Currently reading: Reborn 2021 Ford Mondeo spotted in public for the first time
New look, raised ride height and technology-heavy interior will bring the Mondeo into Ford's new era
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
3 mins read
7 January 2021

A prototype for the next-gen, radically reinvented Ford Mondeo has hit the road in production bodywork for the first time, giving clues as to its new shape and stature. 

The sighting comes just days after images purporting to show the all-new 2021 Ford Mondeo surfaced online, and appears to confirm that the next iteration will bear minimal resemblance to the current car. 

As reported by Autocar in 2018, the Mondeo is set to adopt crossover-style design cues, including raised suspension and a more upright cabin than the current saloon and estate models.

The most recent spy shots show a prototype wearing heavy camouflage, but we have already had a glimpse of the front and rear ends in minimal disguise, as well as the dashboard, courtesy of photos taken in what appeared to be a private Ford facility.   

The new-look front end is dominated by what appears to be a thin light strip that runs between the bonnet and a wide honeycomb grille. At the rear, the prototype appears to draw influence from Ford's new Mustang Mach-E electric flagship, with a sloping roofline and prominent lip across the bootlid. 

A shot of the seemingly production-ready interior reveals the Mondeo will largely shun buttons and switches in favour of a digital infotainment screen that spans the width of the dashboard. The device's size - considerably larger than the Mach-E's vertically oriented tablet-style device - means the front passenger is likely to be offered control of certain functions.

Previous spy shots showed a test mule based on the rugged Focus Active estate, fuelling suggestions that the fifth-generation Mondeo could adopt the Active moniker across the line-up in line with its SUV-derived styling cues. 

The Mondeo name itself featured on a leaked parts tooling catalogue for the 2022 model year, revealing that the car will switch from a conventional coil-spring rear suspension set-up to a transverse leaf spring rear axle, potentially to make room for a hybrid system battery pack.

It's unknown yet whether the Mondeo will be sold exclusively with electrified powertrains, but the new Kuga PHEV's system will likely feature, pairing a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 10.3kWh battery pack for an electric-only range of around 34 miles.

The current Mondeo was sold in the US as the Fusion, in line with Ford's now-defunct One Ford plan to build and sell singular models for all worldwide markets. It's unknown whether the same strategy will be applied to the next-generation car, but the Fusion was taken out of production in summer 2020 in line with Ford's decision to move away from low-slung cars and towards 'utility'-oriented SUVs and crossovers, so there would seem to be a gap in the market for its higher-riding replacement. 

The Mk5 Mondeo has been earmarked for a late-2021 launch date, so it's likely to be unveiled within the next few months. 

READ MORE

New Ford Mondeo to launch in 2021, official document reveals​

Ford Mustang Mach-E 2021 review​

Inside the industry: Will a radical shake-up save Ford?​

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Halcyon 8 January 2021

Smart move from Ford. Even though enthusiasts here condem the whole SUV craze, the truth is that this will sell while the old fashined sedan wouldn't. The global marketing machine has led the lemmings that the general car buyers are, to believe that this is what they need. Yes, it's sad how easily we humans can be manipulated. Anyway, this is what Ford needs to do, otherwise they will go belly up very soon. They are already facing huge pressure from the EV front and can't afford to lose also the ICE game. 

On another note, the SUVs are nowadays getting so low (Mustang Mach-E could't get over a 6" speed hump) that the evolution seems to be going back towards "normal cars". Cars just need to be sold as "SUVs" because no one want's to buy a MVP (a.k.a. tall, spacious and practical car with normal ground clearance).

LucyP 7 January 2021

You're right Jamie, and it might be a problem if you have to have a company car,  but for those of us who don't there are some great nearly new bargains on traditional 3 box saloons and estate cars that no one wants!

TStag 10 January 2021

The big German 3 are now the only companies that really succeed in the saloon market, but even volumes of the 3 series are shrinking. Ford are right to cut and run. Jaguar could have another go but it's not worth the risk unless Land Rover come along for the ride. If Lane Rover made an electric crossover under the Discover monkier and Jaguar a model 3 rival using the same components it might work, but still a big gamble

jameshobiecat 7 January 2021

I too am fed up with the unstoppable move towards crossovers and SUVs. For those of us wanting the dynamic and efficiency advantage of lower lighter cars choice is shrinking at an alarming rate. The success for the Tesla model 3 gives me some hope, though I suspect that in time the model Y sales will crush that too.

Personally my company car policy has recently forced me in to a crossover and I can say that it is measurably worse in almost every way to the (equivalent from the same brand) estate it replaced.

The low speed ride is worse, steering lacks feel, the car is less agile, it runs out of body control sooner when pushed hard, visibility is worse (particularly rear), the cabin is no more spacious and the boot is significantly smaller. And this is a car considered best in class for dynamics.

Finlay Turnbull 8 January 2021

If you look at the top 20 best selling cars in the U.K. in 2020;

9 were SUVs/crossovers

5 were superminis

4 were hatchbacks

2 were saloons/estates

 

Compare that to 2016's top 20 best sellers where;

6 were superminis

6 were hatchbacks

5 were SUVs/crossovers

2 were saloons/estates 

1 was a city car

 

We are definitely seeing an SUV/crossover boom in the U.K. but it's worth bearing in mind superminis are still by far the most popular type of car accounting for over 30% of all new cars registered in 2020. For people like you who like estates, there's still plenty of choice out there for you. It's city cars and convertibles that are disappearing fast. 

 

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