The Mondeo years - how it all started with an airbag
WE didn't know it then but they were the good old days. When Ford rolled out the new Mondeo in 1993 we were on a wild drive to the top.
No wonder we needed a driver's airbag. It was the first mainstream car to have one as standard.
Since then 61,551 of us have bought one. That's an average of more than 3,000 a year. More than 4.5m have been sold across Europe.
In 1993, all the talk was airbags. I remember being shown one inflating. It was like another world.
It had taken five years and £3bn to develop and make the Mondeo. It was Car of the Year here in 1994 and 2008.
Three years into the first generation -- it aged quickly as I recall -- they came up with a lighter and better looking car. This time side airbags were optional -- they were standard two years later as was four-channel ABS. The second generation hit the forecourts in 2000 with a less dramatic selling point called Intelligent Protection System. This used an array of sensors to decide which safety elements should be used in an accident. Options this tim included heated rear seats, automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The third generation (2007) was unveiled after its cameo role in "Casino Royale".
The chassis has its standout advantage. It had no problem adapting to the likes of the V6-powered ST24, ST200 and ST220 or the current 200bhp 4cyl 2.2-litre diesel. The big development recently has been the addition of the EcoBoost petrol engines which may be small but really have the power. There is a 240bhp 2-litre version in it now but there will be a 1-litre EcoBoost in the new one. Imagine that. A one-litre engine in the Mondeo.
Here's to the next 20 years.