Thursday, September 22, 2011

Car Of The Day: September 22, 2011

Today's car of the day is Hot Wheels' 2006 Ford Fusion.

The Ford Fusion (code name CD338) is a mid-size car produced by the Ford Motor Company since the 2006 model year. The 2010 model was awarded the Motor Trend Car of the Year and its hybrid version won the 2010 North American Car of the Year Award. The Fusion is manufactured at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, where the similar and now discontinued Mercury Milan and the Lincoln MKZ are also built. All three cars utilize the CD3 platform, which is, in fact, Mazda's current GG chassis as used for the Mazda6 (M/Y 2003–2008). Ford has used every evolution of the Mazda G platform since 1983.

Production on the first Fusions began on August 1, 2005. The Fusion replaced the Mondeo for the Latin American markets—except in Argentina (where the current European Mondeo is available) and in the United States and Canada (where it superseded the then mid-size Taurus). By United States Environmental Protection Agency size category, the Fusion is positioned between the compact Ford Focus and full-size Ford Taurus.

However, in the Middle East it is sold alongside the Mondeo. Versions sold there are available only with the 2.5-litre engine. The V6 engine is not available in that region, unlike in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

The Fusion was the first production car to feature the "new face of Ford" three-bar grille, which (along with two matching bars below the bumper/fascia forming a five-bar design) was first seen on a retro V-10 powered rear wheel drive concept car called the Ford 427, unveiled in 2003 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The look has since been used on most of Ford's product line.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford Fusion

This casting originally debuted as a cereal promo, but the tooling was quickly modified to include a lightbar and this one has seen police duty ever since.  It would be nice to have a regular Fusion model available at retail but we take what we get.  GreenLight seems determined to model Ford's entire current product line so it may yet turn up.  In the meantime, this pace car version would be right at home pacing NASCAR Fusion models.

At its launch, the Fusion was available in S, SE, and SEL trims. The base engine was the 160 hp (119 kW) Mazda-designed 2.3 L Duratec 23 I4, paired with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. SE and SEL models were available with a 221 hp (165 kW) 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 and a 6-speed automatic.

The Fusion shares some interior parts with the otherwise unrelated Mk III Ford Mondeo, such as part of the console and the seats. Both automatic and manual transmissions are available (the latter only with the I4 engine).

Ford's early advertising campaign for the Fusion in the United States was entitled "Life in Drive", while in Canada it was "Create a Reaction". In January 2007, the company launched a new campaign for the Fusion titled "Fusion Challenge" (later renamed "Ford Challenge"). The American Ford Fusion emerged the winner over the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord based on the attributes of styling, handling, and “fun to drive” in head-to-head comparison tests with the Japanese sedans performed by subscribers of Car and Driver and Road and Track magazines in the Washington D.C. and Los Angeles regions.

For 2007, all-wheel drive became available on V6 models. Sirius Satellite Radio is available as an option on the SE and SEL models. The front passenger fold-flat seat was introduced and became standard on the Fusion SEL and SE models. Also, the Fusion now has front-seat side airbags and a side air curtain as standard features, as well as an anti-theft perimeter alarm. (All were previously available as cost options.) Also added is an auxiliary audio input jack for audio transmission from a portable audio player along with some equipment modifications. A DVD-based navigation system also became available.

For the 2008 model year, ABS became a standard feature, as did a tire pressure monitoring system. New optional features include rear parking assist, Ford's "SYNC" multimedia and communication system, and ambient interior lighting. The DVD navigation was replaced with a new generation system featuring voice commands, and for the first time navigation is available also with manual transmission. Finally, 2 packages were added to the options list: Sport Appearance Package and Moon and Tune package. The latter makes the Audiophile 8-speaker audio system available on the SE trim line. Several colors were deleted and some others added.

For 2009, electronic stability control was added as an option. A new appearance package with blue trim became available, and revisions were made to the exterior color palette as well.

In Mexico the Fusion was offered in two trim levels in 2006: SE and SEL, with automatic transmission only. For the 2007 model year, the S trim was introduced and a manual transmission was newly available for the S and SE trim levels. These two trims had standard 16-inch alloy wheels, while the SEL trim had 17-inch alloy wheels standard. The 2008 model year added Ford's Ford SYNC to the SEL trim. The manual transmission was discontinued after 2008 in Mexico due to poor sales. The 2009 model year was a very short one in Mexico because the 2010 Fusion arrived in dealerships by late February 2009.

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