At an event famed for showcasing the best tools for the agricultural trade, it would normally be a safe bet that Ford’s perennially popular Ranger ute should take pride of place on their stand. And while there was certainly plenty of buzz around the Ranger, continuing its run of dominance in the Kiwi light commercial market, it was a pair of Mondeos which proved the surprise of the show.
The mid-sized Ford sedan has been shown in two new forms at Mystery Creek, with each one taking a different direction. The ST Line Mondeo is a long, low station wagon with 19 inch alloys, aggressively aerodynamic lines, and a powerful twin turbo 2 litre diesel under the hood that’s good for over 200hp. This is a definite step away from the image of the Mondeo as a responsible, businesslike fleet car and into the territory of European rivals such as BMW — and it’s also proof that the long-distance cruising wagon is not a thing of the past in this age of the SUV. It’s the other Mondeo on show which has generated the most gossip however — a fully fledged hybrid packing in a 35 kilowatt electric motor alongside a petrol engine. It’s a setup seen before in the likes of Toyota’s Prius, and Porsche’s 918 Spyder — but the hybrid drive Modeo sits firmly between these poles of technology and performance. Attractive features of course, include the fact that this is a less ostentatious way to announce that you’re saving the planet while saving petrol, and that despite a sliver of boot space being sacrificed to batteries this is still a full sized Mondeo. That fuel consumption figure, razed down to a frugal 2.7 litres per 100 kilometres, is sure to impress corporate fleet managers who already like the petrol powered Mondeo for its combination of reliability and affordability.
It’s going to be an order-only option here in New Zealand when it arrives in the late stages of 2017, but with a price not so high above the Prius, this might be another front Ford are opening up on their big rival.
In the meantime, steady sales of the custom Ranger in all its forms will keep the Blue Oval bosses happy throughout the post Field Days season.