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Is This Really The 2023 Ford Fusion Active, Or Something Entirely Different?

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Back in the summer of 2019, Ford Authority reported that while the Ford Fusion as we knew it was going to be discontinued, it and the Mondeo – its European brother – would be coming back as a globally-available crossover. Then, a few months later, we spied an early next-gen Fusion prototype testing with cobbled-together body parts, though with a distinctly wagon-like shape. And then, just last month, what was purported to be a next-gen, 2023 Ford Fusion Active or Mondeo Active prototype leaked online.

Roughly a week later, we captured that very same vehicle on the road, believing it to be a prototype for the 2023 Ford Fusion Active / Mondeo Active. However, that might not actually be the case at all, as we’ve now learned. Ford Authority has reason to believe that the vehicle that was leaked and subsequently spied testing in metro Detroit is not the Fusion Active, but rather a vehicle destined specifically for South America.

Sources tell Ford Authority that Ford was planning a fastback-like vehicle for the South American market built on the B2-E platform. Currently, B-segment vehicles like the Ford Fiesta and Ka ride on the B2 platform, while the “E” likely stands for “evolution” as a modified version of that architecture. For those wondering, the “E” does not stand for “Electric.”

However, with the recent announcement that Ford will cease manufacturing in Brazil entirely, the future of that project is currently up in the air. If this model does make it to production, it would mark a new entry into a whitespace in South America for Ford, slotting above the Ka as another passenger vehicle option for buyers in that region.

The early mule of the 2023 Ford Fusion / Mondeo caught in October 2019 suggests a raised wagon-like body style, very different from the fastback design of the recently-spied model.
The early mule of the 2023 Ford Fusion / Mondeo caught in October 2019 suggests a raised wagon-like body style, very different from the fastback design of the recently-spied model

There are other reasons to believe that this prototype is not the 2023 Ford Fusion Active as well. The original, piecemeal prototype we spied back in 2019 was a wagon-like crossover, which is what the next-gen Fusion is expected to be. By comparison, this new prototype has more of a sloping rear fastback hatch, which is quite different from the more traditional wagon form we’re expecting for the 2023 Fusion/Mondeo.

In addition, the “swirly” camo present on the car in the new spy photos never gets used on North American prototypes – only on international-market prototypes developed in China and South American. Thus, it’s likely that we aren’t looking at the next Fusion, but rather something entirely different.

We’ll have more on this prototype and the next-gen Fusion very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Fusion news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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5 Comments

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  1. Please call it something different. The Fusion is gone, let it die since they gave up on the sedan everywhere. Let it take the Mondeo Evos name like the EU is supposedly doing or the trademarked Stormtrac name. Let this stand on it’s on merits and make a name for itself, instead of hoping that it’ll grab ex-Fusion buyers based on sharing the name.

  2. If it’s going to So. Africa one would think that’s where it would be testing not here. Just like we saw in the Buick TourX Regal and others. It came here.

    • I agree, as Ford can’t just try to go head to head with the Outback, they’ll have to appeal in other ways. Subaru buyers aren’t jumping ship because of a “me too” model. Ford will have to pioneer it’s own cult following. If they got the styling, powertrains, and packing right–it won’t be hard to convince people who to chose.

  3. Hope it’s not the FA. I also hope that this isn’t Ford’s way of saying “we saw all the gripes and we’re redesigning it from scratch”. But, I agree with other posters that this will do nothing to put a dent in Subaru Outback buyers’ intents. Unless 1) it’s priced a LOT lower and/or 2) it’s different enough to create its own cult following.

  4. Have been having, for over a year now, on going conversations members of Management of my local Lincoln shop about some sort of a Lincoln variant. Could this be it?

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