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Now this looks very interesting indeed. These are quite possibly the first pictures of the upcoming Ford Mondeo or Fusion ST version of the CD391 fifth-gen facelift, snapped by our intrepid spy photographers in the US.

Perhaps the most significant element apparent from the onset is the set quad-exhaust tips at the rear, and it’s a dead giveaway that this vehicle is going to definitely excite its target market. Tucked away behind the grey double five-spoke alloys of the mule are what looks like larger front brake discs, probably 320 mm units from the Focus ST.

The camouflaged front reveals a partially-covered lower air intake with a large radiator behind it, and there’s every likelihood of updated headlights with a LED DRL bar on the lower part of the assembly. The rear bumper and tail lamps should also be new to the car.

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In powertrain terms, speculation is rife that the Mondeo/Fusion ST will possibly incorporate a version of the 2.7 litre twin-turbocharged V6 as featured on the F-150 pick up or the 2.3 litre inline-4 used by the Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost. There’s even talk of an all-wheel drive system from the Focus RS being integrated into this one too.

Some quarters are expecting this vehicle to have around 350 horses under the hood, giving it some serious juice to go up against items such as the Audi S4 and Mercedes C450 AMG Sport. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but we’ll know for sure in due time.

The talk is that the Ford Mondeo/Fusion ST could make its way into the market sometime in the middle of 2016, and there’s also word that a wagon or estate version will also come about, like that seen with the European Focus ST.