Critically acclaimed new vehicles are naturally praised for their performance and features, but they are often also appreciated from an art and design perspective, and the 2013 Ford Fusion is an example of a model that has earned shared admiration from art and auto experts alike. In conjunction with the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Mass. and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) recently presented the 2013 Fusion with the 2012 Gene Ritvo Award for Design and Elegance.
An organization of automotive media professionals throughout New England, NEMPA created its Gene Ritvo Award in memory of a late member, concours photographer Gene Ritvo. The award recognizes the best of design in the automotive world, whether it is a concept vehicle, a production car, a creative marketing campaign or a particular vehicle element that embodies elegance in design. This year, it went to the all-new 2013 Fusion due to reach Ford dealerships in the fall.
“Some of the leading voices in the art or auto world are in Greater Boston and the New England region, and earning their respect is a big deal,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Massachusetts Ford dealership Stoneham Ford. “The 2013 Fusion turns traditional auto design on its ear and proves that midsize sedans don’t have to be drab. Instead, they can have a vibrant look and dynamic drivability.”
When it debuted this past January at the North American International Auto Show, the 2013 Ford Fusion generated a lot of buzz with its sleek, sophisticated design. NEMPA judges meanwhile made special note of the Fusion’s front end, which resembles a mix between a Ford Taurus and an Aston Martin. Clearly sculpted lines continue down the flanks of the car, with a crease running from headlight to taillight: a style element found to a lesser degree on the 2012 Ford Focus.
The new Ford Fusion maintains its flair for the unexpected underneath the hood, using hybrid technology and EcoBoost engines to increase power and fuel efficiency. In addition to hybrid and plug-in hybrid models that will each feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant, the Fusion lineup will also offer 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines, so buyers can find their ideal performance balance. The same EcoBoost engines can also be found in the new 2013 Ford Escape compact SUV currently arriving at Ford dealerships.
Producing 178 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost unit returns a class-leading 33 mpg on the highway in the new Escape. Meanwhile, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 240 horsepower and 231 pound-feet of torque while still returning up to 30 mpg on the highway. The new Escape’s standard engine is a 2.5-liter Duratec engine that nets up to 31 mpg on the highway.
“Ford’s dedication to its EcoBoost technology has reaped huge rewards in power and efficiency,” added Melkonian. “Though it first appeared in larger vehicles like the F-150 and Explorer, the technology is now spreading throughout the lineup, starting with the compact Escape crossover this month and continuing with the new Fusion midsize sedan this fall. That makes it an exciting time to be a Ford dealer.”