a Camry and I’m fine with that because I know marketing/product planning/brand managers are too chicken$hit to give us a real wagon.

    I don’t want the 8 in of ground clearance in an Outback clone. I’ll accept that you have to butch it up enough to fool women into thinking it’s not a wagon.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Oh, goodie.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    The AMC Eagle… by Ford.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I was really excited at first as the current Mondeo estate is a beautiful car. But I’m assuming the new Fusion-back will have to be redesigned by then. Also, the lift will make it look awkward and the cladding will make it look cheap.

    My main question is, what will become of the Edge? These will essentially be the same vehicle. I suppose you sell them both and try to convince people the Edge is more rugged? I dunno, I just want a Fusion Wagon Sport.

  • avatar
    dwford

    This is what they should’ve said in the first place, instead of coming out with “everything is cancelled!” and letting the internet rag on them for months.

    There’s nothing wrong with changing form factors if that’s what the market wants, but I can’t understand a Ford lineup with NO sedan at all in it.

  • avatar
    JRoth

    The Buick is the only car I’m seriously considering as a replacement for my B5.5 Passat wagon, but I would definitely look at this; I wonder if it will come out soon enough? I don’t have definite plans, and 2018 is almost certainly out (baby needs a new roof), but 2021 is too long to wait (the VW its holding up OK through 118k, but expensive parts are bound to fail at some point).

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Y’all realize that the only reason they’re keeping the Mustang is so they have Ford presence in the racing circuits, right?

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    I’m a Ford buyer but this company is fast making me a “former Ford buyer”.

    I buy cars. I don’t want or need a truck. I don’t want or need a bloated fake station wagon; I could be interested in a station wagon if it were like what used to be sold.

    I am now looking into buying a used Ford automobile which will save me tens of thousands of dollars. I will keep my current Ford and just add a second car rather than trading. Ford will lose my sale. They can eat that for all I care.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    This new Fusion is certain to be a game changer.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    “sports wagon” Yeah right. It will sit too high and have cheap gray plastic cladding around the wheels. Same crap different pile.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Ford’s a little late to the utility station wagon game, Subaru’s got that pretty much locked up. This Fusion crapwagon will not unseat the Outback. I was counting on the Mustang based CUV, that fail would have been epic. Maybe they’ll still try it (crosses fingers).

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’d be okay with a Mustang-based CUV. Something RWD with an optional V8 and sized along the lines of the original FX45 would be fine. Certainly more compelling than the Edge ST.

      The market for enthusiast vehicles that can comfortably carry more than one passenger is pretty small right now. Your options are basically Kia, FCA, or open up your checkbook. I’d like to see it expanded even if on the CUV body style.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    This is an obvious move once it was known that the Focus would only be offered as the raised Active version in the US.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Makes perfect in bizarro Ford land.

    Let’s cancel the Fusion because we don’t know how to make a profit on it only to reintroduce it as a wagon that we’ve been selling in Europe for many years.

    This is what happens when you let a furniture guy run an automotive company.

  • avatar
    RS

    Taurus X / Freestyle Part Deux?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “That the public wants — as sales stats show — are vehicles with utility to spare, and traditional sedans and coupes do not fit the bill.”

    What the frack are you people doing with all of this not utility. You are driving WAGONS and small ones at that; I can barely fit a recliner in a Mazda X3 or whatever its called. Like wtf. Suburbans you have not.

    “A next-gen Fusion with a higher seating position, pretensions of ruggedness and athleticism, and useable cargo volume behind the rear seats seems like a no-brainer.”

    So, horrible in every way; kinda like this society.

    Save us Giant Meteor.


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