We first met Ford’s PlantBottle Fusion Energi PHEV last fall, when Ford announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to develop a line of sustainable, recyclable, and bio-degradable plant-based plastics for use in Ford’s automotive interiors. At the time, the company talked about plant-based fibers being used in the seats, headliners, etc., but the question was out there: how does it feel?
And, by “it”, I mean this …
… it’s a sharp-looking interior, sure. The Ford Fusion Energi has all the modern mainstream touches that its competitors have- big touchscreen, thick steering wheel, sporty-looking seats, a giant knob in the middle of the dash, etc. It also has a few neat-o touches like a repeating “leaf” graphic in the seat inserts and a shock of neon-green- well, it’s not exactly piping. It’s like piping, though. Unfortunately for Ford, however, the seats felt weird.
How do I mean “weird”, exactly? I couldn’t say- but they definitely felt a bit “off”. Maybe they felt too sticky, or not sticky enough- but they certainly didn’t feel like cloth and they certainly didn’t feel like suede (neither Alcantara, Novasuede, or the kind that used to be a cow suede), and I sincerely wish I could do a better job of explaining the tactile sensations I got from the PlantBottle stuff. That said, if the in-laws asked me how it felt, I’d tell them it felt “cheap”.
So, yeah. The PlantBottle interior feels cheap.
Still, that doesn’t mean the plant-based plastic future is a bad idea- the technology may just need time to catch up, you know? Until then, you can check out some of the close-up details that went into setting this particular Ford Fusion Energi apart from its more pedestrian brethren in the photos, below.
Original content from Gas 2.