Remember when Ford was going to make the Mondeo cool? | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Remember when Ford was going to make the Mondeo cool?

Now the 30-year-old family saloon faces the chop in favour of more SUVs

Ford Iosis concept front three-quarters
  • What’s this swanky looking thing?

    Ford Iosis concept front three-quarters

    This is the Ford Iosis concept, which was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2005. It was a cheeky glimpse at the sexy new Mondeo, which was set to arrive in 2007.

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  • That can’t be a Mondeo…

    Ford Iosis concept front end

    Well it is. The concept that prefigured the 2007 Mondeo at any rate. The production car didn’t look quite as nice as this, but that’s always the way with these things, isn’t it?

  • What was all the excitement about the Iosis then?

    Ford Iosis concept front three-quarters

    Just look at it – Ford came up with a four-door, four-seater saloon with aggressive haunches, sinuous lines and a new language for the company that it called “kinetic design”. The Iosis was an exciting development after the geometric period of “new edge” design that had started with the 1998 Focus. 

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  • What was it like inside?

    Ford Iosis concept interior

    Ford was very proud of the interior on the Iosis concept – it featured a solid aluminium steering wheel, a gear shifter inspired by the Focus WRC car and “skeletal” seats covered in orange rubber. All very strange. Did Ford know about the car’s upcoming Bond appearance? Perhaps the starter button under a flip lid on the gearstick was a subtle hint at movie stardom to come. Wink, wink.

  • Any crazy concept car touches?

    Ford Iosis concept rear end

    Aside from looking quite good for a family saloon, the Iosis featured that concept car staple, the mark that always signifies a designer’s flight of fancy – butterfly doors. Four of them in fact, like some West Coast Customs pimped up Lambo knock-off. And rear lights that look like they fell off a Nineties Lexus. Still, look at that rear end – sort of looks like the original Puma if you squint a little, doesn't it. 

  • Wait, wasn’t this Mondeo a Bond car?

    Mondeo from Casino Royale in 2006

    It was indeed – new Bond Daniel Craig broke with tradition in many ways in his 2006 debut, Casino Royale. Not least in deigning to accept a Mondeo (Bondeo?) hire car presumably booked by the MI6 travel office for 007 to pick up on arrival in the Bahamas. Having said that, technically Pierce Brosnan did rent his BMW 7-Series from a disguised Q at Hamburg airport’s Avis desk in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. But that’s by the by. 

  • The glamour didn’t rub off then…

    Sean Connery leaning on an Aston Martin DB5

    Strangely not. While Aston Martin’s mystique only seems to increase with each appearance in a Bond adventure, the Mondeo’s cameo in Casino Royale hasn’t given it the appeal that Ford might have wanted. Of course, it might have had something to do with the product placement deal the company had to ram Bond films with as many of the firm’s cars as could feasibly fit. Nowadays every third car on a 007 flick is a Land Rover. Curious that.

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  • And now the Mondeo is dead…

    Ford Iosis concept rear three-quarters

    Almost dead, actually – it was recently revealed that the saloon is to be killed off in March 2022 and replaced with a dreaded SUV after almost 30 years on sale. The Casino Royale appearance might have been one of the many nails in the coffin, but it was probably more to do with the fact that Ford sold just 2,400 Mondeos in the UK last year. Sad times. Not that James Bond would care, he’s emotionally stunted. 

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