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Safety to lead revised Mondeo range

European safety: Ford's mid-size Mondeo gets a raft of new safety innovations, especially in the flagship Titanium diesel wagon.

New turbo-petrol engine on hold for Falcon, but dual-clutch auto still coming

28 Sep 2010

FORD Australia is keeping its powder dry for next year’s vital Falcon upgrade by holding back the EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the facelifted Mondeo to be introduced next month.

The Blue Oval understandably wants maximum impact for the high-output EcoBoost engine’s local introduction as it promises to become the Falcon’s environmental answer to Holden’s 3.0-litre SIDI Commodore.

Consequently, a host of new driver safety technologies and the introduction of a dual-clutch transmission highlight Mondeo’s midlife facelift, which comes little more than a year after the current model was launched in Australia.

Ford will unveil the MC series Mondeo line-up at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney next month alongside the new FPV range and the world debut of the all-new Ford Ranger ute.

Mondeo will go on sale from November, although the range-topping Titanium models will not be available until December. Pricing (which currently starts at $30,540) is expected to be announced at the Sydney show media day on October 15.

27 center imageExternal styling changes are very mild, as revealed at the Mondeo’s world premiere at the Moscow show last month, but the interior comes in for a more significant upgrade over the MB series that was launched in Australia in July 2009.

Although Australia will have to wait for the EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine – which will ultimately join the local Mondeo line-up some time after the Falcon launch – we will get the new dual-clutch automatic transmission it was launched with in Europe last month.

However, the dual-clutch ‘Powershift’ six-speed auto will only be available in the range-topping Titanium wagon fitted with the 2.0-litre Duratorq turbo-diesel engine, a model that Ford Australia confirmed back in May.

Safety innovations developed by Ford’s former luxury arm Volvo and fitted as standard on range-topping Mondeo Titanium models include a camera-based lane departure warning system that alerts the driver if the car unintentionally wanders out of its lane.

Other advanced safety features include an on-board driver drowsiness detection system, a switch that allows the driver to limit the car’s maximum speed when driving, a blind spot information system (BLIS), automatic high-beam headlight selection and LED daytime-running lights.

Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela said he was delighted to introduce these enhancements for the Mondeo.

“The Ford Mondeo is already an excellent example of balancing the right mix of equipment and technology with the right price in a car that is beautifully designed and packaged,” he said.

“These generous additions simply build on this winning formula. Despite its ongoing sales growth, now is the right time to make it an even more compelling choice for new-car buyers.” Ford said that external changes include new wheels, a new bonnet design, new upper and lower front grilles, new front and rear bumper bars, revised tail-lights, mirror-integrated indicators, new tailgate and deck-lids, and glass-mounted antenna (in place of a roof-mounted unit, but the overall affect is still subtle.

Interior changes include revised decor, and passenger seat lumbar support, sliding centre console cover and (from February) power rear windows in base models.

With the turbocharged XR5 being deleted because Ford has lost the rights to the five-cylinder Volvo engine, all but the flagship Titanium diesel wagon are powered by Ford’s familiar 2.3-litre Duratec petrol four-cylinder engine, which develops 118kW of power and 208Nm of torque.

There is no sign of the new 147kW 2.2-litre turbo-diesel that will be part of the European line-up, leaving the local flagship with the 120kW/340Nm 2.0-litre ‘Duratorq TDCi’ turbo-diesel introduced here in May, matched to the new twin-clutch six-speed auto.

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