The overdue new-generation Ford Mondeo mid-sizer is due in early 2015, and the company has used the lead up to the launch to take a few cheeky swipes at the rival Australian-made Toyota Camry.
Ford today confirmed its Mondeo will come in a six-model line-up encompassing Ambiente, Trend and Titanium specification levels, once again in both (edit) hatch and wagon body styles.
In addition, the new front-drive mid-sizer, which will sit beneath the FG X Falcon until that car disappears at the end of 2016, features what Ford claims to be a number of highly advanced features that will set it apart.
Not shy to take a dig at what it seems to consider its key rival, the company also claims the Mondeo has “10 advanced technologies not available on [the] Camry”. It is easy to see why the blue oval is targeting the Toyota, given the fleet-friendly locally made offering has a market share of 43 per cent.
Given the Camry’s strength in appealing to large-scale fleets, perhaps Ford is seeking a share of this valuable volume to supplement private sales, given that mid-sized deliveries in this segment are down 12.4 per cent in 2014.
Headline features include SYNC 2 voice control and connectivity (which premieres this month on the Falcon), Emergency Assistance that dials 000 in an emergency for you, inflatable rear seatbelts on all variants and a programmable key called MyKey that allows you to limit the car’s parameters for certain drivers.
All variants will come standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, an electronic parking brake, hill-launch assist, paddle shifters (on the revised six-speed Powershift dual-clutch auto) and a fatigue monitor.
The Mondeo’s extra-cost features list includes an array of driver assistance features that the company asserts are “not found on other mid-size cars such as Toyota Camry”, though it will offer these features as options and some of them can be found on other rivals such as the Mazda 6, Honda Accord and forthcoming Subaru Liberty.
These features include Lane Keeping Aid + Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Active Park Assist and Active City Stop can help avoid or mitigate rear end collisions at speeds up to 30 km/h.
The range will also, Ford says, be offered with a choice of EcoBoost turbo-petrol and Duratorq turbo-diesel engines, the latter of which Ford states has better fuel economy than a Camry hybrid (which uses 5.2L/100km). The Mazda 6 diesel uses 5.4L/100km.
A variety of states of tune are offered in Europe across various 1.0-litre, 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrols, plus a 2.0-litre diesel in three levels of tune. Expect versions of the 2.0-litre units to feature here. Ford will give official details closer to launch.
Ford also claims the new Mondeo will have road noise reductions of around three decibels in the rear and two decibels in the front thanks to new integral link rear suspension and additional sound deadening material, while wind noise is said to be reduced by 8 per cent to “levels previously only experienced in the premium segment”.
It is also first model for Australia to be built on Ford’s new global C/D-segment platform, gets new electric power steering and a body structure that is 10 per cent stiffer than the previous-generation Mondeo. Handling-enhancing technology include Torque Vectoring Control.
Ford Australia will source the new Mondeo from its new plant in Valencia, Spain, rather than the now-closed Genk factory.
Unveiled in US form (where it is called the Fusion, in early 2012, the Mondeo had been expected to arrive in Australia in late 2013, then during 2014, before being pushed back to its now locked-in early 2015 premiere.