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Technical analysis - Archive

12/09/2017
DYNAMIC AND GLOBAL

Technical Analysis: Ford Mondeo

 

The renewed German wagon best represents Ford’s technological edge through its hi-tech contents and suitable size

Duilio Damiani

Flagship size, cutting edge technology and engines for all tastes and needs. With these prerogatives, Mondeo’s fourth generation made its debut back in 2015, awarded with the role of premium car among the Blue Oval’s sedans and family cars. Sought after by large corporate fleets as well as professionals in four and five-door configurations this versatile station wagon boasts a large electrically powered tailgate and great load-carrying capacity, despite retaining the same dynamic feel and comfort offered by its two and three-volume sisters. As expected, there is a wide range of choices which includes manual and automatic transmissions, petrol and Diesel engines (comes with an AWD option too), with direct injection fuel system and turbochargers, not to mention a hybrid petrol/electric option; but the latter is not expected in station wagon setup. The wide range of engines is suitably balanced by an equally wide range of wheels with 16 to 19 inch diameters and tires ranging between 215/60 and 235/40.

 

SIZE DOES COUNT                                                

 

To refine the rather imposing size, considering that this has to be the longest  version of the Mondeo, more in line with the needs of the American market where it’s named Ford Fusion, the silhouette has been reshaped with rounder and more sinuous lines despite the almost 4.87 m. in length, 2.12 m. overall width and 1.5 m. in height, and a 2.85 metre-long wheelbase  common to the whole Mondeo family. Looking at the S/W, the aggressive front end with its sloping bonnet and large grille recall the latest stylistic features of Ford’s new course, and is completed by a massive rear section with a large 525 litres boot (500 with a donut spare wheel instead of the repair kit), up to a remarkable 1630 litres capacity once the rear seats are reclined.

Headlights are slimmer and  Dynamic Led Headlights technology guides the light beam according to the direction the car is moving, adapting its intensity to road conditions. Safety is further enhanced by a Pedestrian Identification Radar System , capable of detecting people - up to 200 meters away – and ready to automatically stop the vehicle by activating a Pre-Collision Assist. ADAS systems typically found on premium class cars, able to assist the driver in any condition and enhance safety, both active and passive. If not enough attention is paid, the Traffic Sign Recognition system warns the driver about missed road signs displaying them on the dashboard, so as to remind the driver of the speed limits as well as existing prohibitions on that particular road stretch and warning if the lane has been inadvertently passed (Lane Keeping Aid) and automatically braking before a sudden obstacle in the normally chaotic urban traffic (Active City Stop). When a collision can no longer be avoided, other safety elements such as Inflatable Rear Seatbelts spring into action, able as they are, to absorb the energy produced by the collision up to five times more compared to conventional seatbelts. Once the destination has been reached, despite the many hidden dangers, finding a parking spot is made a lot easier thanks to the Side Parking Aid and the comfortable maneuvering ability of the Active Park Assist system. 

In short, just get on board and let yourself be pampered throughout the journey. Considering its positioning at the top of Ford’s range (excluding SUVs), the Mondeo can benefit from a full range of equipment that completes a cozy environment, which is what anyone would expect from a German Flagship. Digital instruments include different selectable graphics, while the voice controlled Sync 2 infotainment system allows to activate the navigation system, the A/C, the smartphone via a bluetooth connection and music, all through voice commands. And if you are accustomed to having to stop ever-so-often during a long journey to stretch your legs, the Mondeo’s massage function comes to your aid, through 11 cushions embedded in the front seat that will stimulate blood circulation in your back and calves.

 

BIG CAR TINY HEART                                          

 

Despite the size, the overall mass underwent a considerable reduction as new materials such as magnesium was used in the tailgate structure and high-resistance steel alloys allowed to reduce the weight of the vehicle, a reduction that was partially offset by the additional use of many electronic devices and ADAS systems.

With its 1,5 tons GVM (depending on the version), the choice of a tiny three-cylinder engine for a car in this segment might seem quite curious. But the efficiency of Ford’s small one litre EcoBoost Turbo still manages to fit Mondeo's weight - albeit relegated to the entry-level versions - capable of developing 125 hp and push the car to a maximum speed of 200 km/h, holding its own even against vehicles with much larger displacements. The EcoBoost petrol range continues with a 160 hp 1,5 litre four-cylinder, and a 2-litre unit, but in this case the two different configurations can boast 203 and 240 hp respectively, ready to satisfy the most dynamic customers with top speeds of 232 and 240 km/h.

Particularly interesting are the four levels offered by the diesel units, with the smallest 120 hp 1.5 litre TDCi entrusted with cutting running costs, capable, in its ECOnetic version, of averaging 26.3 km per litre, while the 150 hp and 180 hp 2-liter version display a greater balance of performance with top speeds in the range of 210 and 220 km/h with six-speed manual gearbox, just a tad less is what the six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission can guarantee.

And yet, if energy and performance is what you are looking for, there is no shortage of them with the lively 210 hp TDCi that pushes the Mondeo Wagon up to 230 km / h, with average fuel consumption still in the order of 20 km/litre.

The chassis developed on Ford's C/D platform, commonly used on Ford’s sedans, crossovers and minivans, benefit from a high-torsional structure (10% higher compared to the previous model), designed to support multiple layouts, front or all-wheel traction. The Mondeo Wagon features an independent four-wheel design, with classic McPherson front suspension and rear adaptive multilink suspensions, designed to cope with every road condition, thus able to guarantee maximum driving comfort.

Four different set-ups complete the drive-train starting from 16” wheels with 215/60 R16 tires, to the more stylish 17, 18 and 19” alloy wheels all equipped with 235 mm tires though the aspect ratios vary between 50, 45 and 40%, providing a more than suitable footprint inspired by an overall driving balance.

 

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