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Ford Teases 2017 Fusion

Updated sedan set for Detroit Auto Show debut to include plug-in Energi model.

by on Dec.11, 2015

Ford isn't expected to make many major changes to the updated 2017 Fusion.

Ford set automotive design on its head when it launched the current Fusion sedan four years ago. How do you follow up on such a big hit? We’ll find out when the 2017 version of the sedan makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Ford teased the new model during a media briefing on Thursday, a draped sedan marked with a sign declaring, “Top Secret: Do not move until 01.11.2016.” Based on some recent spy shots, the 2017 Ford Fusion is expected to undergo relatively modest design tweaks. The biggest news is expected to be found under the hood in the form of an updated plug-in hybrid drive.

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The next-gen Ford Fusion Energi model is part of an aggressive push by the maker that will see it invest $4.5 billion in “electrified” vehicles between now and 2020. Ford’s list of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, will grow by 13 nameplates. It currently offers six battery-based vehicles.

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Ford Won’t be Rolling Out Aluminum Passenger Cars, Says Top Exec

Benefits don’t justify the cost, complexity says Pres. Hinrichs.

by on Jan.15, 2015

Ford President Joe Hinrichs helps unveil the new Ford F-150 Raptor during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Though Ford Motor Co. has ballyhooed the benefits of the aluminum used to build its 2015 F-150 pickup, don’t expect to see the automaker start building passenger cars out of the lightweight metal, cautioned a top executive.

The benefits just aren’t as competitive when used on lighter vehicles, stressed Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of the Americas, during an appearance at an annual industry confab in Detroit.

No Lightweight!

“You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side,” he explained, adding that, “truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.”

Facing stiff new emissions and fuel economy mandates, automakers like Ford are struggling to find ways to improve the efficiency of their vehicles. They’re adopting advanced powertrains and alternate fuels, adopting more aerodynamic designs, and putting a premium on “lightweighting.”

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Ford’s Aluminum F-150 a Likely Star at Detroit Auto Show

Big challenge overcoming concerns about durability.

by on Dec.27, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept at its January 2013 Detroit Auto Show debut.

While most major automakers have already dropped broad hints about what they’ll reveal at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, Ford has been unusually quiet about its plans for the annual show’s opening debut.  But the likely unveiling is expected to be a big one: an all-new version of the maker’s best-selling truck, the F-150.

And it’s not just a restyled pickup with a few more features.  The 2015 Ford F-Series is expected to mark a dramatic shift in a market segment that’s come roaring back over the last 12 months, the Detroit maker opting for a new, aluminum-intensive design that should shed 100s of pounds compared to the outgoing pickup – in the process improving fuel consumption by perhaps 5 miles per gallon.

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That said, the automaker could face a serious challenge with a redesign of what has long been America’s best-selling vehicle. Even though buyers in every segment of the market are demanding better mileage, the question is whether the generally more conservative buyers in the pickup segment will feel comfortable with this major shift from rugged, time-tested steel.  Ford will have to convince potential buyers they’ll not only save fuel but also get a durable truck that won’t offset those savings with higher maintenance costs.

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How Do You Remake an Icon: Ford Reveals Alternatives for F-150

Add the “Bullet Train” and the “Locomotive” and you get the Ford Atlas Concept.

by on Apr.04, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept at its Detroit debut.

Redesigning an icon is never easy, especially when it’s a proven winner that has dominated the traditionally conservative full-size truck market for decades on end.  But that’s precisely what Ford Motor Co. decided to do with the complete makeover it has in store a little more than a year from now with the next-generation F-Series.

The Detroit maker is being cagey about the exact timing of that launch, never mind specifics of the replacement truck – but it has also made it clear that a key goal will be slashing mass and boosting mileage without sacrificing the capabilities and durability of the rugged workhorse.

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We got a sense of what may be in store during the Detroit Auto Show, this past January, when Ford literally dropped in on a media event with the gleaming silver Atlas Concept. And the images here of two other, earlier concepts – dubbed the Bullet Train and the Locomotive — reveal what went into the show car’s development.

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Atlas Concept Truck a Pick-Up for Ford Stock

Unexpected unveiling offers a hint of replacement for best-selling F-Series.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The surprise debut of the Ford Atlas concept pickup.

Ford Motor Co. stock took a sharp jump following the automaker’s unexpected unveiling of the Atlas Concept truck, a prototype offering a hint of what’s to come when the maker replaces its best-selling F-Series pickup in 2014.

In an appearance to an industry conference coinciding with the North American International Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly marveled at the reaction to the preview.  The unveiling of the Atlas had been whispered about but unconfirmed by the maker until the huge silver truck descended from the ceiling of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

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“How about that,” proclaimed Mulally in an off-the-cuff remark following  his speech to the Automotive News World Congress. By the time the NY Stock Exchange closed, Ford common was up 31 cents, or 2.22%, for the day, to $14.30.

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Ford’s Atlas Concept Signals Plan for Next-Gen F-150

Truck wars keep heating up as Ford concept takes aim at new Chevy, GMC and Chrysler pickups.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept signals the maker's plans for the next-generation F-Series pickup.

Ford tossed a hand grenade into the already escalating truck wars, literally dropping in on the North American International Auto Show with the Atlas, a concept pickup that provides some clear hints about where the maker is going with the next-generation F-Series, the country’s best-selling truck for more than a third of a century.

The widely-rumored reveal came just a day after Chrysler won the coveted North American Truck of the Year award during the Detroit Auto Show’s opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, Chevrolet had hoped to steal the show with Monday’s official unveiling of the next-generation Silverado pickup.

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Senior Ford officials did little to deny that they were intentionally trying to steal their competitors’ thunder by bringing the Atlas to the 2013 NAIAS and teasing what they promised would be a wide range of new industry-benchmark features and capabilities.

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First Look: 2013 Ford Fusion

Ford goes gunning for Camry and Accord.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Ford's new 2013 Fusion sedan.

More than a quarter century after the original Ford Taurus revolutionized automotive design – and put the U.S. automaker at the top of the midsize sales charts – Ford is hoping to do it again with the launch of the new 2013 Fusion sedan.

The new Fusion, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, this week, takes aim at such import stalwarts as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord by delivering a mix of cutting-edge design, competitive fuel economy and a mix of features not typically found on a midsize sedan.

“We knew we needed a more premium design than our previous (Fusion) or our competitors,” says Chris Hamilton, Fusion’s styling chief.

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While it’s not quite the revolutionary breakthrough of the original 1986 Taurus, which ushered in the aerodynamic “jellybean” look that swept through the industry in its era, the Fusion is clearly a standout in a segment that has traditionally favored blander designs like the relatively plain-vanilla 2012 Camry, the new Fusion creating quite a buzz since Ford provided automotive journalists a sneak peek just before last month’s holiday break.

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