Despite Ford “officially” killing the Fusion by 2020, it may still live on as a taxi.
The Ford Crown Victoria has diligently served as America’s most prominent taxi for decades. Comfortable, rugged, and dependable, it long stood as one of the perfect vehicles for long use by fleets around the country. It wasn’t just taxis either – the Crown Victoria was so popular with police and government agencies as well that Ford kept the model going for four years after ending retail sales in 2008.
Take the E-Series as well. Despite ending production in 2015 in favor of the newly-redesigned Transit, Ford still keeps stripped chassis and cutaway models of the long-running van in production. It’s way past its sell-by date, but the indomitable nature of the E-Series and the Ford Crown Victoria endeared them to a decades-long run of public service. Could that also be the case with the Ford Fusion? Ford just introduced a new version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid for taxi fleet use.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid Taxi is built on the same platform as the Ford Police Responder Hybrid and, to a lesser extent, the Special Service Hybrid. Like those cars, the Fusion Hybrid Taxi gets heavy-duty upgrades to the steel wheels and suspension. It also has an increased ride height, high-performance brakes and tougher cloth seating.
Will the Ford Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer a stay of execution?
Ford is still likely to discontinue retail sales of the Fusion in its move toward trucks and SUVs. However, the introduction of the Fusion Hybrid Taxi raises an interesting question. In a similar spirit to the Crown Victoria and the E-Series van, will Ford keep the Fusion name around for fleet sales? Ford is marketing the Fusion Hybrid Taxi as a purpose-built model for livery service, but will they continue to build it for years to come?
There is one area where operators are likely to want the Fusion Hybrid Taxi – running costs. The old Crown Victoria struggled to crack 20 MPG with its 4.6-liter V8 engine. On the other hand, Ford contends the Fusion Hybrid Taxi will return mileage figures similar to the Police Responder Hybrid – around 38 MPG combined. The new taxi model will go on sale by the end of this year. Since it’s emerging as a 2019 model, it’s doubtful Ford will kill it off almost immediately after introducing it.
The Fusion Hybrid Taxi may mean the Fusion will only live on as a fleet model, but this may ensure the nameplate’s survival past 2020. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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