2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Barrelin' Down the Boulevard
November 17, 2010
One hip feature of Ford's SYNC is its ability to display album artwork. Now, most folks will greet this feature with indifference or mild amusement, but music nerds (guilty as charged) will love it. Art and images are stored in an internal database created by Gracenote, a subsidiary of Sony, makers of the branded audio system in the Fusion. Small world, yes?
Once you've stored music in the Fusion's "jukebox" application, you can access it via an onscreen 3-D browsing carousel similar to the Cover Flow function in iTunes, and tap the screen to select. Gracenote's voice recognition ability also allows you to call up artists by name or even nickname.
Here the system pulled metadata and art for this classic Tom Waits album within seconds of inserting the disc. And though Waits tends to favor GM cars in his lyrics - Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles appear frequently, and an early ode to a Buick Roadmaster ("Ol' 55") made a hit for the Eagles - he might dig the Fusion Hybrid. Could probably compose a piece around the bump and chatter of the regenerative braking system, or look for the heart of Saturday night with the SYNC nav system.
But even the raspy bard of the Sunset Strip might struggle to turn a poignant phrase about some batteries and a four-cylinder on the Atkinson cycle.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor