Yes, the Fusion is finally worthy of its Sport badging, thanks to its 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. That's five more horsepower and 50 more pound-feet than a BMW 340i. And it's a hell of a lot more than the naturally aspirated V6 from the Toyota Camry SE or turbocharged fours of the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Unlike its mainstream competition, Ford paired the Fusion's six-speed automatic transmission to a standard all-wheel-drive system, so it should be easy to put all that power down. Ford hasn't published performance figures yet, but if the Fusion Sport takes more than around five seconds to hit 60, it'd shock us.
But power isn't the Fusion Sport's only trump card – there's also the price. At just $34,350, it's a staggering performance bargain. It's not a BMW, but the starting figure is just a smidge more than the $34,145 320i – that's the base 180-hp model – and it's $12,445 less than the 340i. Things are even better when you start ticking option boxes, because a well-equipped Fusion Sport – navigation, adaptive cruise control, vented seats, 19-inch wheels, and dual-zone climate control – is available for less than $40,000 ($39,855, according to the online configurator). Now, let's not be silly – we don't realistically expect the Fusion Sport to match the 340i in every dynamic metric. But if all you care about is straight-line grunt (and that's probably enough for most Americans), the Ford is a hilarious bargain.
So yes, the Fusion Sport is set to cause all manner of headaches for both premium and mainstream competitors. But it's also going to cause problems for Ford. After all, when you can snag a 325-hp, 380 lb-ft Fusion for under $35,000, is there really an incentive to buy the all-wheel-drive, 400-horsepower Lincoln MKZ for $43,575? We'd argue not really, especially since you can load out the Fusion and still save a few thousand bucks compared to the hot-rod Lincoln. It's a similar story with the aging Ford Taurus SHO. The Fusion is more affordable than the $41,150 Taurus, and the power sacrifice is even smaller than it is with the MKZ.
Oh, and if you're still having a hard time wrapping your head around the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6's power output, think about it like this – the last Fusion Sport, from 2012, had a naturally aspirated V6 with just 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. What's more, with ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, the new turbo Sport is slightly more fuel efficient. It is a wonderful time to be alive.
The 2017 Fusion Sport will arrive in dealers at the end of this summer.