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Detroit show: Ford slots twin-turbo V6 into Fusion

Power shift: North America is set to get the twin-turbo V6 Fusion V6 Sport, but Europe and Australia appear to have opted for the Mondeo ST.

Ford Fusion’s new 242kW twin-turbo V6 off the agenda for Australia’s Mondeo


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12 Jan 2016

FORD’S Australian fans should not hold their breath for the American Ford Fusion’s new twin-turbo V6 all-wheel-drive powertrain to gravitate to its European-built sister car, the Mondeo.

But they possibly can look forward to a performance version of the mid-sizer that might be just as appealing – the Mondeo ST.

According to Ford sources, the new Fusion V6 Sport revealed at this week’s Detroit motor show ahead of a mid-year roll-out is exclusively a North American affair and not due to turn up in Mondeo guise any time soon.

Banging out 242kW of power and 474Nm of torque, the twin-turbo 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 engine gives the Fusion V6 Sport a 65kW power hike over the most powerful four-cylinder version of the Mondeo, the 177kW 2.0-litre EcoBoost.

And while all Mondeos sold in Australia are currently front-wheel drive, the FusionV6 Sport gets all-wheel drive.

While it must be tempting for Ford to slot that powertrain into the Mondeo for Australia to help fill the void left by the locally built Falcon when it goes out of production in October this year, Ford Australia appears to be building its Mondeo plans around four-cylinder power.

European reports suggest that could include a hot Mondeo ST, possibly powered by the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that makes 233kW/432Nm in the new Mustang and 257kW/440Nm in the upcoming Focus RS.

So far, Ford Australia is not saying when a revised Mondeo is due Down Under or if it will include such a high-performance flagship.

Blue Oval vehicle launches on the agenda for this year include the Mustang this month, Falcon Sprint special edition later in the first quarter, Focus RS hot hatch around mid year and a Kuga facelift in the final quarter.

This means the updated Mondeo is unlikely to surface until 2017.

Apart from a hot ST flagship, a facelifted Mondeo might get a hybrid variant, although it is unclear if the powertrain will be a conventional hybrid or a plug-in version.

Both types are already available in Fusion in North America where these powertrains are getting updates including more fuel-efficient electric motors and new-generation driving advice software to deliver a more frugal driving.

The latest plug-in Fusion Energi has a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an all-electric driving range of up to 30km, at which point it switches on the 2.0-litre petrol engine for an overall range of about 800km.

The lithium-ion batteries can be recharged in 2.5 hours. It also can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin while plugged into the socket, to save energy.

Ford Australia executives are on record as saying they expect to include a hybrid car of some sort at some point.

With these powertrains apparently readily available to slot into Mondeo, the mid-size liftback hatch seems as good a bet as any to introduce electrification into Ford Australia’s range.

So far, however, Australia has been happy to stick with the 132kW/400Nm diesel Mondeo as its thrifty mid-sized variant.

If the new Fusion shown at Detroit is any guide, the next Mondeo might also dip into a range of fresh technologies including a Volvo-style pedestrian detection system, hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert.

The automatic transmission selector on Fusion now comes in the form of a Jaguar/Land Rover-style dial – a move that Ford says opens up cabin space.

As well, Fusion gets the latest version of Ford’s Sync communications and entertainment system – Sync3 – that apparently has faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touchscreen and easier to understand graphical interface.

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