After three years of owning my MG ZR, our familys living situation changed and I knew that the future would bring more longer distance driving. As much as the ZR was a capable car and the BRM Red leather had made it somewhat more luxurious, a long distance cruiser she aint. Loud, low and unrefined, it wasnt the sort of can that I wanted to be pounding A Roads and motorways in. So it was time to find car number 2.
At heart, I have always been a Ford man. With a dad that had spent the best part of 20 years there, and living in the area of Essex that in years gone by acted as a Dagenham Fords recruiiting ground, I guess it was in the blood really. So as soon as I knew I wanted more of a motorway cruiser, there was only one option.
Launched in October 2000, the Mondeo MK3 was Fords attempt to take the fight to the now conquering BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-class. A full redesign of the MK2 left it sporting more expensive material in the interior, and the car was now a full two inches longer than the predecessor giving rear passengers a lot more room to play with.
At the higher end of the MK3’s engine lineup where a set of three v6 offerings. The 2.5 V6 Duratec 25 was carried forward from the MK2 for the Zetec S, Ghia X and Totanium X), however the new 3.0 Litre Duratec 30 engine was also offered developing 206 bhp. This engine was further worked on to create the engine which would power the range topping ST220.
Pumping out 226 BHP and mated to (in the case of the facelifted version) a six speed gearbox the Mondeo had a become a relatively rapid and very comfortable cruiser. Offered as a hatchback, saloon or estate just over 5000 were built for the UK market.
My ST220 Hatchback – Panther Black / InfraRed Leather
Quite early in the search i decided on Black with the red leather as I felt it was the most distinctive colour combination, although the Performance Blue is arguably the iconic version. Sadly they were in relatively short supply and the only decent one that cropped up was all the way up in Birmingham. After two return trips to Brum and finally being able to pay (there is a story to that trip, one for another day though!) she was mine.
It was clear from the inspection that she had been looked after well by a previous owner but had been allowed to slip a bit. In my ownership she has had new shock absorbers, Eibach springs, a catback stainless exhaust and remap, ugraded Focus ST front brakes, refurbished 18 inch Jaguar ‘Proteus’ alloys and BMC CDA Carbon air intake alongside a myriad of cosmetic improvements.
There isn’t really anything more that I want to do with her now. A final thing I would like to do is get a few rolling road runs done, I was quoted 246.3 bhp at the flywheel at AMD Tuning in Lakeside which I believe reads a little bit high. The aim was always to get to 250 BHP, so if im short there will be more work to do!