The successor to the Ford Mondeo mightn’t look so different after all.
Our spy photographers have captured what looks to be a Mondeo replacement in testing, and it’s rather more car-like than the new, Chinese-market Evos.
That model, revealed earlier in 2021, features a car-like liftback body but a higher ride height, and is more reminiscent of the new Citroen C5 X than a coupe crossover like a BMW X4 or Renault Arkana.
In contrast, this prototype has a ride height more like that of a conventional passenger car, while there are other changes visible through the camouflage.
The roofline is similar but the beltline doesn’t rise as sharply at the rear doors, while there appears to be a more prominent rear deck than the Evos.
In all, it looks more like a new Mondeo hatchback than a European-market Evos.
The visual differences between the Evos and this prototype appear more significant than those between, for example, the European, North American and Chinese-market versions of the Escape and Explorer.
With those models, changes between markets are limited to grilles and lighting.
One area where the prototype and the Evos have a clear kinship is in the front-end styling, where both vehicles feature similar LED lighting elements.
Whether the interior is similar to the Evos is unclear.
The Evos’ cabin is dominated by a large 1.1 metre-wide rectangular slab that stretches basically the entire wide of the car. It encompasses a 27-inch 2K touchscreen and a 12.3-inch instrumentation display ahead of the driver.
Equipped with V2X (vehicle-to-anything) communication capabilities and Level 2 autonomous driving functionality, the Evos can drive itself on “prequalified sections of divided highways”, known as Hands-Free Blue Zones, in China.
While Ford has released details about the Evos’ in-car tech, it hasn’t shared what powertrains are on offer or what platform it uses, whether it be an updated version of the outgoing Mondeo’s CD4 platform or a variation of the C2 architecture underpinning the likes of the Focus and Escape.
That means we’re even more in the dark about this potential Mondeo successor.
If this prototype is the European successor to the Mondeo, it could serve not only as the European-market alternative to the Evos but also as a replacement for the Mondeo in the few markets in which it has yet to be discontinued, which includes China.
Overseas reports have also indicated for some time that the Mondeo’s North American cousin, the Fusion sedan, would be replaced by a higher-riding model possibly called Fusion Active.
Ford North America’s product communications director, Mike Levine, confirmed the Evos is a Chinese-market model only, much like the current Taurus.
Subsequently, a source told Carscoops in April 2021 the Mondeo wouldn’t be replaced in Europe despite endless spy photos and reports of a higher-riding successor to the venerable family car.
“…We’ve given 12 months notice on the Mondeo going out of production next year and been clear that it won’t be replaced in Europe. Old Mondeo man is today’s Kuga [Escape] man – or woman, which is why the Evos is staying in China.”
Ford announced earlier this year it will end Mondeo production at its Valencia, Spain plant in March 2022.
Production of the related Fusion sedan in Hermosillo, Mexico ended in July 2020.