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Mondeo morphs again in Moscow

Modified Mondeo: Ford chose Moscow to peel the covers from its facelifted Mondeo, due in Australia in about six months.

Ford’s acclaimed midsizer goes under the knife with a new look, improved efficiency

27 Aug 2010

‘PREMIUM’ is the word as Ford of Europe reveals a facelifted Mondeo for 2011 at this week’s Moscow motor show.

Due in Australia at the end of 2010 or early in the New Year, according to one Ford insider, the model’s mid-cycle makeover runs deeper than the mildly revised nose and tail treatments suggest.

But don’t confuse this change with the running upgrades to the MB-series Mondeo TDCi diesel that Ford Australia announced on May 10 this year. Those included a significant upgrade to the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi thanks to new engine internals, the adoption of Ford’s wet-clutch six-speed dual-clutch sequential ‘automatic’ gearbox known as Powershift, diesel availability in the wagon and Hill-Start Assist.

Among the changes to this latest Mondeo facelift is the introduction of a variation of the all-new 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that is also destined for the Falcon next year.

In UK Mondeo spec, it delivers either 150kW or 176kW of power, depending on state of tune, as well as an identical 179 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions and 7.7 litres per 100km numbers. Zero-to-100km/h times vary between 7.5 and 8.2 seconds depending on body shape.

The 2.0-litre Ecoboost also adopts Powershift – and so most likely will the 2011 Falcon Ecoboost.

27 center imageMeanwhile, an uprated 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCI turbo-diesel is a six-speed manual-only drivetrain producing 147kW, 159g/km of CO2, 6.0L/100km and 8.1s in the 0-100km/h sprint time.

The former is upwards of 20 per cent more economical and less polluting than a conventional petrol engine of similar performance, while the latter is 12 per cent gutsier than any previous diesel Ford has offered in this series.

However, whether either of the new Euro 5 emissions-compliant powerplants make it to the Australian Mondeo – expected to be called the MC series – remains unclear.

Ford might stick with the existing Mazda-sourced 2.3-litre petrol four-pot if it is still available to Australia (it is not for UK buyers), while that recently revised 2.0-litre TDCi is the only one to offer Powershift, so that will surely stay.

Outwardly Ford has tried to infuse some of the upcoming Mk3 Focus’ jazzy kinetic design traits in the four-year old Mondeo in the trapezoidal air take set within the new-look front bumper, LED daytime driving lights, single-bar grille and revised headlight lenses framing the lower region of the ‘reprofiled’ bonnet, resulting in a cleaner front-on appearance.

There’s some extra chrome in higher-series models and larger, reshaped tail-lights and a redesigned rear number plate valance setting new apart from old.

The Mondeo’s premium credentials are underpinned by the inclusion of higher-quality trim materials, Ford says, along with a sleeker centre console, ‘flush’ door release mechanisms, woven headlining, the inclusion of an overhead console featuring LED ambient lighting and a completely new word to describe something related to the door cards: a “toproll” – which sounds like an arm wrestling term to us. Maybe Ford means ‘top roll’ …More convincing is the debut of some previously Volvo-only safety tech (this gen Mondeo after serves as the platform basis for every large current Volvo from the S60 II to the S80).

These include a lane departure warning system, auto high beam (that automatically shifts its beam to undazzle oncoming drivers), driver alert (a gentle reminder for drivers during longer stints behind the wheel), active grille shutter (to improve aerodynamics and thermal losses in the name of greater operating efficiencies – one of the hallmarks of the Econetic Fords) and smart regenerative charging (redirected otherwise wasted energy back through to the alternator).

Also familiar to buyers of the Swedish brand is the Mondeo’s newly acquired blind spot information system, speed limiter, rear door power child locks and rear view camera.

Whether all these up-scale goodies make it to Down Under-bound Mondeos will not be revealed until closer to the end of this year, a Ford insider told GoAuto. But expect to see them in the range-topping Titanium.

Mondeo is finally starting to get some traction in Australia, with sales rising by 22 per cent – in a medium sized market that has edged up by just 5.8 per cent year-to-date to the end of July.

Additionally, Ford Australia’s general manager for marketing, David Katic, told GoAuto that stocks for some models – especially the diesel – had been running dangerously low, and that the company expected the Mondeo to show further improvements over the coming months.

With 7.8 per cent of the medium segment pie year-to-date, the Mondeo is running behind the class-leading Toyota Camry (37.7 per cent), Mazda6 (13.6 per cent), Subaru Liberty (11.4 per cent) and Honda Accord Euro (9.8 per cent).

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