Washington Auto Show Special Report: Ford

2013 Fusion Hybrid

This year, it became apparent.  It became apparent that the Ford designers woke up from their beds and, while brushing their unusually white teeth, realized that the previous generation of Ford Fusion is one of the ugliest cars on the face of the planet.  It also became apparent that Ford wanted something that looked like the very cool looking new Taurus, which also replaced an extremely ugly car.  And, with inspiration drawn from the Taurus and possibly a few Astons, Ford came up with this epic looking car.

However, if you think about it, this car looks way more exciting than it actually is.  You see, this is the Fusion Hybrid, and we all know how fun a hybrid can be.  Fitted with a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine at the heart of this car, the Fusion produces 141 horsepower.  But, being a hybrid, fuel efficiency is where the attention of the car should go.  And with a 47 mpg highway rating, fuel efficiency is quite good on this car.

All boring performance figures aside however, this car looks great.  And, with this car being included in the all new NASCAR Gen. 6 cars, the race going version of this car is arguably one of the most epic looking NASCAR racecars to ever grace the the sport.  If your having a hard time trying to imagine how good the NASCAR version looks, look the car up online.  And if you still need reassurance, try to imagine the car tearing through the long straights of tracks like Daytona.

2013 Focus ST

The Focus has long been hailed as the best hot hatchback on the market.  And that’s something to be proud about.  In a world where the  Ford has to compete against the VW Golf GTI and, in Europe, the Vauxhall Corsa, the Focus does have a tall order of standing out.  But, when you build a car with more than 250 horsepower and a turbocharged option and sell it for less than $25k, the job of standing out is facilitated a bit.

At the front, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine sends 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque to the front tires.  The looks have change on the ST, and buyers can be quite proud of the ST badge on the front grill that normal Focus buyers don’t have.  However, the purpose of the car remains unchanged.  Ford built this car in order to appeal to people looking for a sporty car, that’s also sensible.  This is a car, then, that can provide a cheek-numbing grin on winding  back roads while at the same time taking home a trunk full of groceries from the shopping center.

Competition remains unchanged as well.  This car rolls off the production line of Ford with the mindset to compete against the VW Golf GTI and the Subaru WRX STI, and other European hatchbacks as Subaru has decided to no longer send the STI to the U.K.

What you get as a result, is a car that puts a smile on your face whenever you push it.  It also provides owners with an economical car that can get good mpg and can also carry groceries and people while still giving the passengers legroom.  And for less than $25,000, this car can introduce the thrill of driving to a larger population and also to a new generation of younger car buyers.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?


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