(F - Get Report)
unveiled its new Fusion at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, highlighting the car's sleek appearance, innovative technology and fuel efficiency.
The Fusion will enter one of the most competitive U.S. sectors.
has a new Camry. GM
will soon have a new Malibu.
have popular vehicles, the Sonata and the Altima. At the 2012 auto show, which opened for media Monday,
will unveil a new Accord on Tuesday.
|Ford's new Fusion will compete on design in the brutally competitive midsized car sector.
The new Fusion represents "a complete departure from the Fusion's previous styling," said Karl Brauer, editor of TotalCarScore, a car comparison site. "Design is one of the most important things right now. It's all that's left, because nearly every new car is dependable, comfortable and safe."
The midsized market is home to "brutal" competition, Brauer said. "But that's where the volume is."
Ford's design goal was "to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice," said Chris Hamilton, chief exterior designer, in a statement.
The sleek profile sets the new Fusion apart from the powertrain/cabin/trunk "three-box" designs synonymous with midsize sedans, Ford said.
Among the new technologies in the Fusion is a lane-keeping system, which uses a small camera to alert a driver who is drifting out of the lane and can even apply pressure on steering to help bring the car back to a proper position. Additionally, the cruise control can slow the car if slower traffic is ahead, and park-assist can position a car for parallel parking: All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.
Also, additional passenger space results from moving the instrument panel closer to the windshield, contributing to the cabin's airy, open environment. Powertrain options will include EcoBoost hybrid engines. The car will go on sale later this year.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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