The Ford Mondeo is celebrating its 20th anniversary and more than 4.5 million sales in Europe, including 1,400,000 in the UK.

The Mondeo was introduced in 1993 following a five-year,£3 billion development programme and was named Car of the Year in 1994.  Since then it has continued to set standards in its class for two decades, gaining awards from across Europe.

Mondeo has made advanced features available and affordable for UK customers. The first generation provided a standard driver’s airbag, an optional passenger airbag and offered traction control, adaptive damping, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and power steering.

In 1996, a revised, restyled and lighter weight Mondeo delivered optional side airbags, which were standardised two years later together with four-channel ABS.

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In 2000, Ford launched the second generation Mondeo with Ford’s Intelligent Protection System, which used a network of sensors to calculate the most effective safety features to deploy in an accident. This Mondeo made heated rear seats, automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers available for the first time.

It was so popular it even became part of the English language, when Tony Blair coined the phrase “Mondeo Man” to define a new voting class in the early part of the last decade.

The dashing third generation Mondeo arrived in 2007 following a silver screen cameo as a Bond car in the movie “Casino Royale” in 2006.

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The new model debuted advanced technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Interactive Vehicle Dynamic Control and Ford Easy Fuel system to prevent misfuelling.

Mondeo was again updated in 2010, adding Ford EcoBoost petrol engine technology and safety and convenience features such as Lane Departure Warning, Driver Alert and Auto High Beam.

Class-leading driving dynamics have always been a cornerstone of the Mondeo experience, demonstrated by past performance models including the V6-powered ST24, ST200 and ST220 and current four-cylinder 200PS 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel and 240PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol versions.

Recent powertrain enhancements to the Mondeo result in CO2 emissions from just 119g/km* and fuel consumption of 62.8mpg from the best-selling 2.0-litre 163PS Duratorq diesel engine – Mondeo now offers more power than its key sub-120g/km CO2 rivals.  This Mondeo has Smart Regenerative Charging, the Ford EcoMode driver information system and the Active Grille Shutter system, which reduces aerodynamic drag.

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The all-new Mondeo will arrive in the UK in late 2014.  Engines will include Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost which is expected to deliver leading fuel economy, and a petrol Hybrid Electric Vehicle powertrain.  It will havesegment-first adaptive full LED headlamps and debut Ford’s rear inflatable seatbelts designed to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers.