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]



PRESS RELEASE:

SPORT PACKAGE HELPS FUSION STAND OUT

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