What is it?
A bit of a strange new addition to the Mondeo line-up, this one. Ford has decided to cater for buyers looking to combine a big petrol motor with an automatic gearbox by introducing another powerplant between the existing 2.0-litre version and the range-topping 2.5-litre turbocharged five-pot.
Despite 2.3 litres of swept capacity, this is a four-cylinder engine. It's also a Mazda unit, the same block that, in turbocharged, direct-injected form, is the basis for the fire-breathing MPS.
In the Mondeo it's in a far milder state of tune, with 159bhp delivered at a high 6500rpm, accompanied by 154lb ft of torque at an equally peaky 4200rpm.
A six-speed auto 'box is the only transmission option. It's £1500 more expensive than the (manual-only) 2.0-litre spec-for-spec and £1000 cheaper than the 2.5T.
What's it like?
Disappointing, to be honest. Indeed it's not an exaggeration to say that we've finally discovered a new Mondeo that we don't like.
The engine is loud and needs to be revved hard to deliver much in the way of performance, while the six-speed auto is reluctant to kick-down and saps most of the limited enthusiasm the engine is capable of mustering.