The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management recently played host to a panel of engineers and scientists from automakers, suppliers and academia for "The Autonomous Vehicle - 2012," and Ford brought Chris Hamilton, designer of the 2013 Ford Fusion, to accept the New England Motor Press Gene Ritvo award for Design and Elegance. That gave Autoblog an opportunity to corner Mr. Hamilton for five minutes and chat about what's possibly the most hotly-anticipated mainstream sedan in a generation.

Check out the video below, and leave your own questions for Mr. Hamilton in the comments. For more information about "The Autonomous Vehicle - 2012," click here, where you can find audio and powerpoint presentations from the conference. Thanks to Zane Merva from Autoinsane.com for shooting this video.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      we all know there is noone like "the designer" of that car. it was a team..the exterior designer was this guy for example http://www.carbodydesign.com/2012/01/interview-with-ford-fusion-exterior-designer-dillon-blanski/
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well it was nice to get his input on the car. I knew this car was all Euro. Please show me an American part to this car. Ford just got lazy(or was so broke), they had to throw this at us. As I recall, Ford America used to know how to engineer cars here and they sold extremely well. There was never anything wrong with American styling, as Ford sold hundreds of thousands of Fseries, Tauruses, Explorers, and the list goes on. Now I did not mind the Focus coming over even tho the Escort was a very good car, but replacing the Fusion with a euro car and bringing all of these euro vehicles over is disappointing as it shows Ford America really sat on the sidelines and let their cars rot and ignored the market and are now playing catch up. I used to be proud to own Fords because I knew they were designed and mostly built here and the styling was great. Now I could just about care less. I mean, whats the point of buying an American car anymore if it nearly no longer exists? It is very frustrating to try to support your own when they cop out. Im sure I will be downranked and could care less. I guess at least I got to experience a time when an American car was just that. My future kids(God willing) will probably never know that feeling of pride. What a shame. P.S. The interior of the new Fusion sucks. I sat inside one at a press gathering and what a let down. So bland and flat and uninspiring. Zero imagination. And the shiny plastic on the door frames sucks too and scratches waaay to easily.
        Moosetang
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        The chief interior designer is American, of course that's the part you choose to criticize as "bland and flat and uninspiring." The engineering team is largely American, and the car was mostly developed in Dearborn.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Moosetang
          The car was developed in Germany. It's the new mk4 Mondeo, it replaces the mk3 Mondeo in the usual fashion after six model years, and uses a modified version of the mk3s platform. The car is now global and North America will be the first area to roll it out purely as a marketing strategy, nothing more.
          Jesus!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Moosetang
          You did not listen to him did you? This car is mostly euro.
        Xantia10000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        Yo Jesus, maybe you should check out the new Toyota Avalon. It was styled, designed, engineered, and is built in America. Go USA!
      That Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Way to go Chris. You successfully designed an American (well, Mexical) car that looks like a cheap knock off of a cheap Chinese imitation of an Aston Martin.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        like focus and fiesta it was mostly developed in germany...just saying
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chris, great job on the 2013 Fusion. It's epic! My questions are about the future of Fusion. Can we expect an SVT, SHO, coupe or even a convertible version of your design of the Fusion in the years to come? And is the Evos concept a Fusion Coupe in disguise? Great job and I look forward to seeing more of your designs. - Randy
      socalmuscle40
      • 2 Years Ago
      Beautiful car. Great design. They knocked it out of the park with this one.
      newbski
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the new fusion but the configuration I chose out prices it from all the rest in that class. Definitely more expensive than the outgoing model.
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @newbski
        Pricing isn't official yet. The prices on the comfigurator are not the actual prices.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @newbski
        With the introduction of these Ford of Europe products in the States, you can expect pricing to be a good deal higher simply because the product is that much superior to the products being replaced. The Fiesta, Focus, Escape (aka Kuga mk2) and now this Fusion (aka Mondeo mk4) are all priced in VW territory because that's the very marketplace they were designed to compete in.
          Randy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Everyone. The bottom line says what Ford is doing is working on an epic scale. We should feel humbled that we can't figure out how they are turning such large overall profits and reducing debt without gov assistance and providing superior vehicles across the board. Quality, performance, style and mpgs is all in one brand, Ford. Which at the end of the day or fiscal year the dollars end up in the good ole USA. I'm a fan!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          [blocked]
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Wasp, no the mk5 Fiesta wasn't sold in the States, but it upped the existing B-segment ante in that country, and that was a far cry from the traditional small car philosophy in America of four wheels and a seat for the price of a Happy Meal. There's much debate as to how much of improvement this Focus is over the previous European model, but it's light years ahead over the previous American spec machine, and if you have experience of mk1s on both sides of the Atlantic, as I have, you'll be very familiar with just how much the US model was dumbed down in materials quality and fit and finish. I think many American truck buyers will prefer the brick looks of the previous Mazda sourced Escape, but theres no doubt the Focus based Kuga version is a far superior car. In the States, it'll probably appeal more to the RAV4 and CRV brigade.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Europe's auto sales are down across the board because their economy is in the stinker right now. Ford isn't posting losses because they've lost their way in Europe.
          ChrisH
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          The previous generation Fusion was quieter, rode better, and more reliable than my 2010 TDI ... it has been my parents luck with Fords that led to buy one myself, but being a guy I chose a Mustang
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Michael S
        • 2 Years Ago
        This American's understanding is that it's less about the drive wheels and more about the badge. Mondeo man is now 3-series man; everyone wants something aspirational and premium. So it makes sense that the new Mondeo looks more upscale than ever before to rival BMWs and Mercs.
      JustMyOpinion
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this car is gorgeous. I cant wait to pay off my car this year and save up for this. I already built one on the ford website, with all wheel drive and the (as far as i can tell) same motor that the Focus ST will come with. I cant wait to be in that car and fell that turbo surge and still have four doors and a nice trunk and for the first time, driving an AMERICAN car. I only wish they had made a "sportier" package for it, but i understand that everybody is focusing on gas mileage these days. Still wish Ford would release the gas mileage numbers for the boosted ecotec that is coming in the 2013 focus ST and in this car though.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JustMyOpinion
        All sounds great, except for the fact you're essentially driving a German Mondeo.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Justmyopinion, with a screen name like yours, I can't help but be amused at the irony of your comments. If you want to see a productive comment in answer to Rick's bemused and seemingly repetitive state about the state of the market in the UK, then see above. But I'm sure you're very busy playing on your car configurator and dreaming.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          That was rude? Hardly, it was the truth. And when I say German Mondeo Rick, I'm referring to where the car was developed. These days, Mondeos for western European consumption are sourced from Genk. The Mondeo began sinking below the 3 series in UK sales in 2008, and the reasons for this are numerous. Firstly, there's been a significant shift from the D segment to the C segment in the UK in recent years in terms of sales from the mainstreams. Secondly, 3 series lease pricing to the corporate sector has become extraordinarily competitive as residuals remain stronger. Indeed, this has been a gradual process in the UK since the early 1990s. Third, many company car schemes have been lost in favour of per diem cash alternatives, so private sales flourish away from the typical former rep mobiles. And last, top flight Mondeos have simply become too expensive to compete effectively with the traditional German Q-cars. The UK marketplace has shifted utterly from the days when the Cortina and later Sierra took regular sales crowns.
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          actually aatbloke knows what he is talking about
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Rick, what part of an automobile development programme don't you understand? The Mondeo was developed by Ford of Europe, who are HQed in Germany. I'm not talking about where the production model is made, or who penned the concept.
          JustMyOpinion
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          You should put more time into providing a productive comment than a non-witty opinion. I am from America, and love european design, it's refreshing to see something so pretty come from one of the big three here, so please, keep your rude comments to yourself, sir.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          [blocked]
          JustMyOpinion
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          BTW, my comment is aimed at aatbloke1967. Also, Rick, why do several of your comments say "where did it all go wrong at ford with the mondeo?" Are you trying to make people believe you by repeating yourself?
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JustMyOpinion
        Ecotec? Thats a GM my friend!
      Adamnski
      • 2 Years Ago
      C'mon anyone with half a brain could have looked at the success of the Ford program in Europe with the Focus and Mondeo and thought that those cars would sell better than the lack luster Focus and Fusion here. Really is it that much of the leap to put the design of the Mondeo into the Fusion. Bonus is Ford gets to rip off the grill from a Aston Martin.
        TwinTurbo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adamnski
        That's a good point. If the Chinese were to rip off Aston Martin we would be all over them with criticism and foul language. However, in this case it wasn't the Chinese taking Aston Martin's design language and using it for themselves and nary a word against Ford.
          Randy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TwinTurbo
          yes because they owned the company when the design was made and it was their designers
      Xperson27
      • 2 Years Ago
      point is that this new 2013 Fusion has already won several design awards including the Larz Anderson award. If it resembles an Aston Marton it's probably due to some ex Aston Martin designer(s) now working for Ford (remember that Ford owned Aston Martin 97-04). To Jesus!, The vehicle is going to sell like hot cakes. American car companies as a whole got lazy and now are bringing over Euro and Australian vehicles, GM brought over the Holden Commodore and renamed it the Pontiac G6, The Opel Astra was shipped over and re-badged as a Saturn. Chrysler is almost completely Italian platform sourced now that FIAT owns them. It's called changing with the times.
        audiohack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Xperson27
        Several of you have said that Ford, and others, are "lazy" bringing global vehicles to the U.S. market. You do understand the massive expense involved with engineering and building a vehicle, yes? Ford's "One Ford" initiative reduces the expensive duplication of effort that had been going on, with multiple similar vehicles for different markets. The Fusion/Mondeo is a global product, just like you can buy an iPod here or in Hong Kong and expect it to be the same thing. Dan
      Jason Parry
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think you guys might need to hire an interviewer or "personality" as it were
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Parry
        Was there a problem with the interviewer? I didn't notice!
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