DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. says it’s taking aim at German luxury cars -- not with its upscale Lincoln brand but with the new Fusion Sport sedan.
Ford said today the 2017 Fusion Sport’s 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine produces 380 pounds-feet of peak torque, which it noted is more than the Porsche 911 Carrera S, Mercedes-Benz E400 3.0L Turbo and BMW 535i.
The Fusion Sport, which includes all-wheel drive as standard, starts at $34,350 including shipping, which is $11,355 more than the base Fusion but at least $20,000 less than any of the German cars it listed. It goes on sale this summer with estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg city/26 highway.
The Fusion Sport is rated at 325 hp, which makes it the most powerful mass-market midsize car in the U.S. (It beats the BMW but lags the Porsche and the Mercedes.)
“It’s not just Fusion buyers who want something hotter,” Wade Jackson, Ford’s marketing manager for the Fusion, said in a statement. “Owners of other midsize sedans, along with our own dealers, ask repeatedly.”
Ford said demand for the Sport version of its Explorer and Edge has significantly outpaced sales growth of less powerful versions. It said 20 percent of Explorer Sport buyers previously owned a vehicle made by a luxury brand.
Ford’s attempt to challenge German luxury cars with the Fusion is notable for the fact that Lincoln executives have specifically said their brand is not targeting buyers of those cars. Instead, they describe Lincoln’s focus as “quiet luxury,” downplaying performance in favor of plush interiors and high-end materials.
The 2017 Fusion Sport generates 24 percent more horsepower and 53 percent more torque than the last Fusion Sport Ford sold in the 2012 model year.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.