The all-new Ford Mondeo has been launched at the Detroit motor show. The car isn’t due to go on sale until March next year, but Ford has announced it early because the Mondeo’s sister vehicle, the US-market Fusion, has just been revealed at the Detroit show.
As part of the company’s ‘One Ford’ policy, the European and Asian-market Mondeo and the US Fusion have merged to become essentially the same car.
Sources say the new car, which has been engineered primarily in America, is based on an all-new, “10 per cent stronger” platform that replaces the one under today’s Mondeo and the Mazda 6-sourced platform used by the current Fusion. It retains MacPherson struts at the front and gets all-new multi-link rear suspension. Ford claims the Mondeo has again been conceived as a driver’s car.
For now, most of the technical information relates to the Fusion, but Mondeo buyers can expect 168bhp/172lb ft 1.6-litre and 234bhp/250lb ft 2.0-litre turbocharged Ecoboost petrol engines, as well as Ford’s 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels.
The US market also gets the Fusion Hybrid, which uses a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, electric motor and CVT transmission to deliver 56mpg-plus economy. A plug-in hybrid version has also been announced which promises fuel economy equivalent to around 100mpg with a range comparable to the Chevrolet Volt.
Sources at Ford say although no decision has been made on whether hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Mondeo will be sold in Europe, an electrified C/D segment car is scheduled for a 2013 launch.
The new Mondeo platform has also been engineered to accommodate all-wheel drive, which will be an option on the US-market car powered by the 2.0-litre petrol engine. Stop-start will also be an option on the new model, activated by brake pedal pressure. Lane Keeping Assist, adaptive cruise control, Active Park Assist and a Blind Spot Information System will be available as options, as will a new Active Noise Control set-up, which use the audio system to help cancel out road noise. SYNC, Ford’s in-car internet service, will also be offered on the new Mondeo, after appearing later this year in the UK in the Focus.
The look of the new Mondeo doesn’t stray too far from today’s model but, in keeping with Ford’s new design policy previewed on last year’s Evos concept, the headlamps are much smaller and the current car’s large lower air intake has been shrunk and raised, giving the nose a more than passing resemblance to contemporary Aston Martins.
The new Mondeo has grown in length by just over 13mm, and is 26mm higher. However, it is now 35mm narrower. The sides of the car are now more crisply defined, with a marked ridge running through the door handles and Audi-style sculpting in the lower door skins. The rear end, which features shallow LED tail-lights, retains the closest styling links with the Evos concept.
The exterior’s measured restraint is reflected in the “driver-orientated” cabin, which features a large, central touchscreen and touchpad audio interface. Ford claims the quality of the cabin has improved over the current car, with tighter shutlines and softer surfaces.
Why America led? Mark Fields, President Ford Americas explained: "The mid-size sedan market is worth two million sales in the US. The Toyota Camry and Honda accord dominated the Market until 2008 when it stagnated. They have stood still while fusion sales have risen. It leads favourable opinion change among consumers of all ford models, and wins the most conquest customers.
“Last year was our best sales year with the Fusion and we sold almost 250,000 vehicles. The new Fusion is something different that will change opinion again of mid size sedans. It represents a great opportunity.”
This fourth-generation Mondeo is Ford’s second attempt at building a global mid-sized car. The original 1993 Mondeo was also sold (unsuccessfully) in the US as the Contour and Mercury Mystique. Its codename, CDW27, referred to C/D segment World car. Even the name ‘Mondeo’ was created from the French ‘monde’, which means ‘world’.