Ford will offer a full hybrid version of the Mondeo station wagon in Europe nearly five years after the Mondeo hybrid sedan was launched.
Ford currently offers only the U.S.-developed Mondeo sedan as a hybrid in Europe. The automaker initially decided that the cost to engineer the hatchback and wagon models for the gasoline-electric drivetrain would be too much.
However, Ford has changed its mind and added a Mondeo hybrid wagon to capitalize on the growing popularity of hybrid drivetrains for customers looking for greater fuel efficiency amid falling demand for diesel. Full hybrids can run on battery power for low-speed maneuvers but in most scenarios their electric motor acts as an assist to the gasoline engine to reduce fuel usage.
"The new Mondeo Hybrid wagon will enable customers who require greater load-carrying capability to benefit from the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain," Ford said in a statement.
Ford said the hybrid wagon will go on sale next spring in the first of a range of enhancements for the Mondeo. The news is a vote of confidence for Ford’s midsize car, which the automaker has said no longer will be sold in the United States after ending production of the current model, named Fusion there.
The hybrid wagon was engineered at Ford of Europe’s development center in the UK. The wagon rather than the hatchback was chosen because the extra length meant Ford could offer it with a flat load bed rather than the stepped floor in the Mondeo sedan, a spokesman said.
The practicality offered by a wagon body style is an "absolute must" for many customers, Ford of Europe's head of sales and marketing, Roelant de Waard, said in the statement.