Instead, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the next Ford Fusion will be a crossover SUV in the vein of the hot-selling Subaru Outback, a tall-riding vehicle that blurs the line between wagons and SUVs. Ford already said that it will reposition its Focus compact car as a tall-riding crossover to square off against the Subaru Crosstrek.
A Ford representative told Bloomberg that the Fusion nameplate could live on, but he declined to elaborate.
“We’ll likely continue to use the name because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine said.
Ford wouldn’t be the first to try to replicate Subaru’s success. The VW Alltrack and Buick Regal TourX follow the same wagon-with-a-lift-kit recipe as the Outback.
If a Ford Fusion crossover SUV comes to fruition, it won’t be the first time that Ford has tried to sell Americans on a tall wagon with all-wheel drive. From 2005 to 2009, the automaker replaced its Taurus wagon with a crossover-esque model it initially called Ford Freestyle. The model was later renamed Ford Taurus X, and although it gave drivers a higher seating position, it didn’t catch on with consumers.
And even a Fusion crossover isn’t entirely without precedent. From 2006 to 2012, Ford in Europe sold a tall van-like crossover called the Fusion. That model was replaced in Europe with the Ford EcoSport that recently went on sale in the U.S.