High-technology safety systems and a very wide span of powertrains—including a new bi-turbo diesel—are two of the star aspects of Ford’s new U.S. Fusion-based Mondeo for Europe.
Using the company’s established CD segment platform, it is a further example of the “One Ford” credo (One team; One plan; One goal) introduced by outgoing President and CEO Alan Mulally, and extrapolates the company’s “lean global enterprise” mission, now to be continued by his successor, Mark Fields.
The European Mondeo, now entering production and to be publicly unveiled at next month's Paris Motor Show, has been selected by Ford as its first car globally to offer a new safety system called, rather lengthily, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Part of a pre-collision assist package, it introduces active braking up to the Mondeo’s maximum speed. The new system, developed to detect people in the road ahead of the car, will warn the driver and if action is not taken sufficiently quickly, will apply the brakes.
The system uses both a camera (which also supports a lane keeping aid) and bumper-mounted radar, the combined information from both checked against a “database of pedestrian shapes” to filter out spurious returns/images from other sources.
Further safety aspects include inflatable rear seat belts.
The new Mondeo, which includes a hybrid version, is described by Ford of Europe Line Director, Ulrich Kösters, as being: “The most technologically advanced Ford vehicle ever introduced in Europe.”
It will need to be, because Ford is understood to be setting its sights very high, with the top of the Mondeo model line, the Vignale, likely to attempt to compete with premium models.
The new 2.0-L TDCi diesel engine will use two variable-geometry sequential turbos (a small low-inertia and larger high-inertia) to minimize lag, help provide maximum torque of 450 N·m (332 lb·ft) from 2000 rpm, and deliver 154 kW (207 hp) from 2000 rpm—challenging figures in NVH terms, particularly if the car has up-market aspirations. No CO2 figures have yet been released, but are said by Ford to be “significantly reduced” compared to the 2.2-L diesel it replaces.
The engine gets an active thermal management system and a variable-pressure oil pump to reduce parasitic losses.
Among a wide engine choice is Ford’s excellent 1.0-L gasoline EcoBoost, exceptionally small for a car in this class. Available early next year, it produces 92 kW (123 hp) and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. It has been refined to deliver “optimized performance for a larger vehicle,” according to the company. Such a small engine is a first in the Mondeo’s segment and demonstrates great confidence by Ford in its downsizing philosophy.
A 118-kW (158-hp) 1.5-L I4 will also be available.
The hybrid will be the only Mondeo available as a four-door sedan (the others are hatchbacks or wagons) and uses the technology already incorporated in the Fusion. The car will be built at Ford’s Valencia, Spain, plant. CO2 emissions are 99 g/km.
Some versions of the Mondeo will be available with intelligent all-wheel drive that is claimed to be capable of adjusting power delivery to individual wheels in 100 ms.
Europe will also experience Ford’s integral link rear suspension on the Mondeo, again an indicator of the company’s aim to head for the premium sector, where expensive but highly capable integral/multilink systems provide required levels of ride and handling demanded by discerning end-users. It also helps reduce road noise—by about 3 dB in the rear and 2 dB in front—compared to the outgoing Mondeo when combined with noise attenuation solutions including sound deadening materials in underbody shields and wheel-arch liners plus reduction in the number of holes within the bodyshell.
More seals have been added between hood and front fenders, and engine bay insulation switches from glass fiber to foam, saving weight and decibels.