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by Tim Beissmann

Ford of Europe has given the first official preview of the 2011 Ford Mondeo ahead of its world premiere at the 2010 Moscow International Automobile Salon on August 25.

The continued evolution of Ford’s kinetic design language is evident in the Mondeo’s styling, with the new model inheriting a slimmer grille and larger trapezoidal lower intake similar to the Fiesta and 2011 Focus.

The bonnet has been redesigned, as has the front bumper which now incorporates LED daytime running lights. LEDs are also at work within the slightly remodelled rear lamps which flank a revised bootlid.

Ford is yet to reveal images of the updated interior but is promising a “flow-through” centre console, revised doors and handles, a new overhead centre console with ambient lighting and new premium trim materials.

Also added to the European-spec Mondeo will be LED interior lights, a new satellite navigation system and an enhanced audio system with a redesigned speaker layout.

Under the bonnet, European customers will see the first application of the 177kW version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged petrol engine, which will sit alongside the 149kW unit launched in the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy earlier this year. Ford says CO2 emissions for both tunes will average 179g/km regardless of body-style.

The current 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel – available with 85kW, 103kW and 120kW – will be joined by a heavily revised 147kW 2.2-litre TDCi engine which Ford says is 12 percent more powerful than the unit it replaces.

Ford’s PowerShift dual-clutch six-speed transmission will be standard with the EcoBoost engines and optional on all but the base model diesel, which is teamed to a six-speed manual.

Adding to efficiency is a number of ECOnetic technologies including regenerative charging, eco-mode and the all-new active grille shutter system which regulates airflow through the radiator and engine compartment to reduce drag and enhance warm-up performance and fuel economy in cold weather.

Driver assistance is also set to improve in the new Mondeo with lane departure warning, driver alert and auto high beams all added to the mix, as well as a blind spot information system, speed limiter, rear view camera and rear door power child locks.

The new-look 2011 Ford Mondeo range is set to hit UK showrooms in October with pricing and specifications to be announced closer to the launch.

A 2010 launch for the Mondeo in Australia seems unlikely however, with Ford Australia’s Sinead McAlary today remaining tight-lipped about its prospects.

“There’s a number of different elements to the program but we won’t be talking about specifics of what we are going to be getting here or when at this stage at all. We’ll have to let you guys speculate away unfortunately,” Ms McAlary said.

She confirmed that plans to introduce the 120kW/340Nm 2.0-litre diesel to the Mondeo range were still on track for the third quarter of 2010 and said that she expected the addition to lead to further improvements in sales.

Sales of the Mondeo are up 20 percent year-to-date for the first five months of 2010, with its 1980 units and 8.1 percent market share making up ground on the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and Honda Accord Euro in the sub-$60K medium segment.




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