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Ford Mondeo ST spied testing

Don’t call it a comeback: A five-cylinder Volvo-engined XR5 used to cap the local Ford Mondeo range, but the new one is likely to be a four-potter.

Warmed-over Mondeo could top Ford’s ST range down under

Ford logo8 Sep 2015

By TIM ROBSON

FORD is close to unveiling a range-topping ST version of its Mondeo mid-sizer, and it’s a likely starter for Australia.

Spied testing recently in the United States where it is sold as the Fusion, the Spanish-built four-door is likely to wear a unique bodykit, larger rims and a different exhaust treatment than the current local range-topper, the Titanium.

While speculation about its motivation is rife, it is likely that the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine that’s in the madcap Focus RS and incoming Ford Mustang will power the Mondeo ST.

The engine makes 257kW and 440Nm in the Focus, where it is teamed with an all-wheel drivetrain. The Mondeo is likely to inherit a similar all-paw system, as well.

Ford’s EcoBoost 2.7-litre six-cylinder engine – currently not used in Australia – is also under consideration.

If it is given the green light, it will top a three-car ST range in Australia, comprising the Fiesta ST and recently updated Focus ST.

Ford Australia management has said previously that a Mondeo ST would be an “opportunity” for the company.

“We’re expanding our line-up with a record number of launches this year,” said Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood, “but we can’t comment on future product.”

Mr Sherwood suggested, however, that performance cars are part of the brand’s DNA.

“We’ve had great success recently with the Falcon XR8, and the Focus RS is coming,” he said. “Performance cars are definitely something our fans want to see.”

While the Mustang will fill the rear-wheel drive performance void that will be left by the demise of the Falcon XR6 Turbo and the resurgent XR8 in 2016, the Mondeo ST will head a three-tier model range currently topped by the 177kW/345Nm Titanium hatch.

The latest Mondeo is logging low numbers for Ford Australia since its launch in April this year, notching up 1069 units to the end of August.

It is off the pace of year-to-date sales for the Mazda6 (3665), Subaru Liberty (2739) and the Volkswagen Passat (1471), while the segment-leading Toyota Camry, which has posted sales of 14,645 so far this year, has outsold the Mondeo eight to one.

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