Ford will replace the Mondeo with a new model featuring more crossover styling, according to the UK's Autocar magazine.
The future of Ford's largest car has been in question because of declining sales in Europe's midsize segment as buyers switch to SUVs and crossovers.
In the U.S. Ford is phasing out its Fusion midsize car, adding to speculation that the Mondeo would also be discontinued,
Autocar said the new Mondeo would have crossover styling cues but was unlikely to be classified as an SUV. The magazine quoted Ford sources as saying the model will continue to have hatchback and station wagon body styles.
The new-generation Mondeo was mentioned in a tooling catalog for Ford parts seen by Autocar.
The catalog has since been updated to remove the reference to the new model. The car's launch date was listed as the third quarter of 2021.
A tool listed on www.fordspecialtools.com was designed to remove a leaf spring, which is type of rear suspension becoming more popular again because it allows more space for a battery pack in hybrid cars.
The catalog gave the code name for the car as CD542, which was the same one used for the replacement Fusion before it was canceled, Autocar reported.
The CD refers to Ford's large car platform which is expected to underpin the next Mondeo.
Ford declined to confirm the report. "We don't comment on speculation," a spokesman said.
The Mondeo is currently built in Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain, alongside the Kuga compact SUV and the S-Max and Galaxy minivans.
The new Mondeo could be roomy enough to replace the S-Max and Galaxy minivans, Autocar said. The S-Max and Galaxy are the last two minivans Ford sells in Europe after it discontinued the small B-Max and compact C-Max in the last two years.
The Mondeo is likely to share parts with cars built in the Valencia plant, including the plug-in hybrid drivetrain from the Kuga and the newly announced full-hybrid drivetrain for the S-Max and Galaxy available early next year.
Spy pictures published by Autocar reportedly of the new Mondeo undergoing testing show a tall-riding wagon, which could straddle the sectors occupied by the Mondeo wagon, hatchback and minivans.
Ford has steadily been moving towards SUVs and crossovers in a bid to become more consistently profitable in the region. This year it will start selling both the new Puma small SUV and new Kuga. It also plans to launch a plug-in hybrid version of its Explorer full-size SUV.
Sales of the Mondeo in Europe fell 19 percent to 40,495 last year, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. Ford's total European sales slipped 2 percent to 995,156 passenger vehicles.