Ford has finally confirmed the full specification of the new 2015 European Mondeo. We've had to wait an age for the new Mondeo to arrive here, as the Blue Oval delayed its launch to stem the losses in Ford of Europe.
But now it's hoping it can make up for nearly three years of lost ground with the European spec finally confirmed just in time for the 2014 Paris motor show. UK sales are slated to start in late 2014, priced from £20,795 for a humble Style model.
Highlights include a top-spec bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCI diesel engine developing 207bhp and 332lb ft of torque. There'll be a four-door Mondeo hybrid, priced to surprise at £24,995 in toppy Titanium spec. It's 115kg lighter than before. And the new Mondeo is dripping with tech to avoid accidents, sync with your phone and park itself.
Will that be enough to make Europeans sit up and take notice of a car originally unveiled in Detroit in January 2012? We're about to find out.
The new 2015 Ford Mondeo: the spec
Ford will sell the Mondeo in four-door saloon, five-door hatchback and estate bodystyles in Europe. The Hybrid will be the only four-door saloon, however.
Ford says it's sold 4.5 million Mondeos in the past two decades. And, despite what you may think, this remains an important seller; the 'D-segment' might have halved in the Mondeo's life since 1992, but it's still the fourth biggest sector in Europe after the Fiesta supermini, Focus small hatch and Kuga SUVs.
Ford Mondeo Hybrid is coming to Europe
Ford is attempting to make a virtue of the Mondeo's tardiness to market. It might be two-and-a-half years behind the US-spec Fusion, but it's benefiting from the American experience, the company says. Hence the hybrid is coming to Europe from launch.
The Mondeo Hybrid mates a 2.0-litre petrol engine with two electric motors (one to drive the front wheels and one to supply regenerative charging). Ford claims 99g/km of CO2 and says the 42kg lithium-ion battery has a service life of 150,000 miles or 10 years. Useful to allay fears over battery life.
It makes up the widest choice of engines ever in a Mondeo. Key engines in the new European Mondeo include:
1.0 EcoBoost Petrol 125bhp
1.5 EcoBoost Petrol 160bhp
2.0 EcoBoost Petrol 203bhp or 240bhp
One 2.0-litre diesel is available in three states of tune:
2.0 TDCI Diesel 150bhp, 180bhp or 210bhp
Toys, bells and whistles on new Mondeo
The Mondeo is available with an array of clever equipment. LED headlamps are now active, bending around corners and changing shape depending upon the environment. It'll parallel- or perpendicular-park all on its own, and active aero is clever enough to blank off the grille to tailor engine cooling and aerodynamic drag.
It's also the first Ford to be equipped with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection - a radar and camera-based system to predict an imminent collision, with another vehicle or a person, and apply the brakes automatically.
Will the Mondeo still be a hoot to drive?
It sounds promising. The body is 10% stiffer than before and the engineers tell us they are desperate to avoid a 'digital feeling' behind the wheel, despite the electric power steering and other e-systems. It's a common concern across the industry as computers take over. There's a multi-link rear suspension to keep the car planted, hydroformed body panels to trim 115kg and a claimed 3 decibel drop in noise inside.
The development team claims the Mondeo will feel quite different to the US-market Fusion, owing to new engines, bodystyles and even tyres for Europe. They argue it's far from a three-year-old car.
There's torque vectoring available for the first time, tucking the car into corners, and a slew of clever gizmos to control the way the behaves; there's even 'nibble control', to quell some of the wandering steering feel on a motorway. Even a Mondeo can't control the munchies...
The design story
Chris Hamilton, senior designer on the project, said the global demands from the US, Europe and China had converged. Buyers wanted a 'sleek, sporty' design no matter where they lived around the globe. Result? A lower roofline, and the seats are set lower to maintain passenger space.
He pointed to details such as LED headlamp graphics, inset badges and other more premium details. 'We wanted to democratise technolgoy and bring features normally the preserve of premium cars to the Mondeo,' said Hamilton. Hence the third brake light moves to a slimline position at the top of the rear screen and the exhausts are integrated into the rear valance. They've searched for a clean, modern aesthetic on the new 2015 Mondeo.
>> Too much, too late? Or is the Mondeo a strong class competitor in 2014? Click 'Add your comment' and let us know