New Ford Mondeo to launch in 2021, official document reveals

Ford will launch an all-new Mondeo in early 2021, a parts tooling catalogue published on its European website appears to confirm. 

The document, which dictates the specialist tools that dealers will need to work on upcoming models in Ford’s product plan, lists a tool for the rear axle assembly of the “2022 model year Mondeo CD542”.

The CD542 model code was originally assigned to the replacement for the Fusion – the North American version of the Mondeo – before Ford decided to not replace that model directly. The document appears to reveal that the Mondeo name will live on, while the release date of the tool itself indicates the new model will be launched in the second half of next year.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation in the catalogue is that the Mondeo-specific tool is for the removal of a rear leaf spring. No European Ford passenger car currently uses leaf springs, with the Mondeo having used a far more typical coil spring set-up for each of its four generations. This seems to suggest that the new Mondeo will feature a transverse leaf spring rear axle similar to that used on models such as the Volvo XC90. 

Autocar understands that such a set-up would help save space for packaging a battery pack, likely for a conventional or plug-in hybrid powertrain. The current Mondeo Hybrid loses much of its luggage space due to the battery pack being mounted under the boot floor.

One likely candidate is the set-up used by the new Kuga PHEV SUV, which combines a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a 10.3kWh battery pack and an electric motor to deliver 222bhp and a 34-mile electric-only range. 

As first scooped by Autocar last summer, the new Mondeo is expected to adopt crossover styling cues, although it now looks less likely to be classified as an SUV. Sources close to Ford suggest that it will continue with hatchback and estate bodystyles, despite the ontrend design influence. Recent spy shots of a development mule, based on a Ford Focus Active Estate with an extended wheelbase, fit this notion.

The test mule features a number of obvious characteristics that point to a radical repositioning for the Mondeo. The suspension, for example, has been raised considerably for a more SUV-like stance, while the protruding wheels hint at a widened track for enhanced interior space. We can also see that the donor car has been extended behind the B-pillar to fit the new model’s platform. 

Although the Fusion name has been dropped for the US market, the next Mondeo is intended to be launched in North America and beyond, unlike Ford’s bespoke European models. In the US, the model is being compared by insiders to the Subaru Outback, a very popular high-riding estate car. It is believed the intention is to also use it as an indirect replacement for the S-Max and Galaxy, but it’s unclear if Ford can package seven-seats into such a car. 

By the time the new model is launched, Ford will have discontinued four MPV model lines. The MPV market has been hit hard in recent years, and as a result Ford recently ended production of the B-Max, C-Max and Grand C-Max. The Galaxy and S-Max will likely follow next year. 

The B-Max has in effect been replaced by the Puma compact SUV, and Ford will look to steer C-Max customers into the new Kuga SUV. Mondeo and S-Max buyers will be targeted by the new model, and Galaxy users moved towards the smaller Transit Edge seven-seater.

In 2018, Jim Farley, Ford’s president of new business, technology and strategy, hinted at the move away from conventional cars towards what he called ‘utility’ bodystyles. He said the thinking behind the move into medium-rise crossovers is that customers will get “utility benefits without the penalty of poorer fuel economy”.