Detroit Motor Show 2012: Ford Fusion/Mondeo
Ford takes the wraps off what will become the next generation Mondeo at the Detroit Motor Show.
Hark, is that a phone ringing? That’ll be Uli Bez, Aston Martin’s chief executive, with a complaint about the uncanny resemblance to an Aston evident in the grille design for Ford’s new Mondeo/Fusion, which goes on sale this year in America and April 2013 in the UK and is being shown at the Detroit Motor Show.
“I don’t see it myself,” said Ford designer, Chris Hamilton, in the manner of Richmal Crompton’s William Brown denying knowledge of a missing catapult. “But it’s nice to be compared with a car that costs 10 times as much.”
This is, of course, the apogee of Ford boss, Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” approach, although the sharp eyed will have noticed that while the Fusion is a four-door saloon, the Mondeo, when we see at the Paris Motor Show this autumn will be a five-door hatchback.
This floorpan will underpin a subsequent estate model as well as the replacement for the Galaxy MPV and S-Max.
All-new multi-link rear suspension, electronically powered steering, more cabin space, a much improved ride and better noise insulation are some of the claims made for this new model, which will sell about a million a year round the globe in 10 different guises. Petrol and diesel models in 1.6- and 2.0-litre displacements are promised, with a hybrid model and possibly a 4×4 as well. Ford is even testing its latest 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Mondeo, but that could be a downsizing step too far.
The One Ford strategy appears to be working for Ford, although there is a danger that model development starts to dash for the bottom rather than a climb to the top as engineers compromise Ford’s legendary ride and handling for mushy American ride quality as they did with the first US version of the Focus model. Unsurprisingly, Ford engineers strongly refute this idea.