Even although sedans have fallen out of favor in Europe within the final couple of a long time, they was once fairly common on the Old Continent. So a lot in order that Ford even got here out with a sporty model of the Mondeo in the course of the midsize sedan’s second era. Fun truth, the ST200 is touted as being one of many solely three automobiles that James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond all agree is nice. The Subaru Legacy Outback is one other one, per Captain Slow.
The Grand Tour trio aka Drivetribe founders purchased one in direction of the top of 2020 as a project automotive and now the extra athletic Mondeo Mk2 is in mint situation following a six-month restoration. The first order of business was to check the claimed high velocity of 144 mph (232 km/h) and see whether or not it’s nonetheless able to reaching the rate promised by the producer some 21 years later.
The ST200 traveled to Kendrew Barracks, house to one of many longest runways within the UK the place the amped-up Mondeo was capable of stretch its legs. It’s price noting Drivetribe’s first project automotive had its naturally aspirated 2.5-liter V6 Duratec revitalized, an engine that made a wholesome 202 horsepower and 173 pound-feet (235 Newton-meters) of torque again within the day. The gearbox was swapped out throughout its prolonged life, however an unique transmission from a donor automotive was put again in in the course of the skin-deep restoration.
How did it fare in the course of the high velocity run? Well, let’s simply say it might’ve finished quite a bit higher. The first try ended with a somewhat disappointing 116 mph (187 km/h), which is the form of velocity you possibly can hit in a brand new Dacia Logan outfitted with a three-cylinder, 1.0-liter turbo engine. The second run was barely higher, although 123 mph (198 km/h) nonetheless wasn’t even near the quantity marketed by the Blue Oval again in 1999 when the ST200 was unveiled.
It would appear the problem stems from gearing because the transmission has an especially lengthy fourth gear contemplating the driving force is turning into fifth simply solely when he is about to hit the brakes on the finish of the runway. The Mondeo ST200 does appear able to reaching the 144-mph mark, but it surely wants an excellent longer empty stretch of highway to completely use that fifth gear. Alternatively, getting into the runway whereas the automotive is already in movement would improve its odds because the standing begin definitely did not assist.