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Car and Driver: When the Road’s Gone to Pot, Ford’s Fusion Sport Will Mitigate Pothole Shocks [Video]

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2017 Ford Fusion Sport

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For those who live in the Sun Belt—like this author—potholes are an irksome anomaly, rather than the wheel-destroying, everyday hellbeasts they are in parts of the Midwest and Northeast. In fact, C/D’s own relatively affluent college-town hometown, Ann Arbor, boasts what has to be some of the most dismal pavement in the first world. So while Californians might wonder what the big deal is with the new Fusion Sport’s pothole-avoidance feature, Michiganders are undoubtedly breathing huge sighs of relief.

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The 2017 Fusion Sport, in addition to its beefy 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6, offers Ford’s Continuously Controlled Damping system, which takes measurements every two milliseconds. If the system detects the wheel beginning to roll into a pothole, it signals the shocks, which then don’t allow the wheel to descend into the pavement’s maw. It’s not so much pothole avoidance as it is pothole mitigation, offering momentary three-wheel motion without the need for the driver to hit distracting switches.

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Ford’s Jason Michener, an engineer on the CCD program, explains the system using a garden-variety Michigan pothole and a collection of whimsically decorated ping-pong balls. While it’s not quite as complex as Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Body Control, which uses a camera to read the road for oncoming imperfections, the benefits of Ford’s system are obvious and real, and should save drivers plenty in wheel-repair bills.

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