New spy shots of the next-generation Ford Fusion have been making the rounds on the Internet, being featured notably on Autoblog.com. The current mid-sizer, which shares its underpinnings with the Lincoln MKZ and overseas-only Ford Mondeo, was first released in 2012 for the 2013 model year; this explains why the redesigned Fusion seems to be a significant update rather than an all-new model.
The timing of the facelift is interesting: 2015 shows the release of all-new and technology-laden competitors from Hyundai and Chrysler, as well as an upgraded Toyota Camry. Also, other contenders such as the Kia Optima are expected to be renewed in the short to middle term. All in all, seems like the right time to spend a little money on a very important platform for the Ford Motor Company!
Still, the refresh is more than merely aesthetic: the greenhouse has been modified, and the front quarter windows have been removed. Inside, an all-new dashboard features new materials, new wood accents and most importantly… a rotary dial-based gear selector! According to Autoblog, this could be the sign of a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Now, that particular piece of news is interesting to us. The new Chrysler 200 was released to great fanfare just recently, with a promise similar to that of the Lincoln MKZ: a premium package featuring modern fastback styling, an innovative interior (think of the Chrysler’s rotary-dial gear selector similar to that of Jaguars and now of the new Fusion), all in order to make more noise than its predecessor and reestablish a luxury badge.
With these latest spyshots, it seems the Fusion is aiming at the Chrysler 200, and thus moving up into Lincoln MKZ territory! Seeing all these coming changes, and knowing that the press has shown disappointment with the MKZ’s interior materials, it seems that 2016/2017 could also be a big year for the MKZ, which should receive improvements of similar importance in time for a full release of the Black Label line of designer series.