Crazy Leo enjoys successful first WRC event in Portugal

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Crazy Leo Urlichich, the Canadian rally driver who came by his nickname thanks to his wild driving style, has successfully completed his first ever WRC event, in Portugal. Taking part in a driver search program called the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, saw the fan focused driver trading his signature orange and black Subaru for a front wheel drive Ford Fiesta.

Saying that the competition at an FIA World Rally Championship event is stiff would be stiff is somewhat redundant, but the DMACK Fiesta Trophy itself features some tough competitors including Max Vatanen, son of rally legend Ari Vatanen.
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New car delivery squad charged with street racing

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Many consumers worry about car dealership staff driving their new car before they take delivery, fearing that dealership employees are laying down smokey burnouts or racing around the neighborhood for kicks. The truth is that dealership staff rarely have time for such shenanigans and even if they did, most dealership workers sadly are not car enthusiasts. They just don’t have the interest in ripping up someone’s new pride and joy. Besides, most consumers don’t realize how many people may have been behind the wheel of a car before it is even offloaded from the truck at the dealership.

A story this week in Canadian Manufacturing is a perfect, although extreme example.
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Watch a GT3 driver crash at the Nurburgring

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I had a conversation with the organizer of an upcoming motosport series yesterday who commented that they have had one time visits from Porsche drivers who don’t stick around because they don’t like being humiliated by guys in Honda Civics. Today’s first video is kinda like that.

This morning, Bill Caswell from BUILD RACE PARTY posted a video from the infamous Nurburgring, where a Porsche 911 GT3 driver got a taste of why Sir Jackie called the place The Green Hell.

Caswell is in the black forest preparing for his first ever race at the ‘Ring, this weekend. The driver, who you may recognize as the guy who took a Craigslist BMW, converted it to a rally car and competed in the WRC Mexico a few years ago. Caswell has enlisted the help of Robb Holland, an American who races in the BTCC in an Audi S3, to help bring him up to speed. While touring the track in a Ford Focus RS, Holland catches up with a GT3 which is clearly being over driven. It isn’t too long before we see the Porsche driver put two wheels off and then a few corners later he stuffs it into the Armco. What is really cool is that Holland calls the off well before it happens!
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Impatient Camaro driver clips oncoming Volvo

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A number of years ago, I remember reading a Q & A with then Sgt. Cam Woolley, when someone asked when it was ok to pass on a rural road. The not so obvious answer was that on a single yellow line, one can pass provided it is safe to do so. Then there were the obvious dotted line discussions and the fact that you may never, ever pass on a double yellow line. Common sense that one.

When that double yellow is on a twisty canyon road, it shouldn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that you should stay in your own lane, even if there is a local turtle ahead of you. Last weekend in California, a current generation Chevy Camaro driver felt that the law and common sense didn’t apply to him. #becausecamara ya know.

Reddit user humanwire was out for a drive and had a couple of cameras on board.

Went out this Saturday to hit up my favorite canyon road with some friends, but it ended up being closed once we got there. Hesitantly, we decided to give a Malibu canyon road (Decker Canyon, aka Route 23) a try on the way back, so the whole day wasn’t a complete waste.
I was quickly reminded why I don’t like driving on Malibu canyon roads, and why I head out much further away from Los Angeles for some frisky driving.
A group of three cars came barreling up behind us; a black Comaro, a red Mazdaspeed 3, and a black M3, unable to wait a second for a turnout.

Completely ruined the fun mood of the trip, and my friends and I turned around almost immediately so we wouldn’t be associated with that group. Wouldn’t want a CHP call to go out including us with that group.
Too many dickhead drivers. Too much traffic. Too many police patrols. Less than stellar roads (not all of them).

Pony car boy gets fed up with idling along behind a slowpoke in a Ford Explorer, and decides to pull out and pass, on a blind corner. He actually clips a Volvo that was headed in the opposite direction. Things could have very easily been a deadly incident, so everyone involved were very lucky.

Here’s to hoping that the local police get hold of this and track the moron down.

Source: YouTube via Reddit

Global Rallycross carnage compilation by GoPro

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If rallysport is the purest form of motorsport, then rallycross has to be the purest form of racing. It certainly is the most exciting, for fans and drivers alike. The sport isn’t new, having been active across the Atlantic for decades, where competitors battle it out of race tracks that are a combination of dirt and pavement. With the launch of the Global RallyCross Championship a couple of years ago though, the excitement was pushed to a whole new level.
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Roadkill attacks Goodguys with the Rotsun

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In yet another example of why the internet is so much better that television, we have the latest episode of Roadkill. Creating a Tv show can cost a fortune depending on local union laws and if you are working within a niche, there is no guarantee that a network will actually pick up on your show. On the web, all you need is a few GoPro cameras, a DSLR or two and some mounts and you can create some pretty good content. Of course, to make great content, you need a few skills, some great content and loads of personality. Thankfully, in the automotive vertical, there are some pretty talented people, like the guys at Motor Trend and Hot Rod.

Roadkill is a show that falls under the umbrella of the former and follows the cats at the latter as they buy broke-ass cars, inject a bit of personality and head out on a road trip. Epic, television show quality entertainment without all of the annoying tampon ads.

In this latest episode, David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan take a Chevy powered ’71 Datsun 240Z from a previous show and install a stonkin’ big turbo from a Ford Powerstroke Diesel. A rattier looking Zed car would be tough to find, but by the time the guys get their crap together they are able to lay down some serious times on the Goodguys Spring Nationals autocross course. The fact that the right side door is held shut with a gate latch just adds to the charm of the Rotsun.

“Barn Find” Ranchero Bonneville racer heading to museum

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The Barn Find is the Holy Grail for pretty much every car enthusiast: the car that has been tucked away in a barn or some other storage facility, forgotten until the owner passes away and the family discovers it. In some cases, the car wasn’t forgotten, it was just there. That is the case with a 1963 Ford Ranchero named Gillette’s Blue Blade.

The Gillette’s included Father Elmo and Sons Mark and Greg. I met up with Greg through Facebook, where he told me that his Dad had passed away last month and the family has decided to donate the car to Jim Lattin’s excellent collection of race cars in Encinitas, California. Gillette was kind enough to share some information about the car, along with a bunch of images as the car was unearthed and cleaned up

The Ranchero was originally purchased by a man with the last name of Baxter, who bought it from a Ford dealer, drove it home and it was never driven on the street after that. He raced it at El Mirage Dry Lake and on the Bonneville Salt Flats for a few years until it was purchased by Craig Lund who ran it for a couple of years. Both Baxter and Lund ran the car with a carburated 260cid Ford.

I bought the car from Craig Lund in 1972.

Through our friendships with Jack Lufkin and Ak Miller, we acquired a 221cid V8 (Ford’s first small block) that Ak had run in a Mustang a few years earlier. Our father, Elmo, built the engine with Hilborn Fuel Injection and enough horsepower to allow the Ranchero to claim its first records.

We also ran a fuel injected 260, which also powered The Redhead Steamliner to records.

We ran the Ranchero successfully until 1978 in Production Coupe and Sedan, setting a record on The Salt in 1976.

Following that, the car spent some time in Lattin’s shop in Pomona. After a few years, Gillette’s Mom and Dad moved to Northern Nevada and took the Ranchero with them. It was parked in an old fruit packing barn where it has been sequestered until a few days ago.

Greg laments that he doesn’t know too much about the car mechanically as he was “more of a driver” but he does recall that “It was a good driver; never got sideways. It did wander about 6 inches to the left and right, but as long as you didn’t try to correct that wandering, it just went straight.” Unique in more than just appearance, Gillette says that others were always commenting that the car had a nasty sound that brought many to the assumption that the car was actually powered by a 351 Cleveland, but this was not the case. To the best of the driver’s recollection, the Blue Blade’s best record was 168 MPH in E/Prod.

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Images courtesy of Greg Gillette.

Further With Ford 2013 Trend Conference: Day 3

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We’re on our third and final day of the Further With Ford Trend Conference, and back on the bus at 7:30 am, this time for some behind the wheel experience. We would be divided into two groups. One would drive a Ford Escape into Detroit to visit a few points of interest at how the city is revitalizing. As an architecture and amateur photography fan, I was keeping my fingers crossed I would be in this group, but alas, I was not. Instead, I was to drive a Ford F-150 into Detroit with a couple sheets of plywood for a Habitat for Humanity project. I was told I would experience the potential of the F-150, but for crying out loud I could have strapped the same plywood to the roof of my Porsche 911. It quickly dawned on me and my passengers that this was a dog and pony PR show. That said, the F-150, the best selling vehicle in the US, and amazingly, a vehicle I have never driven, proved to be easy and comfortable to drive.

My trip to Detroit happened a couple weeks before the city declared bankruptcy, and I can honestly tell you, it is no joke. Dearborn, where Ford is located is dominated with the sprawling, low level campus of Ford’s offices, the immaculate Henry Ford museum, and modest, but tidy, well kept homes. Drive twenty minutes into Detroit, and it is an entirely different world. It is perhaps the most perplexing city I have ever visited. I’ve been a guest of Ford at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, a fantastic stadium. I’ve met with our Founding Editor Gary Grant at GM’s Ren Cen for drinks, and it is a place that could easily fit in New York City. But exiting the highway in our F-150, it nearly takes your breath away at the devastation this city has suffered. Abandoned, boarded up homes outnumber occupied properties. It is a virtual wasteland. As a person, a car journalist, it is tough to grapple that this is the epicenter of the Detroit Three, some of the most powerful car companies in the world. You would never know it by driving around Detroit. The Motor City. It’s a crying shame.

We dropped off our plywood to volunteers of Habitat for Humanity, who were all smiles, and I left feeling a little better having helped, and hearing how many homes have been built or rehabilitated in Detroit. These people face what to me seems an insurmountable challenge, yet they are tackling it head on. If you can put aside any animosity about politics and bail outs, you can head over to www.habitat.org to make a donation to help a city that is in desperate need.

We drive back to Dearborn, and then we wait. And wait. It seems most of us completed our tasks much quicker than the planners at Ford had anticipated. And from experience, I know how crashes at car events catch like wild fire on the internet, two F-150′s collided just getting out of the lot. I was told no one but their ego’s were hurt. And we continued to wait. And wait. Finally, we were back on the bus, headed towards Ford’s proving grounds. Surrounded by high brick walls and security fences, this was like entering the Promised Land for me.

Our guide is a seasoned Ford test driver. This facility is no joke. It has what looks to be a flight tower directing traffic. An astute passenger spots a Hyundai Genesis sedan going flat out, and questions the test driver about it. His response? “We test everything here.” My best guess is they are benchmarking the Genesis against the Lincoln MKZ or MKS. Once in, our first task is to take a Ford Fusion Hybrid around the track, and hyper-mile it. The Fusion will grade you on how well you brake and maximize fuel economy. I thought I was doing alright, getting 100% ratings at a couple of corners, until my co-driver did the same course and nailed it 100% at all points. In my defense, I drove first, so he could see firsthand what to do.

Next was sort of a silly exercise where we colored in a Ford Focus any way we liked, with the promise we would eventually get a handbag with our creation. I did my Focus in The Garage livery. This was a time consuming activity, and we were running out of time. Next, I stood in line for a timed autocross event with a Ford Fiesta. The goal was to complete the course in 40 seconds. Too hot or too slow, you lose. Sadly, with time mismanaged so badly, while standing in line for a ride, I was told we had to head back for lunch. I’m not bitter about it, since I’ve spent a week with a Fiesta, but the majority of bloggers here are not car journalists, and missed out on how nimble the Fiesta is.

We essentially wolfed down our lunches, and it was back to the Westin, adjacent to the Detroit airport. I grabbed my luggage, and personally thanked Tony McCloud, who does a miraculous job of coordinating flight and lodging plans for 200 people for this event. I am exhausted, but it has been an informative and exciting time, as always, and I am happy to relay my experiences to you.

I can finally catch my breath once I am in the terminal. No trouble boarding my Delta flight home, but then we are stuck. The captain tells us flight traffic over Cincinatti Ohio is too congested for us to fly over. We can sit, or wait to hear if we can be diverted over Toronto. So, we sit. After a good wait, we are off, and we land back at Bradley Airport, outside of Hartford, CT. At this point, Bradley is mostly empty, and I haul myself back to my Ford Escape Titanium that awaits me in the parking garage, and make my way back home.

I would like to thank Ford for their hospitality, and with any luck, The Garage will be able to report to you the 2014 Further With Ford Trends Conference. Thanks for reading!

*Editors Note: Ford Motor Company provided flight, lodging and food, but I was not financially compensated for my participation in this event.

Further With Ford 2013 Trend Conference: Day Two

IMG_1887Welcome back to The Garage’s coverage of the Further With Ford Trend Conference. Day one was pretty much about just making it from my home state of Connecticut to Detroit and an exciting dinner at the incredible Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Day two was all business, and the reason Ford flew the most elite bloggers in the business to listen to what their message was.

Wolfing down some breakfast and making a run for the bus, it’s just a few minutes drive to the Ford Conference & Event Center, where Bill Ford is present to wish us all a good morning. I rush off to my first conference, entitled ‘Sculpting the Future’, which focused on car design, and easily the most engaging and riveting session I attended. Notable attendees were Chief Designer J Mays, Jay Ward from Pixar, and best selling author Seth Godin. When J Mays spoke to us last year, he was living in London, and has since relocated back to Michigan. Mays fascinates me every time I am fortunate enough to get to hear him speak. Back in the States, Mays explains that every drive to and from work is a design study. Sure, he is constantly aware of the cars people are driving, but Mays went further as to not just study the other cars on the road, but what the driver’s of that car are wearing. Mays’ mentality in observing this is to design the driver, then the car. Imagine the type of buyer you want, what their style, habits and tastes are, then design the car itself.

Seth Godin takes the mike, and blows my mind. Godin spoke of design  with a sort of urgency to move forward and be edgier. To not appeal to everyone. Godin noted that the Mazda Miata is strictly a niche car, but it has mass appeal, which in turn has helped Mazda. Godin seemed to challenge the comfort level of the average car buyer, daring designers to produce something interesting. In an analogy, Godin explained that people from around the world will travel to New York City, and eat at a chain restaurant that they easily could have gone to in their own hometown. Why would you do that? The point is to explore, to find something new and different. Godin implored the panel if they had a checklist for what everyone wants in a car, to torch it. To focus on desire, and not making a car for everyone. In closing, he remarked “You cannot compromise your way to beautiful.” I wanted to stand on my chair and applaud the man.

Next up was ‘Returning To Your Senses’, a look at how technology has impacted our lives. A car used to be an isolation chamber. It was simply you, and the car. Nothing else. But this is 2013, and we are always connected, all of the time. With experts from MIT, Stanford and Google, the struggle with the modern driver is not just digital overload, but evaluating their digital health, if you will. Generation Y is turned off by cars, because they feel a car disconnects them from the smartphone that is permanently attached to their hand. Connectivity in cars is something several car companies are already offering in their cars, but is it safe?

Ford is working on that, under the mantra of creating ‘the car that cares.’ Bluetooth, in car texting, traffic and weather alerts are all technologies that are present in cars you can buy today. We are constantly bombarded by information. Ford is striving to create a non-distracting environment in the car. How? A seat that monitors your heart rate. Why? Let’s say you are merging into traffic on a highway, or changing lanes. Your heart rate increases under these stressful circumstances, and with this technology, Ford will divert incoming phone calls and text messages until the driver’s heart has returned to normal. Also in the works is continuous glucose monitoring for diabetics via a small device put on the driver that will warn if your blood sugar is too low. Another technology in the works are for people sensitive to allergies, where the car’s GPS can re-route you to a lower pollen count area to avoid an allergy attack. Constant connectivity are what new car buyers demand, and Ford is working on integrating that technology in ways to not distract, but to make safer drivers on the road.

We break for lunch, and the centerpiece is the radical Ford Atlas concept trunk, pictured at top. This room has some history to it, as the design mock-up for the first Ford Thunderbird was shown to Ford execs in the very same spot. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the designers of the Atlas concept. After lunch, I get a demonstration on 3-D Printing, which is fascinating technology. Designers can send a file from their desktop to a 3-D printer which will literally render a part that looks like the real thing, only it isn’t. What once took weeks now takes days, and the design process can move more quickly and efficiently.

Prior to flying out to Detroit, Ford had me complete a personality test from the experts at Myers-Briggs. While the result of the test did not surprise me, I seriously scratched my head at the suggestion an F-150 suited my personality type. Incorrect. Regardless of my personality, the Ford I would pick for my driveway is a Focus ST. While it was interesting to know that Ford is trying to understand the psychology of car buyers and how it affects their car buying decisions, the demonstration seemed boring. I moved on.

Next, we were off to one of Ford’s R&D facilities. About a year ago, Ford started using heat imaging to find and identify ‘holes’ in their cars. If you are not familiar with heat imaging, think of how police will use heat sensing equipment to find people. Ford takes that same technology by super heating the interior of a car (in this case, a Fusion), and with heat imaging they can find areas where there are, as they call them, ‘holes’, places that could possibly create wind noise at speed. Ford not only tests their cars, but benchmarks the competition as well. Riveting? No, but the point is the lengths that Ford is going to improve their cars.

We were also given a look at an impressive driving simulator. Imagine a dome large enough to contain a Ford Edge, supported by massive hydraulics to, well, you guessed it, simulate driving. The purpose? In a controlled environment, Ford is able to test drivers in a variety of situations. Are they sleep deprived? Busy on their cell phone? Are there other distractions that could affect not just their safety, but the safety of other drivers? Lane Keeping and Forward Collision safety technologies were developed here. If you thought full-scale driving simulators only existed in elite Formula 1 racing teams, you stand corrected.

Finally, it was time for our third and final trend session of the day, entitled ‘Greentopia’. The Further With Ford conference is for bloggers of all disciplines, not just gearheads like myself, and Ford had on hand plenty of bloggers who deal exclusively with the environment. What Ford was basically telling us is they are collaborating with companies outside of the car industry to find solutions to be a greener car company. Most interesting for me was panel member Scott A. Vitters from Coca Cola, who is general manager of the PlantBottle packaging program, which is absolute cutting edge technology in terms of recycling. Why is Coke at a Ford conference? Well, the technologies that Coca-Cola is discovering is not just about soda bottles, this is environmental technology that can be used in literally everything. And, I am proud to say that as manager of this program, Mr. Vitters graduated from my alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College, two years before I did.

With the conclusion of the working part of our day, the whole lot of us are exhausted and on information overload. The quietness on the bus drive back to the hotel speaks volumes. Thankfully, Ford affords us a couple hours to decompress. I have the pleasure of meeting Andy Baryer, host of Canada’s #1 Technology Lifestyle show at GetConnected, based out of Vancouver, who was lucky enough to get a one on one interview with Steve Wozniak.

Ford concluded the night with a dinner reception celebrating 50 years of the Ford Mustang. My hopes of seeing the 2014 Mustang were dashed, but we were entertained with great food, drink, a DJ, custom pinstriper artists from Detroit and a killer slot car race track. Putting in a few laps in a Ford GT-40 in LeMans in Gran Turismo 5 was icing on the cake.

With the party dying down, it was off to the quiet of my hotel room, where I watched in silence planes taking off and landing. A call home to my wife and son, I had little trouble catching zz’s as I knew I was in for another busy day tomorrow.

Review: 2013 Ford Fusion

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To our regular readers, if it seems like The Garage has been pumping out nothing but reviews of mid-size cars lately, well, the bottom line is we’ve been slammed with an onslaught of new, redesigned mid-size cars hitting the showroom floor. Sure, the crossover is what everyone is chatting about, but in the real world, the mid-size family car remains king, and the competition is absolutely cutthroat. The 2013 Ford Fusion is all new for this year. Ford flew me to the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to see the global reveal of the car. While there, Ford took me behind the scenes, showing me clay models of the Fusion, and the advanced technology of putting the Fusion on massive computer monitors just to see how the car looked in different backgrounds, just to make sure they were getting the right look.

The work paid off. The new Ford Fusion is easily one of the most dramatic and stylish mid-size cars out there. Curvy and elegant, the Fusion just drips with class. Without a doubt the best view is from the front. Let’s face it-if you’re going to copy a grille from anyone, you cannot go wrong by aping Aston Martin. Flanked by narrow, deeply focused headlamp clusters, the Fusion looks a little more aggressive than one would think of a family car, but the end result is brilliant. Ford smartly decided it made more sense to be a true global company, meaning one design would work for the world. The Fusion is a direct result of this thinking, and if it looks as if the car has a very European flair, it’s because it partly is.

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Inside the Fusion, the look is quite contemporary. However, our test car was fitted with an all black interior with piano black and silver trim. As you can imagine, this made for a slightly austere and dark cabin. That said, the interior offered plenty of room for all, and the driver’s seat was very comfortable. Quality of materials was just average, and I was shocked to see how poorly the trim was attached on the passenger door. High-end Fusions feature the controversial Ford MyTouch, which car magazines love to complain about without really going in to detail as to what MyTouch is. As you can see above, you have an 8″ LCD screen that handles four aspects of the car-entertainment, navigation, phone, and climate control. Below that screen are a sort of buttonless controls allowing you to make adjustments you can make on-screen as well. In the gauge cluster, the sole analog gauge is the speedometer, which is flanked by two 4″ customizable LCD screens which can show different information from menu buttons on the steering wheel.

This all sounds really neat, and cutting edge, right? People were amazed at the capabilities of MyTouch as I went from screen to screen, and displaying the plethora of information available to me. And it was easy to show all of this because the car was in park. Cruising at 80mph, the last thing you want to be doing is scrolling through menus. While the redundant buttonless panel is cool in concept, it’s sort of like when you click an icon on your smartphone and nothing happens. Again, the big difference here is that you are trying to make simple adjustments that aren’t happening while you are driving a car. Ford’s MyTouch is an awesome concept in theory, but in the real world it still needs some work.

The Fusion is offered in three trim levels, S, SE, and Titanium. The S and SE come standard with a 2.5L four cylinder engine rated at 175hp, paired to a six-speed automatic. With the SE, you also have the option of a 1.6L turbocharged four rated at 178hp, and the bonus here is you can outfit your Fusion with a six-speed manual transmission, a rarity in this class of car. Of course, the automatic is also available. Finally, the Titanium has a 2.0L turbocharged four rated at 240hp, which is available only with a six-speed automatic. Unique to its class, the Fusion Titanium is available in front or all-wheel drive. In a quest for fuel economy, Ford is not offering a V-6 Fusion as it did before. Our all-wheel drive Fusion had EPA fuel economy ratings of 22/31 MPG city/highway, which I found to be pretty respectable. The top-spec engine gets the job done just fine, and is remarkably refined and unobtrusive. Acceleration will meet or exceed any typical buyer’s expectations, but as far as pure horsepower goes, the competition offers much more. Once again we go back to Ford’s global platform, and the dividends pay off handsomely. The Fusion handles exceptionally well when the road gets twisty, and is a perfectly competent long distance cruiser. As far as driving dynamics go, Ford nailed it.

IMG_1769The Fusion is, as was intended, a mainstream family sedan aimed directly at middle-class families. And with a starting price of around $22,000USD, that sounds about right. And I suspect the vast majority of Fusion sales will be the S or SE models. Our test car, however, was the Titanium all-wheel drive version, and a technological tour de force of essentially everything Ford has available now, and that is reflected in the price of our car. With standard equipment such as 18″ alloys, dual zone automatic climate control, power, heated leather seats, aluminum pedals, ambient interior lighting, premium Sony audio, XMSirius radio, HD radio, rearview camera, perimeter alarm and reverse sensing assist. Our test car’s options included the Ruby Red paint, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, navigation, 19″ alloys, and the Driver Assist Package (lane keeping system and cross-traffic alert). Including delivery charges, our Fusion rings up at breathtaking $37,670. We’re now in Lexus/Infiniti/Audi/BMW territory here, but outfit any of those cars like our Fusion you could be looking at an extra $15,000.

It’s pretty common for a manufacturer to give people like me, the media, the absolute top of the line car to see and sample the best that they have to offer. But that doesn’t mean it is what you, the consumer buys when you sign the check at the dealer. In its favor, the Fusion is positively gorgeous, and in speaking to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, he is clearly proud of his car, as is chief designer J. Mays. The Fusion manages to click off all the right boxes-styling, comfort, roominess, generous trunk space and good handling. And the car buying public has responded-Ford can barely keep Fusions on their lots, and are hurrying to tool up another Fusion factory in Michigan. I know Ford is proud of the technology they have available in the Fusion, but in the case of our test car, I found it way over priced. At nearly $38,000 I want a warm, inviting interior. Not plastic, and especially without trim popping out. She is a looker, has excellent handling, but Ford, we just needed that little extra to make it to the absolute top of the class.