Ford designer: 2013 Fusion to challenge Toyota, Honda and even BMW image

The fact that the 2013 Ford Fusion is aimed at the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord in the U.S. midsize market doesn’t surprise anyone.

But Ford’s Chris Hamilton, the Fusion’s chief designer, will no doubt raise some eyebrows following his statement that Fusion owners will have no reason to feel inferior to BMW owners.

“We’re going to attack these cars and raise the game. There’s a gaping hole for a car that’s affordable, but elegant and sophisticated,” Hamilton told Inside Line about the Camry and the Accord. He added that he is glad Toyota maintained its traditional silhouette instead of choosing a coupe-like appearance for the new Camry.

“Luckily, the new Camry remained as a two-box sedan. An important trend in Europe and China is that there’s a faster, sleeker look coming through,” Hamilton added. This trend is also followed by the 2013 Fusion, which is light, sleek, athletic and coupe-like while still remaining practical and a five seater, according to its designer.

“We want people to feel proud of the Fusion. We’re trying to make them feel that Ford is a good choice, and to be able to park next to a BMW and feel OK,” Hamilton said. He revealed that Ford designed the most upmarket versions of the Fusion first and then worked out how to make the entry-level versions. The result is that even the entry-level Fusion models will look sharp.