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The Ford Fusion upended the mid-size sedan segment when it was unveiled in 2012 – whereas most models on the market were fairly sedate, the Fusion offered a bold, design-driven take on the family car. For 2017 Ford sharpened the Fusion’s front with a slimmer grill, more angular headlights, and a redesigned lower fascia with prominent air intakes. The overall effect is more streamlined and sporty, although few changes were made to the car’s profile and rear.

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Under the hood, the vehicle’s specs remain largely the same – the 2017 Fusion Energi features a 7.6 kWh lithium ion battery with 19 miles of electric-only range and a 2.0 liter engine that kicks the total range up to 500 miles. Ford did retune the car’s software to offer better driving dynamics, and the 2017 Fusion features more efficient electric motors that should yield a boost in mileage. The fusion Energi charges up in just 2.5 hours, uses regenerative braking to recapture up to 95% of energy lost through heat in braking, and it can hit an electric-only top speed of 85 mph.

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The 2017 Fusion Energi‘s biggest update lies in its technology package. It’s Ford’s first US car with pedestrian detection, and it also features hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking, a lane-keep assist system, and blind spot alerts. An “EcoGuide” system actively coaches drivers to get better fuel economy, and Ford’s new SYNC 3 infotainment system rounds out the package.

+ Ford Fusion

+ Detroit Auto Show

images via Mike Chino for Inhabitat and Ford

Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at a three-day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own.