Image: Ford Europe

Wednesday’s Bloomberg report, which claimed the current Ford Fusion will undergo the “sport wagon” treatment for its next generation, didn’t come as a shock.

Though unconfirmed, Ford admits it’s likely we’ll see the Fusion name applied to a new vehicle. Given that Ford’s stable is already packed to the rafters with crossovers and SUVs both current and promised, it isn’t surprising to hear the nameplate might soldier on with a larger cargo area, existing platform, and a raised roofline (but not *that* raised).

Are you feeling any stirrings here? Any stirrings at all?

I’m not, and I’ll tell you why. First, it’s no secret I haven’t fathered a demanding brood of overfed kids. The largest cargo I carry on a daily basis is the full-size spare in my car’s trunk, but that’s hardly the issue here.

Was there any inkling that the 2021 or 2022 Ford Fusion will appear as a fall-down-on-your-knees-sexy sport wagon, my interest might be held. The Buick Regal TourX looks great. I wonder if there’s even a dozen people in America right now thinking of signing a note on one. Same goes for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, a niche vehicle capable of rendering Twitter pundits speechless. It’s possible I might see one in the wild.

Ford enjoys volume, and to be worthwhile, the future Fusion needs to sell in great quantities, not titillate broke auto journos. I just fear that this vehicle, if it does appear, will be anything other than a crafted-by-committee offering that, at worst, takes on a Kia Niro-like personality — albeit one with standard or available all-wheel drive. I’ll gladly be proven wrong.

Bloomberg’s sources claim the upcoming Fusion has the Subaru Outback in its sights, which conjures up visions of a lifted, cladded, off-road-ready wagon, not the bland object of my nightmares. So that’s promising. And the continuation of the CD4 platform means current hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains could easily carry over to satisfy Ford’s green thirst.

It’s almost certain the entry-level Fusion’s low price point would give way to something more akin to the Outback’s, meaning a base MSRP starting around $25k. As this hardly sounds like a fleet-happy model, say goodbye to the equivalent of the Fusion S, with its old 2.5-liter and tall sidewalls. Good riddance, some might say.

Am I being too cynical here in worrying that this so-called Outback fighter will bow as a bland, crossover-ized people box, or do you have more faith in Ford? What does the Blue Oval have to do to make you consider buying one?

[Image: Ford of Europe]





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