The original 1993 Mondeo was the result of a five-year £3bn investment led by chief engineer Richard Parry-Jones
It was Ford’s first “world car” with design and marketing shared between Europe and the US
The Mondeo was raced in the BTCC by none other than Anthony Reid
Several body styles emerged, including the estate
The Mondeo featured airbags as standard and won What Car? Car of the Year in 1993
The comfortable interior was a big hit with drivers
The Mondeo was named European Car of the Year in 1994
The Mondeo was refreshed in 1996 with new exterior style
in 1998 Ford sold almost 100,000 units of the Mondeo
The sporty ST200 was introduced to the Mondeo line-up in 1999
The millennium brought with it the Mk2 Mondeo, which was longer than the original
The 150mph ST220 was introduced in 2002. It was powered by a 3.0-litre V6 24V engine
The ST TDCi, shown here, was created as a UK-only model
The diesel ST TDCi had a top speed of 137mph
In 2005 the car received equipment upgrades including Bluetooth connectivity
The Mondeo quickly became a firm favourite with company car drivers...
... and it also found a home in motorsport, racing in the BTCC and beyond
The Mondeo has proven itself a firm favourite with families and business users alike
This 2005 Iosis concept heralded stark changes for the Mondeo
The 2006 Mondeo made its big screen debut in Bond's Casino Royale
The more modern styling was well received
The 2007 Mondeo had a five-star safety rating
The Titanium X-sport edition of the Mondeo was introduced in 2010
The new Mondeo made its debut at Ford's Go Further event
The UK replacement has been delayed until next year
In the meantime, a £2000 price cut on the current car is keeping buyers interested
The Ford Mondeo began its life in 1993, when it was launched as the replacement for the Blue Oval's ageing Sierra.
It was billed as the first 'car for the world', with Ford hoping the model would gain the same affinity with the public as the iconic Model T.
Ford took lessons learnt from its sales of the Escort, namely that European and American models would need different routes to market, and planned the Mondeo's launch accordingly.
American innovations, like the inclusion of a driver's airbag, were brought over for the European version, which was to be offered in three body styles. Buyers could also pick from one of five trim levels: Base, LX, GLX, Ghia and Si.
Initially, the Mondeo was offered with three petrol engines, including a 1.6-litre, a 1.8-litre and a 2.0-litre unit. The 1.6-litre unit had 104bhp which allowed for a 0-60mph time of 12.5sec, while the 1.8-litre had 114bhp and a 0-60 time of less than 10 seconds.
The 2.0-litre engine offered up 134bhp, which allowed the Mondeo to sprint from 0-60mph time of 9.6sec.
The Mondeo shared little with the Sierra that preceded it. For one thing, the Mondeo was 5cm shorter than the Sierra, making it more suitable for British garages.
Ford had done its homework with the Mondeo and it subsequently proved to be a hit, beating its rivals and clinching the Car of the Year award from What Car? in 1993
In 1994, the Mondeo continued its success and won European Car of the Year. That year also saw Ford put its V6 petrol variant of the Mondeo into production.
Three and a half years into production, the Mondeo received a facelift that brought around changes inside and out. The new Mondeo shed up to 18kg from the previous model, improving performance and economy.
The Mk2 Mondeo had a base price of £12,395 for the 1.6-litre Aspen version, rising to £20,850 for the V6 Ghia X. With improvements made to the ride, handling and engine, the Mondeo stayed ahead of its competitors.
In 1997 a new sporty V6 variant, the ST-24, was introduced. Featuring a 2.5-litre 168bhp V6, which catapulted the ST-24 from 0-62mph in 8.0sec and onto a top speed of 148mph, the car was Ford's first ever ST.
The next ST variant, the ST200, was introduced in 1999. The car was named after the engine output of its 2.5-litre V6 engine (although the engine actually produced 202bhp), and was sold with Recaro seats and sports suspension. The police quickly started using the ST200 as a pursuit car.
The millennium brought with it an all-new Mondeo, which came with a big incentive for buyers as over £800 of previously paid-for equipment was added to the standard model.
The car was longer, too, increasing in length by almost two inches compared to the second generation car. The seats were also raised, which made for improved all-round visibility.
In 2002 along came the introduction of Ford's ST220. With 226bhp from a newly developed 3.0-litre V6 engine, the 0-62mph sprint was dispensed in 6.6sec. The ST220's top speed was also an impressive 155mph. Despite the power, the ST220 managed 27.7mpg on a combined cycle.
At £21,745, the ST220 came with Recaro heated leather seats and more aggressively styled bodywork. Since the ST220 was based on the Mk3 Mondeo, it was still a practical car to use every day and to live with.
The 10th anniversary of the Mondeo saw another new model of the car, one that had come some way from the original. Updates to the new model included a re-profiled bumper, trapezium shaped fog lamps, larger mirrors and puddle lamps that shone on the ground.
The Smart Charge Injection Duratec engine further improved fuel economy and was Ford's first direct-injection petrol engine. The Durashift 6-speed manual transmission was used on higher powered Mondeo specs whilst an automatic paddle-shift option was also available.
Another minor facelift was given to the range in 2005.
The fourth and current generation Mondeo was unveiled at the Paris motor show in 2007. A new family face featured, with a large upper and lower-inverted grille. Big headlamps and lower fog lamps were also introduce.
A wide range of powertrains were offered, including the popular 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, and recent additions include economical EcoBoost petrol engines.
Will it remain at the top of the ladder in its class? You'll find out first from Autocar.
To read more about Ford's range, click here.
Omar Bahadur & Darren Moss