Ford is turning its still-not-formally-introduced 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid into a pace car for the Ford 400 NASCAR season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The hybrid will lead the field for the green flag — green, get it? — but it will not serve out the rest of the race as the pace car. That job — pacing the field during cautions, etc. — will go to the 2010 Ford Fusion Sport because it has more power, 263 hp.
The race is this Sunday. That means NASCAR fans watching the race will see the cars before they officially debut at the L.A. auto show on Nov. 19.
It’s an interesting move for Ford, not because it’s trumping its auto show coverage for the huge masses that watch NASCAR — no, that makes sense. The strange part is picking the hybrid version of the new Fusion to get the bigger spotlight. We’re guessing NASCAR fans would be more interested in hp than mpg. Perhaps this just illustrates the mainstream moves auto companies are making to promote high-mileage cars.