The 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport has an advanced new continuously-controlled damper system, marking the first time such a system has been offered standard on any Ford passenger vehicle. Beside giving drivers improved ride and handling in any cornering situation, there’s another important benefit: pothole protection.
Ford says that the new Ford Fusion V6 Sport can actually detect potholes and “brace for impact,” adjusting the suspension to keep the wheel from extending all the way downward. In effect, the wheel is prevented from dropping as far into the pothole as it could go, making the impact significantly less harsh. “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 Ford’s Continuously Controlled Damping Engineering expert Jason Michener.
“It was long hours of not very pleasant work, but the results are well worth it.”
The 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport’s onboard suspension computers constantly analyze signals from a dozen high-resolution sensors, using that information to adjust the dampers once every 2 milliseconds. When a pothole is encountered, the damper at the affected front wheel is adjusted to tense up and keep the wheel from completely falling in. Better yet, the computer then knows in advance about the hazard, allowing it to adjust the rear damper even faster.
According to Ford, AAA data shows that US drivers lose a combined $3 billion per year to damage from potholes alone – usually around $300 per repair. That’s not an insignificant chunk of change that Ford Fusion V6 Sport drivers stand to save.