The Ford Fusion is a mid-size car produced by Ford. Introduced in the 2006 model year, it placed second in a Car and Driver ranking of top-selling mid-size cars, which described it as "Not your father's Taurus". The 2010 model was awarded the Motor Trend Car of the Year and its hybrid version won the 2010 North American Car of the Year Award. The Fusion is manufactured at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly where the similar (and now discontinued) Mercury Milan and the Lincoln MKZ were also built. All three cars utilize the CD3 platform.
The Fusion also became the new body style for Ford automobiles in NASCAR beginning in 2006, replacing the Taurus. This marked the first time since the Torino, in 1968, that Ford introduced a new model that went racing in NASCAR at the same time as its launch. It debuted at the 2006 Daytona 500 and won its first race a week later in California when Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag.
For safety reasons, the Car of Tomorrow became the car style for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from the 2008 season, but Ford continued to use the Fusion name. Kenseth took his #17 Fusion to victory lane in a rain-shortened Daytona 500 in 2009, and did so again (as a rain-delayed race) in 2012. On February 20, 2011, the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion driven by 20-year-old Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, echoing the NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee, David Pearson, when he won it in a similarly decorated Mercury in 1976. The #21 car is owned by the legendary Wood Brothers. NASCAR Drivers Aric Almirola, Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski, Landon Cassill, Chris Buescher, Ryan Blaney, Greg Biffle, Cole Whitt, Joey Logano, Brian Scott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Travis Kvapil, and Trevor Bayne drive Fusions.
Land Speed Record
Ford announced its attempt to use a fuel cell version of the Fusion, Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999, to set a land speed record on August 10–17 during Bonneville Speed Week in 2007. The Fusion 999 project was born in early 2006 when Ford fuel cell engineering manager Mujeeb Ijaz approached Roush Racing about a project to demonstrate the performance potential of a fuel cell-powered vehicle.
Roush's team, led by Rick Darling, worked with a team of Ford engineers and technicians led by Matt Zuehlk to come up with a vehicle design that could meet the goal of exceeding 200 mph (320 km/h) on the Bonneville Salt Flats, fueled only by hydrogen. On August 15, 2007, the vehicle set the fastest fuel cell ground vehicle speed record of 207.297 mph (333.612 km/h).
The car was driven by retired Ford engineer Rick Byrnes, a long time Bonneville racer.
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