Today In Ford History--jan. 31
On Jan. 31, 2001, Ford’s popular mid-size Mondeo won one of Europe’s most prestigious automotive awards—the 2001 Car of the Year title from Britain’s What Car? magazine.
That’s one of 39 international awards bestowed on Mondeo since the latest version was introduced Nov. 1, 2000. It’s been variously honored as best family car, used car, fleet and business car, as well as best large car and overall Car of the Year by Singapore’s Wheels Asia magazine.
Ford’s European flagship, the Mondeo has sold more 2.5 million copies in 60 countries. Built in Genk, Belgium, the Mondeo was introduced in 1993 and was honored as Europe’s Car of the Year in 1994. It went on sale last year in the Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and Ford officials recently announced plans to build and sell the Mondeo later this year in China.
The 2001 Mondeo was the first Ford ever designed entirely by computer. The space-age technology, called CP3, shaved 13 months off the car’s development while guaranteeing even higher quality standards.
Since then Mondeo’s honors include the Golden Steering Wheel award from the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag and the 2001 Auto 1 award, a pan-European title for which it out-polled the BMW X5, Audi A4, Alfa Romeo 147 and the Mercedes C-Class in combined voting by an international jury of editors, technicians and race drivers, and 37 million readers of 13 European publications
Mondeo is currently available as a 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback or estate. Powerplants range from 1.8- and 2-liter Duratec 16-valve four cylinder engines to a 217 hpV-6. Among the more popular engine options is Mondeo’s TDCi, common rail diesel. The 2-liter 130 hp diesel has a top speed of 125 mph, a 9.9-second time for 0-62 mph acceleration and fuel economy of 47.9 mpg.
Ford introduced a new five-speed automatic last year to improve the driveability of the V-6 or TDCi diesel engines. The electronic gearbox senses driving conditions and opts for one of 10 modes, including a sporty setting that can detect rapid throttle pedal movement and delivers quick changes for crisp acceleration. Other modes aim to eliminate 'gear-hunting' on climbs while a smoother second-gear pull is used during stop-start traffic conditions. For more hands-on driving, the gearbox can also be used as a semi-automatic, giving drivers the option of selecting gears manually.
Announcing What Car? ’s selection of the Mondeo as its 2001 Car of the Year, Editor Steve Fowler said: “It’s a staggering achievement, setting a new standard for family cars. It’s even better to drive than the old Mondeo, safer and kinder on the environment. It’s also cheaper and comes with an improved warranty—all things we’ve been campaigning for on behalf of buyers in recent years.”