Ford will dare to be different with a cut-price CLS version of the next-generation Mondeo, CAR Online can reveal. A four-door coupe model will appear for the first time alongside the traditional estate and saloon models, as depicted in our exclusive artist's impression.
It’ll be a halo car for the brand, because now Ford of Europe is making money, it can afford some image-building cars. That’s why we’ll see the reincarnation of the Capri (CAR Magazine, July 2008
) and this smart, sleek new Mondeo coupe.
How can Ford justify such a car, even if it will be cool?
Most of the Blue Oval's upcoming European proposals have true world-car potential. The Mondeo replacement is for instance designed to pick up the pieces Ford lost when it fused the North American Five Hundred and Taurus.
But before the new Mondeo due in 2012-13, we’ll see a facelift of the current car and Ford is struggling to implement the changes. ‘The new Mondeo does not need much doing to it,’ explained our friendly designer close to the project. ‘In addition, we are in the midst of working on a new form language which will replace kinetic design. In this respect, the next Mondeo is going to be an interesting turning point for us.’
So we’ll see a new Mondeo coupe with slinky, CLS-style looks?
Spot on, although underneath the car will remain much the same. After all, Ford has invested heavily in the C/CD components set which must last for at least 15 years, or two model generations. At one stage, the bean counters even considered a third lifecycle from the oily bits, but such an extension is hardly compatible with the increasingly radical consumption and emission requirements of the modern world.
Within the C/CD framework, wheelbase, width and length are almost completely flexible, and there is virtually no limit to the number and types of bodystyles either. Hence the 'coupoon' sports car meets family saloon version revealed here.
The only platform elements which must not deviate drastically from the core status quo are the independent suspension, the basic vehicle architecture and the key drivetrain components.
Click 'Next' to read the tech spec on the new Mondeo 'coupoon'
So give me the lowdown on this Merc CLS for the masses!
Aimed squarely at the VW Passat CC as well as at Laguna and C5, the four-door Mondeo coupé displays an emphatically emotional shape with plenty of daring curves and cutlines. Signature styling cues include frameless side windows, swooshy upright lateral air vents, stability-enhancing finned C-posts, translucent 3D tail lights, four individually adjustable bucket seats and a new black panel MMI monitor with touchsceen and remote control access.
Like the top-secret Capri planned by Cologne, the high-end Mondeo abandons the split radiator grille in favour of a new singleframe front end treatment featuring one large air intake aperture flanked by two smaller inlets/foglamps. Among several (competing or compatible?) triangular shapes are the headlamps which may take some getting used to.
What else should I know about this fancy Mondeo?
The modular engineering concept should enable the product planners to justify the higher price point of the coupé by adding several new items to the features list. Among them are active steering in sync with lane departure compensation, adaptive cruise control together with speed limit recognition and stop-and-go mode.
There will also be a fresh approach to MMI, Keyless Go with programmable user profile, automatic parking aid, AdBlue diesel technology, plus a micro-hybrid version with starter-generator, brake regeneration and buffer battery.
Also on the cards – for top-spec Ghia and Titanium X models – are air suspension, four-wheel drive and a version of the 2.7-litre V6 diesel Ford has just passed on to Tata, the new owners of Jaguar and Land Rover.
So the Blue Oval is going upmarket, but will it work? VW might just be able to make it work with the Passat CC but would you buy a Mondeo coupe? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say