2013 Ford Fusion branded as 'new face' of Ford

The 2013 Ford Fusion, which debuted in Detroit this week, gets a sweeping makeover and a plug-in hybrid brother called the Fusion Energi. 

The 2013 Ford Fusion. The Fusion debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this month.

Ford this week took the wraps off its new flagship sedan, the 2013 Ford Fusion – a car, according to reports, that Ford hopes to position as the "the new face" of the company. The original Ford Fusion, of course, debuted in the States back in 2005, and subsequently underwent several makeovers, including the one that yielded the streamlined (and critically acclaimed) 2012 Fusion.

For 2013, the Fusion has been redesigned and reconfigured again, and executed with what Mike Spinelli of Jalopnik calls "some very Aston Martin-like design tropes."

"Up close, the Fusion is a classy, if conservative bit of European-style metal shaping, which stands in sharp contrast to Toyota's latest attempt at tugging sedan buyers' emo centers by going more avant garde with its body edges," Spinelli writes. That "aforementioned Aston-Martin-like design trope"? Definitely the gaping front grille, which does bear a subtle similarity to the grille on the Virage and the One-77.

The Associated Press is reporting that Ford will sell a few different versions of the 2013 Fusion, including a hybrid and plug-in hybrid called the Fusion Energi. No word yet on price, although Ford America's President Mark Fields told the AP that the car will have "close" to the same base price as the current Fusion, which starts at around 20 grand. 

Over at The New York Times, Christopher Jensen notes that there's plenty at stake here. "This is a mainstream car, designed to sell in the hundreds of thousands every year against formidable competitors," Jensen writes. "Consequently, Ford will get a huge benefit if the Fusion is a blockbuster. But it would be a serious blow to the automaker if the car failed to gain traction with buyers."

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