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Geneva show: Mondeo Econetic joins Ford’s green parade

Preview: A Fiesta-based crossover inspired by the 2009 Iosis Max concept could be Ford’s secret Geneva show star.

Blue Oval majors on green tech with Mondeo and a secret “groundbreaking” show car

Ford logo14 Feb 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

THE Blue Oval will boost its green credentials when it launches a super-frugal Mondeo variant at Geneva next month, where it also plans to whip the sheets off a “groundbreaking” all-new vehicle – but is remaining tight-lipped about what that might be.

Speculation abounds that the mystery model will be a Fiesta-derived SUV or MPV based on the Iosis Max concept from the 2009 Geneva show. If rumours of the ‘B-Max’ prove to be true, the new car will replace Europe’s ancient Ford Fusion crossover, which is based on the previous-generation Fiesta.

Ford also plans to carry on its green theme from Detroit at the Swiss show, using the event to demonstrate to Europeans its progress in the development of relevant, eco-friendly vehicles.

The low-CO2 Mondeo Econetic was first unveiled at last year’s Paris show and will make its world debut in production form alongside some of Ford’s other green offerings, including an all-electric Transit Connect van and European debuts of the Focus Electric and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid people-mover.

At Paris, Ford said it was targeting fuel consumption lower than 4.3L/100km and CO2 emissions of 115g/km for the Mondeo Econetic, achieved using an 85kW 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine with idle-stop.

27 center imageFrom top: Ford Ranger, Ford Focus Electric and Ford Vertrek.

No fuel consumption data has been released for the production Mondeo, but Ford has beaten its CO2 target, with an official figure of 114g/km – equalling that of the more powerful 120kW BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Touring Edition that will also be on show at Geneva.

Ford said the fuel- and CO2-saving idle-stop technology employed on its Mondeo Econetic will be rolled out to all 1.6-litre TDCi diesel and EcoBoost petrol engines.

Ford Australia cannot confirm whether the new eco-Mondeo will join the Fiesta Econetic in its local line-up.

The pre-facelift Mondeo Econetic was available overseas in both five-door hatch and wagon body styles powered by a choice of 2.0-litre, 1.8-litre and 1.6-litre TDCi engines, with the 2.0-litre version returning average CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

Australia will have a presence on Ford’s Geneva stand in the form of a luxury ‘Wildtrak’ variant of the Australian-penned and engineered Ranger ute.

And the Kuga-previewing Vertrek SUV concept – which features a striking Australian-designed interior – will also make its European debut after appearing at the Detroit show last month.

Ford will also display its 2011 Fiesta RS World Rally Championship contender and a “New Metal” variant of its Fiat 500-based Ka city-car, showcasing a new set of personalisation options under the Ford Individual banner.

Ford committed to introducing five hybrid or fully-electric vehicles by 2013 at the Detroit show, where it first unveiled its Focus Electric and C-Max Energi and Hybrid twins.

The global C-segment platform that underpins Ford’s new Focus and C-Max will eventually form the basis of 10 models – making it possible that those vehicles’ full-EV, full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains could eventually be deployed across a wide range of vehicles.

Production of the Focus Electric and both types of hybrid C-Max will start late this year in Michigan before all three models are launched in North America in 2012, followed by Europe in 2013.

Ford Motor Company recently celebrated its biggest operating profit in a decade, soaring to $8.3 billion while reducing its debt by $14.5 billion against global revenues of $120.9 billion.

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