2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion; by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge

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Ford Motor Company of Canada

By Paul Williams

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2013 Ford Fusion

At a December, 2011 preview of Ford’s vehicle introductions planned for the Detroit Auto Show, the star of the Dearborn event was undoubtedly the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion. Yes, the new C-Max was there, and the Focus Electric, but when the wraps were removed to reveal the 2013 Fusion resplendent in red metallic, many eyebrows shot up, some jaws dropped and a collective murmur of approval filled the room.

“Where did this come from?” “Well, look at that.” “Wow!” pretty much summed up the sentiments, because this car was drop-dead gorgeous.

Maybe we should thank the Koreans. After all, they’ve arguably led the automotive design revival with the Hyundai Sonata and Elantra; Kia Optima, Soul and Forte to list only a few of their new models. Sales have followed, proving that consumers will definitely respond to a pretty face (not to imply that the beauty of these vehicles is only skin deep).

2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion; by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge

Other manufacturers have taken note and are attempting to step up the visual appeal of their new vehicles, with varying levels of success. But the Fusion… well this is a home run.

Too bad we weren’t able to bring news of the new Fusion to consumers in December, when the car was first shown. But everyone signed an agreement committing to an embargo on news and images until the Detroit Show. So we sat on it.

The same positive, congratulatory and somewhat surprised reaction greeted the 2013 Fusion at its launch in Detroit, where it was certainly one of the most appealing vehicles introduced, and definitely the most impressive mainstream sedan.

The general consensus is that the new Fusion blends design elements from Jaguar and Aston Martin into a still-distinctively Ford form. From Jaguar, the beautiful shape of the body; and from Aston Martin in the distinctive and very successful grille and front fascia. Coincidentally, Ford used to own both of those companies, and I can’t say whether the new Fusion design was first sketched during that era, or just why the car recalls the lines of those luxury companies – but it does.

To my eye, it has something of the Audi A4/A6 to it, which is also not a bad thing. However, with all these visual cues, the Fusion somehow retains Ford characteristics while significantly advancing and evolving Ford’s overall visual identity (the new Ford Escape follows in this direction).

In comparison to the outgoing Fusion… well, there is no comparison. The new vehicle is light years ahead, rendering the outgoing model staid and conservative when considered side-by-side (sorry, first- and second-generation Fusion owners).

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