Rapid Spec 402A ($4,230 -- includes Driver's Vision Package: BLIS [blind spot information system] with cross-traffic alert, rearview camera with display located in the rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers; Moon & Tune Package: power moonroof, Sony sound system with CD player, 390 watts, MP3 CD capability and 12 speakers; reverse sensing system; Comfort Package: first row driver and passenger heated seats, four-way power passenger seat, ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated mirrors with puddle lamps, SecuriCode keyless entry pad, universal garage door opener); Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat Paint ($395); California Emissions System ($0); Front License Plate Bracket ($0); Rapid Spec 402A Discount (-$1,135)
Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
263 @ 6,250
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
249 @ 4,500
Six-speed automatic with console shifter and Manual-mode gate
There's very little I could do to alter how this car launched, as any front wheel chirp was followed by a big bog that I assumed is the result of power being sent to the rear. Each upshift occurred at redline. The shift delay in manual-shift mode made it too unpredictable to avoid hitting the rev limiter, so best run was in automatic.
Very good brake feel; consistent, firm pedal. Little sign of brake fade and minimal dive. While the 60-0 distances are not particularly short, this is a good track performance nonetheless.
Skid pad: As understeer begins with traction control "on," the throttle closes. With TC off, the Fusion just understeers and won't respond or rotate with throttle manipulation. Steering weight is a bit much for this relatively low speed. Slalom: With TC off, the Fusion Sport turns in crisply and even begins to rotate nicely, but by the third and fourth cones, understeer builds and becomes the limiting factor. I tried the typical "lift to rotate" technique to encourage weight transfer to the front, but nondefeat stability control wouldn't allow it. With TC on, the understeer was less of a factor and the car actually went quicker by applying singular brakes. In both settings, however, the presumption that I could go to WOT to quell understeer (even at the exit) was snubbed by ESC and the car suffered from terminal understeer no matter what I tried.