Ford promised a lot of new vehicles after it said last year it was axing virtually its entire car lineup in the United States. One of those new vehicles, according to Autocar, is a crossover intended to compete directly with Subaru’s Outback, or something like the Focus Active, which the company had initially said it would still sell here before killing it too.
We’ve heard almost all of this before, as Ford gives its cars long, painful deaths. It was in April that a Ford executive said that the company was planning a new “affordable” model that to replace the affordable models it was axing. Ford didn’t say then what kind of car that was, or even say what kind of body style, but you can bet that it is likely the same car Autocar is talking about today in its report, which “is being compared by insiders to the Subaru Outback.”
The new car is expected in 2021, and will be sold globally. Further, in Europe, it will replace the Mondeo, S-Max, and Galaxy, meaning Ford will get out of the minivan and large hatchback segments there altogether.
The new car will be built on Ford’s super-flexible C2 platform, which underpins the new Focus and, in time, should be able to stretch from accommodating the next Fiesta to the future seven-seat Edge SUV. The front section of the architecture will also be used by Ford’s future Transit and Tourneo family.
The model will be offered with petrol and diesel engines plus a 48V mild-hybrid petrol option. The base engine is expected to be Ford’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit, which will have a belt-driven electric motor and small battery in mild-hybrid form.
Insiders says that new Euro 6d-compliant diesel engines are, in pollution terms, as clean as petrol engines in real-world use. It is understood that these new oil-burners are still more economical than even mild-hybrid petrol engines, as well as being less expensive.
I’m guessing that this new crossover will slot in between the current Edge and the Escape in Ford’s lineup. And while I’m sure Ford has plenty of ambitions to go after Subaru’s Outback, that car has been on an impressive sales streak for years now, with Subaru selling nearly 200,000 of them last year, or almost double what they sold ten years ago.
Not to mention that there is a sixth-generation Outback launching this year. Who knows whether that car will be any good or not (I’m driving it next week and will have my own first impressions soon) but I’m pretty sure it won’t change the calculus too much. And if it’s positively great Ford will have an even bigger hill to climb. Still, Ford’s strategy of simplification is sound.
One remaining mystery is the name. It’ll probably be called Mondeo in Europe, but here Ford will likely go with something starting with the letter E, like the rest of its crossovers and SUVs save the Ford Flex, our sweet prince, the Ford Flex. Ford please never kill the Flex.