28 January 2005

Ford has scrapped its styling work on the 2006 Mondeo, as a prelude to a more radical approach to design. The Mk3 Mondeo, on sale in late 2006, is understood to now have a sportier profile than today’s model with many more styling lines on the body and more distinctive lights.

‘The new Mondeo is very radical,’ said an insider who has seen the car. ‘It’ll knock your socks off and you won’t have seen anything like it from Ford before. This is something very different. There’s a lot more going on in the styling.’

The new corporate face has been inspired by the three-bar grille and square lamps on Ford’s new US models, but it will be executed very differently on European cars. The new Mondeo has been created in the past five months under the control of styling director Martin Smith. It is his first major new car since moving to Ford from GM.

Ford Europe boss Lewis Booth is said to be a strong backer of the new styling direction. He has demanded more excitement in Ford’s European offerings.

The Mondeo will need to be visually inspiring to battle the next Vauxhall Vectra, whose styling will be influenced by the rakish American-market Saturn Aura. Ford’s current styling direction aped VW’s upmarket looks, and its recent US models – criticised in the American press – used the same theme.

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