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New 2012 Ford Mondeo
This is the new Ford Mondeo. Revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the new Ford Fusion, the Blue Oval has confirmed it will continue in Europe as the Mondeo and will hit UK shores in the first quarter of 2013. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but expect it to start at around £18k.
The new Mondeo is striking looking, with more than a hint of Aston Martin at the front thanks to the newly designed upper and lower grilles, separated by that DB9-esque central number plate bar.
At the rear the previous Mondeo's somewhat slabby tail has been tightened up too, with an Audi A4-style shoulder line melting into a crease beginning below the rear lights that laterally dissects the boot lid.
The new car's aesthetics clearly mark an evolutionary step over the previous Mondeo - along with the styling of Ford's new EcoSport compact crossover debuting at the New Delhi Auto Show last week, prospects for the American manufacturer's future products look good.
The latest incarnation of Ford's family saloon receives a good helping of eco-friendly tech, too - something that's bound to endear it to the anti-emissions business and fleet markets - with hybrid and plug-in hybrid options.
Hybrid variants are capable of 62mph under electric-only power with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for when a bit more go is needed.
The Mondeo 'Energi' plug-in hybrid series is aiming to be the most fuel-efficient petrol car in the world, promising more than 100mpg, eight more than the Chevrolet Volt range-extending hybrid and 13 more than the projected efficiency of Toyota's Prius plug-in hybrid.
More conventional powertrains include the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo petrol units. Once the car hits Europe, expect a brace of diesels - 1.6- and 2.0-litre - to feature, as well as start-stop technology.
Fusions program manager, John Jraiche, believes the new Mondeo will continue Ford's trait of great handling cars as well: "Fusion really is a drivers' car thanks to specially tuned electric power steering, MacPherson strut front suspension and an all-new multilink rear suspension, comparable to offerings from Audi and BMW."
Inside, the new Mondeo's interior will offer "a sporty, driver-oriented environment with next-generation seating that brings expanded functionality," according to Ford. Basically, a higher centre console to reinforce the driver-centric theme and some new, sporty seats.
More passenger space has been created by reducing the depth of the dashboard, moving it closer to the windscreen, and interior quality enhanced by Ford's aim to "deliver a superior visual experience but also a feel of quality to the customer," according to Fusion chief engineer, Adrian Whittle.
Under-body acoustic shielding and upgraded sound-absorption material minimise road and unwanted powertrain noise too, while Ford's active noise control uses the car's audio system to cancel out extraneous road din, boosting the engine note when spirited driving is on the agenda.
One thing we have noticed is that Ford has managed to cram a host of extra buttons onto the steering wheel, making it appear even more complicated to fathom than the PlayStation-like controller that is the Ferrari 458 Italia's wheel.
With the new car 'Mondeo man' will be able to experience plenty of premium features, too. Voice-activated audio and communication systems with Bluetooth integration, as well as touchscreen satellite navigation, lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control and park assist will all be on offer.
As for safety, the new Mondeo has a 10% stiffer body shell and dual first-row knee and adaptive front airbags. With the new Mondeo designed under Ford's 'world car' principle, it also conforms to global crash legislation.
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