It is a phenomenon that is repeated again and again in cars that are advertised as being particularly economical. Whether it’s the golf gte, the passat gte or the ford mondeo hybrid, they are all above-average in power, yet it’s the attempt to get as close as possible to the manufacturer’s promises of fuel economy that appeals most. Which then raises the question of why such cars necessarily have to have around 200 hp. We were not able to clarify this in our test of a mondeo hybrid either. But it provides clues as to why the majority of european customers currently do not prefer the hybrid drive system.
It starts with the body choice in the case of the mondeo hybrid: there is no. If you want the hybrid drive, you have to go for the notchback – which is not available for all other engines. In this country, the mondeo hybrid will have such a hard time convincing a relevant number of customers, because the station wagon is more in demand in this vehicle segment than the alternatives. In asia and america, tastes are different and station wagons are the exception. It is not the only concession to these markets.
The design of the hybrid drive resembles that in the toyota prius. The two-liter gasoline engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission, which houses two electric motors. One is used exclusively as a generator to recharge the battery. The other is to assist the gasoline engine in accelerating the car. The battery is quite small at 1.4 kwh and can’t be recharged via a power outlet. Nevertheless, it is astonishing how large the share of purely electric or with e-support is: according to the on-board computer, the e-motor was involved in well over 50 percent of the kilometers we drove. Engaging the gasoline engine is smooth, only those who pay close attention will notice a minimal jerkiness.