Monday, 9 January 2012 1:02 PM
Ford has launched the new Fusion, a mid-sized saloon, in Detroit and it offers plenty of good clues as to what we can expect for the next-generation Mondeo. For starters, there is an improved new appearance with sharper tail lights, a lovely open-wide grille and slim pillars.
Due for launch in the European market in the first quarter of 2013, the new Mondeo will hopefully embrace all that is great about the new Fusion. This includes the choice of three powertrains - Ecoboost petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrids - and what Ford is describing as "seven must-have technologies." These include a lane keeping system, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, blind spot assist and auto stop-start technology. It has also been tested in 180 separate crash tests.
As well as the hybrid and plug-in hybrid, there are two EcoBoost four-cylinder engines on offer; a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre, as well as a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, an automatic start stop system to shut off the engine at stationary idle, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, and a choice of automatic and manual six-speed transmissions.
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost is expected to deliver combined fuel economy of 26mpg in the city and 37mpg on the motorway. The 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine is mated with a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic transmission, available with 19-inch wheels and all-wheel drive with the ability to send additional torque to the back. This powertrain is expected to deliver 47mpg in city driving and 44mpg on the motorway.
The latest version of Ford's SYNC communications and entertainment system enables voice-activated communication through a driver’s phone and interaction with the car’s audio system. And there's the inevitable touchscreen system which works with voice control, a button or the touchscreen. Attention to detail has been important too with covering or upholstery on every surface that can be touched. When the boot is opened, for example, a spring-loaded cover automatically conceals the latch hardware - as a result it looks better and there's less risk of an ouchy moment when fingers connect with latches.
Suspension has been upgraded and Ford says it compares to that of BMW and Audi - there is MacPherson strut suspension on the front and a new multilink rear suspension for some European-like handling.
The Fusion for the US market will be produced at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, as well as the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, a much-needed boost for the American auto industry which took a hammering in the global financial crisis. The car will be on sale North America and South America later this year before going on the market as a Mondeo in Asia and Europe next year.
By Georgia Lewis
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