In a surprising turn of events, it’s been revealed that the next-generation Mondeo could be reinvented as a mid-sized crossover, Autocar reports. The name for the new car has yet to be confirmed, but it apparently will replace the Mondeo, S-Max, and Galaxy in a single crossover-style estate model.

This marks Ford’s exit from both the classic large hatchback and MPV markets. However, there is still no definitive launch date for the new crossover, but it is expected to arrive in early 2021, with sales focused in North America and beyond. There, the new Ford SUV is being compared by insiders to the Subaru Outback, which in itself is a tall-riding wagon.

The report adds that while the Outback remains a niche model in Europe, it has received significant success in the US since it debuted 20 years ago, with sales breaching 200,000 units annually.


The new Ford crossover may take on the Subaru Outback as its direct rival

What’s more, the new crossover will be built on Ford’s C2 platform, which currently underpins the new Focus. A range of petrol and diesel engines will be available, as will a 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol option. Entry-level models will use the automaker’s 1.5 litre three-cylinder mild-hybrid EcoBoost engine, which features a belt-driven electric motor and small battery.

As for the diesel mills, the engines are Euro 6d-compliant and are said to be as clean as petrol engines in real-world use. Apparently, sources say the new diesel mills are more economical than mild-hybrid petrol engines, all while being less expensive at the same time.

Although the new model will go on to replace three very different cars, sources estimate that it will outsell the three models combined. Last year, Ford Europe sold around 50,000 Mondeos, 24,000 S-Max and 12,000 Galaxy models – figures which are too low to be profitable enough.

Ford also hopes that the decision will appeal to today’s mainstream market of “adventurous families” who are attracted by lower running costs, especially when compared to an SUV. For the same reason, it’s unclear as yet whether the car will get an all-wheel drive derivative, citing fuel economy reasons. However, some version of electronic traction control system for mild off-roading may be available.

By the time the new midsize crossover is launched, Ford would have discontinued four MPV models, namely the C-Max, Grand C-Max, B-Max compact MPV, a well as the Galaxy and S-Max. The last two models are said to be culled as early as next year.

In the case of the B-Max, it will effectively be replaced by the new Puma SUV, while existing C-Max owners will be steered into the direction of the new Kuga. Mondeo and S-Max buyers will be targeted by the Fusion, and Galaxy users moved towards the smaller Transit Edge seven-seat SUV. What do you think of the move?