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Introduced on Sunday: Ford Fusion midsize family sedan

What’s the point? Ford needs a replacement for the Tempo, slotted above the Focus and below the Five Hundred, and this is it.

Is it real? It is a real production car, loosely based on the same architecture as the Mazda 6. Ford says as many as 10 new front-drive and all-wheel-drive models will be based on this platform in the next two to three years, amounting to 800,000 units a year.

The company line: The so-called CD3 architecture, combined with Ford’s flexible manufacturing system will enable more new products faster than ever before. Ford product creation boss Phil Martens says, “This is the new face of Ford.”

The view from here: Fusion has about twice the style and eye appeal of either the Focus or the Five Hundred, with finely designed details inside and out. An error-free introduction will help.

What makes it tick? Fusion will be powered by either a 160 horsepower, 2.3-liter low-emissions 4-cylinder engine, or an optional 3-liter 210 horsepower V-6 engine with both manual and automatic 5-speed transmissions.

How much? How soon? Prices should be in the low $20,000 range. Fusion will be in showrooms by fall 2005, as a 2006 model. A hybrid version will follow about a year later.

Article from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/automobiles/autospecial/09NUG4-Fusion.html

There's also a slideshow of pics on that page that's pretty cool.
 

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It's nice to see one in red. (See slideshow in link). I wonder where that was photgraphed, I can tell from the background its not Detroit or Richmond.
 
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