Hot Mondeo Dervs Up A Treat
by Mat Watson
Here's the car that will put a smile on the faces of sales reps and their fleet managers. Or at least it will next year!
This is Ford's new oil-burning Mondeo ST TDCi - but bizarrely, considering its core market, its diesel engine will not comply with Euro IV emissions rules until 2005, leaving company drivers facing a three per cent tax penalty.
"We wanted to get it on the market as soon as possible, because the model also has a large following among private buyers," a Ford spokeswoman said.
From the outside, the ST TDCi is virtually identical to the 3.0-litre V6 petrol ST220 - the only difference being a single rear tailpipe and the badging. Inside, however, the newcomer - also available as a hatch or estate - has its own unique trim, with part-leather sports seats.
At the heart of the car beats an all-new 2.2-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine, which powers the front wheels via a six-speed manual box. Its 155bhp can propel the oil-burner from 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds. And although that is slower than its petrol cousin, the TDCi returns an impressive 43.6mpg and has a CO2 figure of 151g/km.
Prices start from Ł21,830, which includes tuned suspension for sharp handling. Buyers looking for comfort might prefer the Ghia X, costing Ł22,030.