2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport gets pothole-detecting suspension
Ford previewed the freshened 2017 Fusion lineup at the Detroit Auto Show last month and now has released some additional details about the continuously controlled adaptive damping system that will be standard equipment on the new Fusion V6 Sport model. Packing a 325-horspower EcoBoost engine and hitting showrooms this summer with a starting price of $34,350, the 2017 Fusion V6 Sport will be the first midsize sedan to offer the active suspension. In addition to offering the ability to select normal or sport modes at the touch of a button, Ford says it also can help reduce physical and financial impacts from pothole-damaged roads. For the record, the AAA estimates that potholes cause approximately $3 billion in vehicle damage each year.
The new Ford Fusion V6 Sport relies on several onboard computers to crunch data from a dozen high-res sensors that read road surfaces in real time and can vary shock damping every two milliseconds. Jason Michener, an engineer who works on the system, notes: “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.” The system then passes information along from the front wheels to the rear, allowing them to be even better prepared to mitigate the jolt.
“We tested and tuned this system by driving over countless potholes – subjecting Fusion V6 Sport to the brutal, square-edged potholes of our Romeo Proving Grounds to finesse the software,” said Michener. “It was long hours of not very pleasant work, but the results are well worth it.”
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