The changes coincide with a 1.8% across the board price rise, mean more equipment for less outlay and follow similar realignments on the Mondeo and Escort ranges. Air conditioning becomes standard and the new 2.3 litre petrol engine replaces all but one of the 2.0 litre models. The previous entry level Executive specification and the 12-valve version of the 2.9 litre V6 go, while a new version of the 2.5 litre turbodiesel replaces the diesel.
The new line-up revolves around the 2.3 and 2.9 litre engines and three trim levels - Ghia, Ghia X and Ultima. The new entry level vehicle will be the 2.0 8V Ghia with an on-the-road price of £19,170 - £1,500 more than the previous base model - but more than £1,000 less than the previous Ghia model. The 2.9 24V Ghia is reduced by more than £2,000 to £23,970, and the Ultima version by more than £1,000 to £27,670. The new Ghia X level 2.9 24V will cost £25,570.
Ford marketing manager, fleet operations, Nick Themistocleous said the realignment would meet buyer demands in a sector where Ford had lost ground to Vauxhall. 'What we have tried to do is respond to what the executive car driver wants - a prestige vehicle which offers executive comfort through all trim levels.'