The 2013 model year is crucial for the brand. Two of Ford's three biggest sellers, the Escape crossover and Fusion mid-sized sedan, have been redesigned dramatically. Along with the F-series pickup, these vehicles are the heart of the Ford lineup.
With these two redesigns, the Ford brand is making a conscious move upscale by offering customers refinement, design, technology and features usually found in luxury brands. For example, the Escape moves away from its boxy SUV origins to a graceful, swoopy design, while the Fusion, with its big-mouth grille, has drawn comparisons to an Aston Martin.
Ford also has dropped V-6 engines from both vehicles, putting a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder in top-of-the-line versions.
The next few years will also see the rollout of several electrified Fords.
Here are highlights for Ford brand's 2013-15 models.
Fiesta: Sales of the Fiesta subcompact have languished as the compact Focus emerged as a powerhouse in the brand's lineup during the last year. But changes are on the way for Ford's smallest North American offering. The biggest change is expected to be a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which should arrive next year in the restyled 2014 Fiesta.
Ford showed a sporty Fiesta ST concept at the Los Angeles show last November. A five-door Fiesta ST should arrive next year.
Focus: The Focus ST, a sporty hatchback, comes to dealerships in late August. The ST is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that cranks out 252 hp, generates 270 pounds-feet of torque and is teamed with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2013 Focus Electric will be Ford's first electric-only vehicle.
Ford recently has been showing off a European-spec Focus powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine. Ford officials say the engine will be offered soon in North American small cars. The Focus could get it next year. Ford also is considering small diesels for the Focus.
The Focus, which was redesigned for the 2011 model year, is scheduled for minor changes in 2015, possibly including a new front end.
Fusion: With its swoopy Aston Martin-inspired styling, the 2013 Fusion wowed the crowds when it debuted at the Detroit auto show early this year. The mid-sized sedan will be arriving in Ford dealerships this fall with five powertrain options.
Ford has dropped the former top-of-the-line V-6 in favor of a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. Ford also will offer the Fusion with a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and three four-cylinder gasoline engines, including a 1.6-liter EcoBoost, likely to be the biggest seller.
The Fusion comes with a brace of high-tech options including adaptive cruise control, parking assist, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist, Sync and the next generation of MyFord Touch.
Taurus: The Taurus was reskinned for the 2013 model year, including a new hood and grille. Ford has added a four-cylinder engine to the lineup: its 2.0-liter EcoBoost. A redesigned Taurus due in 2015 model year is expected to be built on an extended version of the Fusion platform.