2013 Ford Flex.automotiveIT

Ford says MyFordTouch, seen here in the 2013 Ford Flex, offers quick access to a wide range of new technologies (Photo: Ford)

Ford Motor said potential buyers of the new Fusion are showing strong interest in the driver-assistance features of the new model.

The US carmaker said that nearly 25 pc of 155,000 online shoppers looking for information on the 2013 Ford Fusion opted for its Driver Assist package. This includes some of Ford's most advanced technologies,  such as blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high beams and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The finding is significant because, traditionally, advanced technology has been of greater interest to buyers of premium models than to those interested in volume  cars such as the Fusion.

“We were surprised to see how many in our survey built out a Fusion online with the Driver Assist package,” said Samantha Hoyt, Ford Fusion marketing manager. "Technology traditionally hasn’t been a big driver for consideration with midsize intenders, but this could be changing as we increase the affordability of these features,” she added in a press release.

Ford said online shoppers' interest may be related to the relative affordability of high-tech options, which tend to cost more in premium vehicles.

Online shoppers appear to be particularly interested in the Fusion's backup camera and in Ford's new MyFordTouch infotainment system, the company said.