By Steve & Tamami Laser
Midsize performance sedans are available with all sorts of fancy labels and price tags to match. When Ford decided to add some serious muscle to its popular midsize Fusion for 2017, it took aim at Euro luxury brands and launched the new Fusion V6 Sport.
The result is what Ford calls a “class-demolishing” 380 lb.-ft. of torque from the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® V6 that also puts out 325 horses when running on premium fuel. It’s teamed with a heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.
We had the chance to test-drive the new Fusion V6 Sport on city streets during a Ford press event in Southern California. While our time behind the wheel was brief, it was more than enough to convince us that this is a serious performance machine.
The EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 with direct injection has a compacted graphite iron engine block, cast aluminum heads, 10.0:1 compression ratio and exhales through quad exhaust tips. With all that power and torque, it’s rated at a respectable 17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
Antiroll bars, spring rates and wider tires are tuned to deliver a sporty ride along with continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning. Our test car was also fitted with optional summer-compound tires for increased grip.
We’ve always had a soft spot for stealthy go-fast machines that we used to call “sleepers.” Subtle styling mods for the Fusion Sport include a slightly more aggressive front end with deeper air intakes, gloss black mesh grille, 19-inch dark alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and quad exhaust outlets.
As we mentioned (several times) in our video, the Fusion Sport is incredibly fun to drive. Effortless acceleration is available at the driver’s command whenever the urge strikes. We also liked the convenient paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
All Fusions for 2017 receive a new rotary gearshift selector. The compact design opens up space on the floor console for easy access to new storage bins, an illuminated USB charge port and cupholders.
The Fusion Sport’s shifter replaces the regular “L” low range on other models with an “S” for Sport Mode. Pressing the button sets up the car for maximum performance, activating the paddle shifters, reprogramming the shift points, improving throttle response, stiffening up the steering and tuning the suspension for a more aggressive profile.
Inside the cabin, the Fusion Sport receives standard power heated leather-trimmed seats with grippy Miko suede inserts, a black headliner, carbon-fiber look trim and aluminum pedals.
The rear seat is comfortable for two, a bit tight for three, and features a 60/40-split folding design that makes it easy to carry long cargo inside the car.
As a modern performance sedan, Ford loaded our Fusion Sport tester with an array of optional high-tech features that we’ll highlight below.
The optional audio system from Sony® includes 12 speakers and HD Radio™, two 4.2-inch driver configurable LCD displays in the instrument cluster, ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control and 911 Assist®.
The optional voice-activated navigation system included SiriusXM® Traffic and Travel Link that combines GPS technology with 3D mapping and provides voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. Sirius features provide detailed traffic information on accidents, construction, road closures, national weather forecasts and fuel prices.
The SYNC® 3 system includes Siri EyesFree® capability to help drivers connect and control their iPhone on the road. SYNC Connect is available with features including remote start, remote lock and unlock, vehicle location, plus tire pressure, battery and fuel levels.
The instrument cluster is easy to read and can be modified by the driver to show different information. A Driver Assist Package added auto high beams, BLIS® Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, Lane Keeping System, rain sensing wipers, and SYNC® Connect.
Our tester started out with a very reasonable base MSRP of $33,475. Equipment Group 401A added a Sport Upgrade Package and Reverse Sensing System. Stand-alone options included Ruby Red paint, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, the navigation system with voice recognition, a Driver Assist Package and the summer tires. This brought the bottom line with destination to $41,545.
Fusion prices start at $22,120 for the base S model. Other models for 2017 include the SE, Titanium, Platinum, plus four trim levels of the Fusion Hybrid and three trims for the plug-in Fusion Energi.
If we were in the market for an affordable midsize performance sedan, we’d put the new Ford Fusion V6 Sport at the top of our shopping list.
Fusion V6 Sport press fleet vehicle provided by Ford Motor Company. Prices and vehicle information applies to models sold in the U.S. at the time of publication. All information including prices, features and specifications is subject to change without notice by the automaker.
Story, photos and videos © 2017 CarNichiWa.com