The Ford Fusion is rumored to be making a comeback in the form of a lifted wagon. Here’s the latest details.
We were disappointed last year when Ford decided to officially throw in the towel on sedans and hatchbacks in the US. The Ford Fusion (along with the Lincoln Continental) saw 2020 as its final model year. But, as we noted at the time, it is rumored the Fusion name will live on in the form of a lifted wagon along the lines of Subaru’s Outback or Buick’s Regal TourX.
Current rumors surrounding the Ford Fusion wagon include a name – the Fusion “Active”, a basic body style – the lifted, AWD wagon, and a few spy photos of heavily camouflaged mules that are decent fodder for speculation. What we know we don’t know are things like the actual platform that will be used, what powertrains might be offered, or how the Fusion “Active” will slot into Ford’s otherwise carless lineup.
The assumption has been that the Ford Fusion wagon will be running off the same CD4 platform as the Fusion/Mondeo. The Mondeo (basically the Fusion outside the Americas) already has a wagon version, one that even includes a hybrid powertrain. If Ford were to repurpose the Mondeo wagon for North America by adding a little ride height and suspension upgrades, that at least seems like a logical possibility.
But, recent spy photos of what’s likely a new wagon-like Ford show a more robust vehicle with a muscular front end and sloping fastback roofline. This profile gives it a much more of a squat crossover body a la the Mustang Mach E. It’s possible that the spotted test mule is actually built off the C2 platform that underpins the Escape and Bronco Sport. Notably, Ford’s Global Electric 1 (GE1) platform used in the Mach E was evolved from the C2 platform.
An additional wrinkle is this: there are dissenting opinions that the camouflaged test mule many assume is the Fusion wagon may actually be an entirely different crossover vehicle destined for overseas markets. The dimension of the test mule would also jive with the B2E platform used in the likes of the Fiesta and the Transit Courier.
So, will the Fusion wagon end up a lifted version of the Mondeo, an entirely new more crossover-like vehicle, or something else. So far, we can only guess.
As to powertrains, it’s also unclear what will power the Fusion wagon. Other publications have speculated that it will feature, at minimum, a 4-cylinder turbo, a V6 turbo, and some kind of hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Two of these I’d agree are very likely, but the idea that Ford would have the foresight to appeal directly to car journalists by putting a V6 into a Fusion wagon is wishful thinking.
Consider first that the 2020 Ford Fusion offered four powertrains, none of which offered much power. The base 2.5L was joined by two EcoBoost turbo engines, a 1.5L and a 2.0L, and a pair of hybrids (one conventional, one plug-in) both pairing a 2.0L and an electric motor. The turbo 2.0L put out the most power with 245 horses. Acceleration was decent but nothing to write home about. But, if Ford wants the Fusion wagon to not only supplant the Outback but play the poor man’s AMG E63, putting a turbo V6 under the hood sounds like a cool idea at minimum.
We also can’t neglect the idea that the Fusion wagon could not only include a hybrid or plug-in hybrid option but actually have that as a key focal point. Consider that Toyota chose to bring back its Venza crossover as a hybrid only. Could the Fusion wagon increase its allure among the granola crunching, dog loving, outdoor types (i.e. the Outback’s core demo) by going exclusively green?
Ford had been reportedly planning to bring its Focus Active wagon (currently sold in Europe) to the US via its production facilities in China when trade tensions between the two countries, and those pesky trade tariffs, forced them to nix that plan. Now it seems Ford has decided to pivot on its plan for a US wagon to the recently discontinued Fusion. The question is, why? Aside from appealing to the automotive press, well known for a love of wagons far exceeding that of the car-buying public, the answer to that question is unclear.
Did Ford take a look at Subaru’s success with the Outback and decided that, with 150,000+ units sold last year, there was room for at least one more rugged wagon in the US market? Maybe…. Or does Ford still recognize the need for some degree of diversity in its showrooms beyond SUVs and Mustangs? Perhaps…. My favorite theory, though least likely, is this: Ford wanted to guarantee the goodwill of automotive writers across North America by giving us the best of all possible vehicles, a lifted AWD wagon with options for either a powerful turbo V6 or a super-efficient plug-in hybrid.
Whatever form the Ford Fusion wagon ultimately takes, we’ll make sure to give you all the details.