The next Ford Mondeo turned up in Detroit disguised as a Fusion. Forget the American model name Ford's jumbo family car is the next Mondeo, even though it won't arrive in British dealers until well into 2013.
This is the latest car to slot into the 'One Ford' project, which brings together the cars we buy in Europe with the ones offered in American showrooms. It makes sense for Ford, but as the recent Focus has shown, it's not without risks.
The Fusion is an evolution of the current Mondeo, with a clearly recognisable profile and some items such as the rear lights which look like a direct carryover. The front end is certainly new, however; its Aston Martin-esque, ultra-wide grille split opinion at the show. Look at it this way; I'd be surprised if the next generation of Mazda 6 isn't a lot prettier when it turns up later this year.
If anything, then, Ford seems to have taken the European Mondeo and tried to apply just enough 'Americanisation' to make it palatable to the US buyers. Whether or not that process has extended to the driving experience, and diluted the European benchmark we know and love, remains to be seen.