Farewell, Sleeper: Ford Pulls the Plug on the Fusion Sport

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
farewell sleeper ford pulls the plug on the fusion sport

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but it still hurts to learn that Ford’s modern-day take on the ’60s family performance sedan will die with the 2019 model year.

While the automaker’s doomed Fusion nameplate will live on for 2020, the brawny, all-wheel drive Sport variant will not. The automaker confirmed the model’s discontinuation on Monday, meaning performance-minded Blue Oval breeders must now turn their attention (and lust) to the brand’s ST-badged crossovers.

Ford dropped the Focus and its warmer variants in May of 2018, with the pint-sized Fiesta and its ST hot hatch alter ego meeting the same fate last month. There’ll still be some 2019 models kicking around for some time, no doubt. However, if your lifestyle demands called for real seating for five, the Fusion Sport offered serious performance and under-the-radar looks for an after-delivery price of $41,010.

Indeed, that’s nearly six grand more than a loaded Titanium model, but twin-turbocharged V6 horsepower and AWD comes at a cost (current offers show a $1,500 lease incentive, btw). And the Fusion Sport, despite its outdated interior, was indeed a blast to drive.

CarsDirect noticed the widely expected discontinuation while poring over 2020 Fusion order guides. When contacted, a Ford spokesperson confirmed that the Sport goes the way of LaserDisc for MY2020. Like other automakers, the company says it wants to simplify its lineup by reducing build configurations. With that decision comes painful eliminations like this. Models like the Fusion Sport and Taurus SHO may not have been very popular, but they did enliven an increasingly dull, utility-centric vehicle landscape.

Appearing for the 2017 model year, the Fusion Sport borrowed the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 from its F-150 stablemate, sending its 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque to all four (19-inch) wheels through a six-speed automatic. The setup was a potent one for the midsize sedan, though Ford chose not to go way out and wild with the Sport’s outward appearance. Maybe it flew too far under the radar.

Certainly, the Fusion Sport will be an item for hunters of used performance car deals to seek out in the coming years. As for the Fusion itself, the flagging model may stage a limited return for 2021, but the sedan as we know it is toast at some point that year. Ford claims the company might re-use the nameplate in the future, but don’t get your hopes up for a vehicle with a trunk.

[Images: Ford, Steph Willems/TTAC]

Join the conversation
3 of 39 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Jun 04, 2019

    Really no loss. Ford doomed this car from the start. It was a very poor effort and was severely let down by the garbage transmission. Nothing about this car was worth the price charged and in almost every aspect was disappointing. Just like the Ranger, the only good thing about this car was the engine.

    • S197GT S197GT on Jun 04, 2019

      but that ranger engine though! i am so tempted to buy a four-door RWD version of the ranger xlt (with LSD) and then get an engine tune. that 2.3 is putting down crazy hp with just a tune and premium fuel. still have to sort out that suspension though. s197 ownership experience all over again...

  • Geo Geo on Jun 04, 2019

    Our close friends have always driven SUVs and crossovers. They're driving sedans now because they feel more nimble and versatile. My wife now wants a sedan, saying she feels more like a "car person". I believe people will soon be shifting en masse back to cars, and the domestic manufacturers, yet again, will be caught with their pants down.

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.