American automobile manufacturers, being a bit of an anachronism in the current world market, still don't embrace the concept of applied technology for the betterment of, or demand by the human race. Case in point; the successful European launch of the Fiord Mondeo.
The perfect hockey-mom vehicle or mob get away car, the Mondeo boasted a huge internal cabin with comfortable seating for five burly adults, and a trunk that you could hide at least three bodies, or the team's equipment bags in. With three different power plant options from turbo diesel to regular petrol, the Mondeo easily broke the 30 MPG barrier averaging in the mid-30's for all engines (after adjustment from imperial to US gallon). The diesel option was closer to 40 MPG, which was laudable given the size of the vehicle.
How then, does this successful automobile platform escape the US market?
"Because we needed to add more chrome, more internal gadget bling, a few hundred pounds of extra American steel and a heavy six cylinder engine before we could call it a Torus", says former Fiord European design engineer and recently approved U.S. citizen, Yusan Ovabitcz.
Industry analysts tracked the success of the Mondeo from Europe back to the U.S. where branding seemed more important that substance. "That and we had to make our petroleum business partners happy too", says Ovabitcz. "We keep the engine performance in the mid twenties in terms of miles per gallon, we still sell our quota of vehicles, and the country buys more oil. We can't let the Chinese beat us on oil consumption, after all. We're always number one!"
From the consumer's perspective, the average Joe Kansas thinks he's doing his part to help the environment. Sixteen MPG in the city and mid-twenties on the highway seems pretty good compared to his previous SUV, and he still thinks in order to get above 30 MPG, he would have to drive a Japanese two-door shoe box. "We do seem to have them duped", says Ovabitcz. "Americans still like to own big, heavy and almost, but not quite efficient cars".
Sadly, the classic lines, stylish front and rear end, and efficient engines of the Mondeo won't be found in America, though the Torus is a fuzzy reflection of it. "It does have an ominous look about it", says Ovabitcz. "The front grill and radiator scoop are so covered in chrome, it screams, LOOK AT MY FACE, BITCH, as you drive by. Some people still prefer that look."
The new Fiord Torus, with well appointed performance, exterior and interior options, enough to drop kick this daily driver into the luxury price category, will list just over $44,000. Seems like an Infinity G37 for less money might be the way to go. Or for another six grand, drop your keester into a Porsche Cayman. Yee haw.