Remember back in the early 90s when Ford came up with a sports sedan the Ford Taurus SHO? With a Yamaha v6 and later models a Yamaha and Cosworth-powered v8 those were the pinnacle of performance sedans from Ford. And since then Ford hasn’t released anything similar, sure a few years back the Taurus SHO name was revamped but that’s a full-size sedan, not the mid-size it was made to be. Here we have the new Fusion Sport, unlike Toyota and Honda where sport just means alloys and some ground effects, Ford decided to shove an engine from the Edge into the fusion. Luckily this combination works, and they made it better with the addition of AWD.
The heart of the Fusion Sport is a 2.7L V6 with the help of a turbo it pumps out 325hp and 380lb-ft of torque. First off, yes it’s amazing. Boost kicks in strong at lower rpms and gives the Fusion a big push off the line and anything in the mid-range. Sadly the power does taper off near the top, this is a smaller turbo tuned for better response. By letting the 6-speed automatic shift the car it does a reasonable job at keeping within the power band, and because of the torque it generally doesn’t kick down as much as one might think. But leave the transmission in full-auto, in manual mode upshifts are acceptable, but downshifts are slow while you wait for the engine to rev-match and do what it needs to do. It seems that a book can be read before the transmission listens to the driver’s commands. Out of transmission, The power is not only going to the front wheels like the rest of the lineup, no, there’s none of that torque steer with the addition of an all-wheel-drive system. The system is able to send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle. Sadly torque vectoring is not available, so while traction is available, drift mode is not.
Behind the wheel, the Fusion Sport is similar if not basically the same as any other fusion, the car shares most components minus the suspension bits. The Fusion Sport features Continuously Controlled Damping suspension, essentially there are 12 sensors to tweak and adjust the shock’s compression and rebound every two milliseconds, at least that’s what the brochure says. It can also “hop” potholes by firming up the shock to slow the extension before the dip and softening it back up at the edge, it reduces the vibrations back into the cabin. Honestly the ride in Sport mode which can be activated with the little “S” within the gear selector, the ride does firm up but don’t think of the firm setting in the latest BMW m3, it’s firmer than the very soft ride in “normal” mode but dynamically it’s very different when comparing to sport sedans out there. The Sport also adds a soundtrack that’s piped through the in cabin speakers, although it sounds good, it’s very obvious the sound is more made-up than authentic rumble. Personally, it’s a bit more hushed than I would like in a sports sedan, but a nice aftermarket exhaust will surely let out the EcoBoost’s bark a lot more.
Exterior wise, the fusion does come with a nice set of quad exhaust tip finishers, set of 19” blacked out wheels with 235 section tires and a different front grille, but that’s about it. There’s not a big difference here, between the sport and other models, even the spoiler is available with the rest of the line-up. But that’s what’s special about the Sport, it has the heart so it doesn’t need to tell everyone around it’s special. It’ll let the engine do the talking. Same with the interior, not much has changed other than the Sony audio system that’s available with the weird mixture of circular and rectangular buttons, all is the same functional space. The seats are comfortable, with enough bolstering to keep the occupants steady. Sadly this is not an ST or RS variant, so Recaro seats are not an option, though it would be nice.
Overall the Fusion Sport is for that person that might be a bit older, looking at the Neighbour’s Focus RS and just wishing he can have that kind of power and speed but the wife just wants the kids to get to school or go where they need without causing every 18-year-old to break necks as you drive by. The Fusion Sport has all the power and poise that one can ask for, without looking like a kid, it’s for the mature person that still has a kid inside.