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What We Might See From Ford At The 2016 Detroit Auto Show

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With the 2016 Detroit Auto Show – more formally known as the “North American International Auto Show” (NAIAS) – right around the corner, we’ve been combing the evidence, trying to forecast exactly what we might expect to see from the Blue Oval. The Detroit Auto Show tends to be a big one for Ford, after all; just last year, it served as the venue for the introduction of the 2016 Shelby GT350R, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, and 2017 Ford GT supercar.

Listed in no particular order, here is every Ford vehicle we could possibly imagine breaking cover at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, along with our appraisal of the probability.

2017 Ford Fusion (facelift)

Likely

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2016 Ford Fusion
2016 Ford Fusion

Having been introduced in 2012 for the 2013 model year – at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show no less – we all know that the Ford Fusion (a.k.a. “Mondeo”) is due for a refresh soon. In fact, camouflage-clad prototypes have already been spotted on several different occasions; chances are strong that the much-loved, facelifted sedan will be making an appearance at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

As for what we can expect, we hear that the Aston Martin-esque grille will be played-down somewhat on the 2017 model, while the bulk of the changes will come in the form of a practically brand new interior. The introduction of SYNC 3 is almost a given, and rumors are afloat that the 2017 Ford Fusion will be granted a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

2017 Lincoln Continental (production-ready form)

Almost a given

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Lincoln Continental concept
2017 Lincoln Continental concept

While we first saw a 2017 Lincoln Continental concept at the 2015 New York Auto Show, we have yet to see the luxury sedan in its production-ready form. That unveiling will almost certainly take place at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

Again, camouflage-wearing prototypes have been spotted strutting around in public, and Lincoln Motor Company has claimed that very little would change between the New York concept and the production car. Plus, with the debut of the facelifted 2017 Lincoln MKZ behind it, Lincoln would have very little to do at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show without a production Continental to show.

Although, we have heard tell of a possible rebirth for the Lincoln Aviator

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2017 Ford Fiesta

Unlikely

2016 Ford Fiesta
2016 Ford Fiesta

Yet another model on the list of “things we’ve seen prototypes of and therefore eagerly await” is the 2017 Ford Fiesta. While it’s true that the current-generation Ford Fiesta was only just released for the 2010 model year in North America, and updated as recently as 2014, it’s been on-sale since 2008 in European markets. As we’ve said, there has been at least one recent sighting of a 2017 Ford Fiesta, although the prototype was spied darting about in the UKnot the US.

Should Ford have decided to synchronize the release of the 2017 Ford Fiesta across both the European and North American markets, we might anticipate seeing the 2017 Ford Fiesta make its debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. However, this seems rather unlikely, as a new Fiesta would be much more likely to make its global debut at a more European venue.

2017 Ford Fiesta RS

Up in the air

2016 Ford Fiesta ST
2016 Ford Fiesta ST

Read all the articles you can find on the matter, and you’ll still be no closer to definitively answering the question of whether Ford will or won’t make an RS-badged variant of the current Fiesta. But hey, the automaker shocked the shawarma out of us last year with the new GT and the hotter, R-badged Shelby GT350.

In fact, alleged Ford Fiesta RS prototypes have been spied testing on several occasions already, although it’s impossible to know with any certainty what we’re actually looking at in any of the photos. Still, it seems unlikely that Ford Performance would sit-out from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, especially given their overwhelming presence last year. While Europe once again seems a more likely venue for a Fiesta RS unveiling, we don’t presume to know anything for sure.

Ford Fusion ST

Up in the air

In truth, if Ford’s Performance division does intend on having a presence at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the only obvious candidate for a reveal beside a Fiesta RS would seem to be a Ford Fusion ST.

The future of the Ford Taurus in North America is cloudy as can be, what with the seventh-generation car (as seen at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show) confirmed to steer clear of the US market. By extension, this means that the Ford Taurus SHO is likely kaput, leaving Ford without a performance sedan to peddle in the US. While an alleged Fusion ST model is still far from certain, such rumors have circulated for quite some time.

In fact, with a facelifted 2017 Ford Fusion sedan likely to show at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, now might be the perfect time to pull the wraps off an ST…

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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