Thursday, September 28, 2006

The mainstream midlle-class fights back

Just recently photographs of the undisguised final version of the new Ford Mondeo have surfaced on the internet. And, on the discussion forum where these were leaked (actually, officially leaked), we soon were noticing a very happy bunch of people. None of the usual whining about this and that, just unanimous appraisal of the design. And for good reasons, as expected it doesn’t look like the Iosis concept, but the new Mondeo turned out as a spectacular design. Thumbs up for Ford (that is, the Ford with the German accent). And incidentally thumbs up for Mazda too, because all of the Mazda influences in Ford, whether in design or technical have proven to be good influences.

The new Mondeo joins the troops of mainstream midlle-class, midlle-size cars that are fighting the decadence of this class. Once one of the most important segments in Europe, it has lost sales to SUVs, people-carriers (both large and small), compacts and base versions of the offers from luxury manufacturers. And this looked like a lost batlle but the mainstream midlle-size is fighting back with emotional design and the influence of the 4-door coupe. The Peugeot 407 is a successful car with its emotional design, although it is short on space and practicality. The VW Passat is a strong contender, leader in the mainstream class, very strong in space, and with an elegant design even if a bit dull. But wait for the future 4-door coupe version for added style. And now the Mondeo arrives with the strong kinetic design, lots of space, sophisticated and refined diesels (developed with PSA) as well as a 5-cylinder turbo that sounds fabulously. Now we just need to wait for another promising car in this class, the Renault Laguna. However, strangely, our sources of information that have worked in the new Laguna are not happy with it. Don't worry, it will be a great car, it's just that engineers are not happy. Later, when it is presented you will know why.

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