Diesel and high performance haven’t always been available in the same car. I remember taking my first driving lessons in 1990, coincidentally, behind the wheel of one of my Mondeo’s predecessors.
It was a Ford Sierra 2.3D. This was the only diesel engine offered in the Sierra, and, registered in 1988 it was around the same time that company fleets began adopting diesel cars in the UK.
Ford had no diesel heritage, and the engine was sourced from Peugeot-Citroen. This was before turbo chargers became the norm for diesel cars, so the normally aspirated engine could muster no more than 67bhp – less than offered in the least powerful Ford Fiesta diesel in 2008.
I seem to remember the car being quite slow. Although the Sierra is much lighter than the latest Mondeo, dashing from 0-60mph would have been more a marathon than a sprint, taking about 16 seconds.
Things are different 20 years on. The Mondeo I’m driving produces almost 100bhp more than the Sierra I learned to drive in, and although we haven’t quite matched the official 50.4mpg achieved on the official combined cycle, we’ve been up at about 48mpg and the car is improving in that respect with every mile.