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click above image to view more photos of the 2008 Ford Fusion with Sport Package

Most here at Autoblog who have driven the Ford Fusion are a fan, though our one complaint that remains ignored is the car's lack of power. The 3.0L Duratic V6 with 221 HP just doesn't cut it for us. Instead of fixing the problem for 2008, Ford has instead decided to offer Fusion customers an optional Sport Appearance Package so your car will look faster than it really it is.

Available on both SE and SEL models, the Sport Package adds 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, a rear lip spoiler and body-color surrounds for the front fog lamps. I can feel the skin peeling back away from my face already. Inside Fusions with the option Sport Package will be charcoal black interior trim, contrasting red stitching and a brushed aluminum face plate for the center console. Also available are "red-splashed" cloth seat inserts or red leather inlays. These Fusions with the Sport Package will only be available in Black, Redfire Metallic, Vapor Silver and Silver Birch Metallic.

But wait, the Sport Package actually does add some go-fast hardware to the Fusion, including a more sporty tuned suspension with a larger rear stabilizer bar, stiffer springs and adjusted springs and dampers. Kudos for the components, but not even a freer breathing air filter or exhaust system for a half dozen more horsepower? Ah well, it'll only cost you $895, anyway.

Check out Ford's official press release after the jump and our high-res gallery of the 2008 Ford Fusion with Sport Package below.

[Source: Ford]



For 2008, the Ford Fusion gets a Sport Appearance Package that helps it stand out from the pack, both inside and out. Available on the SE and SEL models, the new package lets Fusion owners add custom details to make their favorite car look even better.

On the outside, the Sport Appearance Package trims out the Fusion with 18-inch machined aluminum wheels -- a first for Fusion -- plus body-color fog-lamp surrounds and a unique rear lip spoiler. The Fusion's signature three-bar over two-bar grille also gets a sophisticated, smoky "black chrome" look.

Inside, the package features a charcoal black interior trim with contrasting red stitching that is included on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the center console. A satiny, brushed aluminum face also envelops the radio and radio controls. Sport Appearance Package customers can also choose from the special red-splashed cloth seat inserts or rich, red leather inlays on the optional leather seats.

"We did this to give our Fusion customers the chance to really dress up the exterior and interior of their cars," said Jonathan Richards, Ford Fusion marketing manager. "Fusion customers are into appearance, and they want a sporty-looking package to go with Fusion's already great handling. This Sport Appearance Package helps deliver that both inside and out."

The more muscular look of the Fusion Sport Appearance Package is backed up by a sport-tuned suspension with a bigger rear stabilizer bar, stiffer springs and dampened struts and shocks that add to the ride and handling performance.

The upgraded appearance package comes in four exterior colors -- Black, Redfire Metallic, Vapor Silver and Silver Birch Metallic. Priced at $895, the Sport Appearance Package has been getting a strong response.

"Our dealers are saying this is the one they're putting on the showroom floor," said Richards. "This is the one that ultimately delivers on everything that Fusion is."

For 2008, the Fusion continues to offer first-in-class, available all-wheel drive (AWD), which led car enthusiasts to rank the Fusion tops in Handling, Performance and Styling over Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in independent tests conducted by Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines.

The 2008 Fusion also comes standard with six airbags for front, front seat side and side-curtain protection, which provides Fusion with the highest protection ratings in frontal offset and side-impact crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Fusion's standard fuel-efficient 160-horsepower Duratec four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission that delivers 29 mpg highway and a range of 467 miles on a full tank of gas. Fusion buyers can also select from an optional five-speed automatic or the optional 221-horsepower Duratec V6 with a first-in-class five-speed automatic.

Some of the other popular options on the 2008 Fusion include:
  • Ford SYNC, a Bluetooth-enabled, voice-activated system that allows hands-free phone calling and digital media playing.
  • a voice-activated, DVD-based Navigation System and Sirius satellite radio.
  • the Ambient Lighting Package which adds the glow of seven selectable hues to the front and rear footwells and the front cupholders.
  • a Moon and Tune package that puts a power moonroof overhead and a premium eight-speaker Audiophile Sound System all around

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks as sporty as a lawn mower. You have to be blind to let such clumsy front (grill and headlights) to be put in production.
      • 7 Years Ago
      ...wow, since when is 220hp not cutting it anymore? V6 Fusion is lighter, cheaper, with better mpg than Camry or Accord...And available with AWD...and top of the line reliablity.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually the Ford Fusion was rated above the non-hybrid versions of the Accord and Camry by consumer reports. Check the facts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        if you read and pulish on this blog, 220HP doesn't cut it anymore,

        for the rest of the population that just wants reliable transportation, 200HP could be just fine, but considering the Camry/Accord/Altima/Aura/etc FWD family sedans all have more and most outsell the Fusin, that's when 220HP doesn't cut it
        • 7 Years Ago
        You got that "top of the line reliability" remark backwards. It's Honda & Toyota that have that down and Ford doesn't.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unexciting car, with an un-exciting sport package... Why hasn't SVT gotten a crack at it? WTF Ford? You can do better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ignoring the performance issues, this looks really nice from the side.

      Too bad it's ruined by the fugly three-bar grill and the rear end that looks like someone's butt. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll make a Sport Package for the Mercury Milan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      WTF: The 3.0L Duratic V6 with 221 HP just doesn't cut it for us.

      99% of the population is fine with this great engine. Don't like it? Buy a MKZ.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually I should correct you. If you don't like it then you should buy a Mazda 6.

        Thanks again Ford for listening to your consumers. It's no wonder your sales just continue to drop. This sport package is more like getting dressed up for a prom date, not for a sporting event.

        Ford you really should take a clue from the Australian Ford division. They know how to 'sport-ify' or 'juice up' a bland sedan into a high performance machine that can also turn heads. When i look at this car, aside from the spoiler, I have to really look very close to notice ANY changes from the standard sedan, and that's sad. This car will be as invisible to the crowd as most of Ford's other boring sedans.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I was about to mention the Sonata bit, too. The Sonata V6 is like 1.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the fusion. That's a real shame.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the point they are trying to make is that most mid size cars with v6 engines have more power and out gun the fusion. Even a hyundai has more power. Fords new v6 really should be in the fusion as it's a pretty competitive engine.

        BTW almost no one buys the Fusion where I live. I rarely ever see them and can't remember the last time I saw one. Competition is way too tough for ford to blaze a path in the mid size sedan segment. I don't think that the sport package is going to help.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It amazes me how Automotive Journalists always bash cars for not having more horsepower in their top engine as if we all drive at racetracks. Then when you talk to average folks that go test drive a car with two engine options they tend to find the lower end engine actually has enough power for them thanks. If anything I wish you could get the top trim line of these cars with the smaller engine because like most folks I don't need more than 200 horsepower and would rather save on gas. I would be interested to know the actual sales figures of the 4 and the 6 in the Fusion even with the fact that you are forced to take the 6 to get all the toys. The reality is we all got by just fine driving on the highway with cars that had less than 100 hp not that long ago. I don't see the need to keep ramping up the hp when they could be building more fuel efficency instead.
      • 7 Years Ago
      More gears than everyone else.
      More style than everyone else.
      More value than everyone else.
      More cool features like sync, HD radio and adjustable ambient lighting - real cool BTW - than anyone else.
      More AWD than everyone else.
      Great handling.
      Great quality.
      Great reputation.
      Great performance.
      Great car.

      But some of you idiots think it is a bomb because it has less HP than others, while ignoring their transmission deficits.

        • 7 Years Ago
        How exactly does a 6 out-handle an AWD Fusion?
        Oh wait, I know. When compared to the $29K speed 6, right?

        Nobody is going to appreciated the subtle handling differences between a FWD 6 and a FWD Fusion - not without a track and a stopwatch, and it would be very slight. I would rather have the real-world tuned Fusion, that does not expose every F'n expansion joint in every mile of road traveled....just to have that 6/10ths slalom advantage...ON A TRACK THAT NOBODY WILL EVER TAKE IT ANYWAY!!!!!!

        I digress ;)
        • 7 Years Ago
        First off, Legacy GTs are selling at or below invoice, well below MSRP. Maybe Fusions are too, I don't know. Legacys are unfortunately harder to find in stock, though; which would likely change if more people knew about them and bought them.

        Second off, I spent less than 23k, about $8k less than new MSRP on mine, by buying one that was 18 months old, rather than brand spanking new.

        If such a strict budget is that much of a concern to make a sport-minded buyer consider a Fusion SEL "Sport", rather than a Legacy GT; a used car is probably a better financial decision, anyway, to avoid taking the depreciation hit. My Legacy probably retains, and will continue to retain a much higher percentage of it's value today than a Fusion will retain of it's own, built at the same time. The fact that I paid less for used mean I am losing even less to depreciation than new Fusion buyers.

        But new-for-new, MSRP-for-MSRP, I will grant that the Fusion is cheaper than the GT. I don't think it is in a different category, though. Legacy GT is definitely in competition with the Accord, and Camry, which the Fusion also claims to be in competition with. The extra performance edge is pretty significant for relatively few dollars, in the grander picture of the automotive market.

        But lets give up the outright power performance aspect of the GT, and step down to the 2.5i SE or 2.5i Limited. 20k-24k MSRP.
        170hp and torque from a flat four, compared to just 50 more hp, and *20ft-lbs LESS TORQUE* from a Fusion V6 with a half liter more displacement. More power but less torque is probably nearly a wash for performance, power-wise.
        The 2.5i has more torque and horsepower than the Fusion 2.3 liter I4, which is not available AWD equipped. Subaru has AWD standard, of course.

        I am not saying that the Fusion is a bad car, for what it is. It is fine. But it isn't what some, like me, would consider sporty. And a $800 sport package won't make it sporty beyond it's looks, which are not universally loved, anyway.

        Personally, I think the Milan looks better, but more importantly, the Mazda6 performs better. If I didn't have such an aversion to FWD, and the Legacy weren't turbocharged, I would probably have a V6, 5-speed, 5-door Mazda 6. I love the idea of 5-door sedans, and I wish my Legacy were as practical as one. That is one reason that people are sad to see the Legacy GT wagon go away.

        Mostly, I am just tired of people talking about any kind of sporty aspirations that appliances like Accord and Camry have, and Ford touting how much "sportier" the Fusion is than those, in looks only...

        The AWD Fusion comparison ad on TV simultaneously irks me, and makes me laugh, because they talk about sporty AWD on the Fusion, and the Legacy GT is nowhere to be found, and would embarass the lot of them, in terms of AWD performance.

        It was also not included in any of the 20-30k family sedan comparos by the auto-media, and is hardly a blip on anyone's radar. Part of that is Subaru's fault for not pushing it, and making it a visible competitor. Part of it is the press, that seems perfectly fine to leave it on the sidelines.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey MK,
        Your $36K Legacy is not really in the same class as a $25K AWD Fusion. Nor do they sell more. Not by a long shot.
        • 7 Years Ago

        $23k (Fusion) vs. $28k (Legacy GT Limited).

        Compared to the Accord, Camry and GM and Chrysler's offerings, yes it does have more AWD, handling and value. The rest is mostly based on an individual's opinions.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Geez MK, make me read a novel next time :)

        Anyways, I do agree. I'm not bashing the Legacy. I love it. And if I weren't the son of a Ford employee, I would buy one...whether it was a base model or a GT.

        I was just stating that compared to the Accord, Camry and GM/Chrysler options, it's a pretty good deal. Is it the best car out there? No. But it's not as bad as some people say it is.

        As far as that comparison goes, I do laugh at it, too. But the Fusion is definitely a better handling car when compared to the Camry, GM/Chrysler offerings but definitely not the new Accord.

        It is sad to see the Legacy not included in the rest of the comparisons out there. And it boggles my mind.

        I consider the Fusion sporty. I don't know why anyone would. Why call the Mazda6 sporty (which I love) and not the Fusion?

        As for the rest of your comment, I do agree.
        • 7 Years Ago
        More AWD???
        More style?
        Great handling?
        Great Performance?
        Great Value?

        My 300hp AWD Legacy GT with a 5-speed manual begs to differ with all of those :D
        • 7 Years Ago
        The 3.0 V6 stinks, completely gutless under 4000rpm. It moves fine 4500-6500. It doesn't have a variable resonance intake manifold, or some sort of tumble/swirls valve system.
        The camry V6 has a 6 speed auto 5.4:1 ratio spread. Honda reduces the ratio spread to 4.4:1 '08 (because of the cylinder shutoff)

        Haldex really isn't that useful. Just get winter/summer tires.
        and the turning circle stinks on the Mazda6/fusion/mkz. Limited steer angle due to virtual axis lower steering geometry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Take away the chrome on the front and I think we'd all forget this car exists.
      I like the car, I just don't feel it stand out in a crowd without the chrome.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 2005 3.0L Mercury Mariner. Unfortunately it's mated to the 4 spd automatic. It's a dog under 2500 rpm.
      The 3.0L should be tuned for 205 hp @ 5500 rpm and 221 ft/lbs @ 2500-3000 rpm in all applications. How I miss the old 3.73 rear geared '93 5.0 LX AOD! However, as you other old heads know, the 5.0 Fox platform didn't handle, crashed over bumps and had pitiful body construction integrity.

      • 7 Years Ago
      With the price of gas I'd like to see an
      "Efficiency" Package.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about an option to delete that three-bar chrome grille?
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