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After pictures of a vehicle have been surreptitiously leaked onto the web ahead of their scheduled release, there's always this awkward moment when the automaker finally releases the pics officially. It's like opening up a birthday present you found stuffed in the closet a week ago and trying to act surprised. Nevertheless, Ford went to all the trouble of professionally photographing its hand-built, one-of-a-kind 2007 Ford Mondeo used in the shooting of the new James Bond flick, Casino Royale, so we feel obliged to indulge the automaker by reshowing you these pics. At least we have high-res versions of each shot now and the press release is a good read. Turns out the shooting actually took place in the Bahamas last February, when the new Mondeo's design was still a twinkle in some designer's eye. This one-off was built entirely by hand at Ford of Europe's Design Studio in Cologne, Germany in January and shipped off in a crate to the set. They did a fantastic job building the car, as you'd be hard pressed to point out any piece of fabrication that doesn't appear production ready.
PHOTO GALLERY (click on any image to enlarge):
2007 FORD MONDEO TO FEATURE IN 'CASINO ROYALE'
The all-new Ford Mondeo makes its screen debut
- Cinema goers will be first to see all-new Ford Mondeo in action in new Bond movie: CASINO ROYALE
- The specially-built model features in a sequence filmed on location in the Bahamas
- New Mondeo 5-door is featured in near final production form ahead of launch in early 2007
- The all-new Ford Mondeo makes its screen debut in EON Productions' new James Bond movie, CASINO ROYALE, which opens in cinemas around the world from November 17, 2006.
"We're delighted to be part of this exciting new Bond project," said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe Vice President for Marketing Sales and Service. "As part of Ford Motor Company's significant relationship with Bond, the producers wanted a very special vehicle for this short, early sequence in CASINO ROYALE, and we decided this was a great opportunity to showcase the exciting new Mondeo shortly after the global reveal of a preview model at the 2006 Paris Motor Show."
The model is a specially-built 5-door example of the new Mondeo, fitted with a sports bodykit. Finished in striking Tonic blue, the new Mondeo property was constructed by hand at Ford of Europe's Design Studio in Cologne, Germany, in January, 2006.
Appropriately for a Bond movie, the vehicle was then shipped under great secrecy to the filming location in the Bahamas, where the short driving sequence was filmed
This sounds simple enough, and although the car in question may not be one of Bond's more complicated 'special' vehicles, in reality the task of getting a new Mondeo to the Bahamas in time for the filming and more than one year before the car's launch was immense.
"The new Mondeo was essentially still on the drawing board when we were asked to supply the vehicle for filming in February 2006," said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Director for Design. "As volume production for the car doesn't start until the second quarter of 2007, we had to create a one-off, driveable model based around a design studio property!"
Time was also of the essence, and a team of craftsmen in Ford's Merkenich Design Studio near Cologne, worked night and day for several weeks to complete the car and make it driveable.
"This team normally builds the clay and fiberglass models of all of our future products, so they are used to demanding timeframes and making full-scale models look like real vehicles," Smith added.
Once completed, the Mondeo was shipped to the CASINO ROYALE set in the Bahamas, hidden in a purpose-built crate.
Despite the speed with which it was constructed, and the non-standard materials that were used to build it, the Design team was determined to make the car look suitable for the role.
"We wanted the property to be fully representative of a top-of-the-range new Mondeo," Smith added. "The end result is so convincing that you would never know its origins, and we even added a unique body kit to the vehicle to emphasise its sporty and dynamic design."
"On the big screen, the new Mondeo looks impressive and eye-catching, and we're convinced this appearance, although brief, will stimulate early customer interest in the new model," added Odell.
In addition to its cameo role in the new film, the special Bond Mondeo will also feature in a specially made pan-European Ford television commercial inviting viewers to 'discover the secret world of 007' and showing footage of the car in action in the Bahamas.
For Ford of Europe, this is not the first time that a popular new model has been previewed in a Bond film before the car itself has gone on sale.
In 1976, as Ford was about to launch its all-new Taunus-Cortina model, the company provided a pre-production vehicle for a brief appearance in "The Spy Who Loved Me". In the sequence filmed on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, Bond is chased by the Taunus-Cortina which eventually careers off the mountain road and through the roof of a cottage.
"We're proud of our association over the years with the film business, and in particular the Bond movies," Odell said. "It is particularly exciting for us to have this appearance by Ford's all-new flagship model in the same film that introduces a new James Bond."
CASINO ROYALE, the 21st James Bond adventure in the most successful franchise in film history, began principal photography on Monday 30 th January 2006 in the Czech Republic. Produced for Eon Productions by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, directed by Martin Campbell and starring Daniel Craig in his debut as 007, it is based on Ian Fleming's first novel to feature the ultimate secret agent, which was published in 1953.
CASINO ROYALE traces the early career of James Bond. His first "007" mission leads him to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the world's terrorists. In order to stop him, and bring down the terrorist network, Bond must beat Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale. Bond is initially annoyed when a beautiful Treasury official, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), is assigned to deliver his stake for the game and watch over the government's money. But, as Bond and Vesper survive a series of lethal attacks by Le Chiffre and his henchmen, a mutual attraction develops leading them both into further danger and events that will shape Bond's life forever.
With a screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Oscar winner, Paul Haggis, CASINO ROYALE was filmed in Prague and Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, on New Providence and Paradise Islands in The Bahamas and at Lake Como and Venice in Italy, before returning to the UK. Back in the UK, the production filmed at Dunsfold Airfield in Surrey, in Buckinghamshire's Black Park and on the legendary 007 stage at Pinewood Studios.
British actor Daniel Craig is introduced in the role of James Bond in CASINO ROYALE, supported by a strong international cast. Judi Dench once more appears as M, the Head of the British Secret Service. Vesper Lynd, the first woman with whom James Bond falls in love, is played by French actress Eva Green, and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen takes the role of Le Chiffre, international money launderer and Bond's rival in the high stakes poker game at the heart of the film.
American Jeffrey Wright plays Felix Leiter, Bond's ally in the CIA, and distinguished Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini takes the role of Mathis, his MI6 contact. Caterina Murino, also Italian, plays Solange, the beautiful but unhappy wife of one of Le Chiffre's villainous associates, who succumbs to Bond's charms.
CASINO ROYALE is an Albert R Broccoli presentation of an EON production produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, directed by Martin Campbell from a screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Paul Haggis, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures through Sony Pictures Releasing.
The 2007 Ford Mondeo
The all-new Mondeo is striking and unmistakably a member of the Ford family, and takes the company's 'kinetic design' form language to a new level.
A comprehensive range of core bodystyles will be launched concurrently in the new range in early 2007, but the Ford of Europe design team chose the five-door as the appropriate model for CASINO ROYALE, while the new wagon derivative makes its debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.
The new Mondeo clearly demonstrates how Ford of Europe's 'kinetic design' language is shaping the company's new models. This form language will be progressively applied to future Ford vehicles in an appropriate way, depending on individual vehicle or market segment tastes.
The new Mondeo range will incorporate all of the key 'kinetic design' elements:
- Dynamic lines
- Three-plane plan view
- Full surfaces
- Strong shoulders
- Bold wheel lips
- A rising belt line
- A distinctive kick-up of the window graphic at the C-pillar
- "With the purest expression of 'kinetic design' revealed in the Ford iosis Concept at Frankfurt 2005, we then introduced the first elements into volume production on the new S-MAX and Galaxy," Smith added, "Now, the new Mondeo takes the next major step along our journey towards a more expressive and emotional Ford range."
The new family face of Ford is further represented at the front end by a premium-feel, large upper grille opening, and an inverted trapezoidal grille below the license plate. Large and distinctive headlamps and lower foglamps are a key design element, and draw the eye around the chamfered corners, neatly disguising the volume required to meet the latest pedestrian protection requirements.
A muscular shoulder line runs through the side of the car to a relatively high point at the rear. This produces a dynamic window graphic when the so-called "daylight opening" (DLO) is viewed in profile, and an upward kick at the rear of the DLO further emphasizes the feeling of motion. Distinctive rear lamps also feature carefully designed graphics that enhance the overall feeling of premium quality.
A strong undercut line runs from the bold front wing wheel lips through the side of the car. Under this, full surfacing extends down to strong rocker panels to ensure the vehicle maintains a dynamic road presence.
The undercut and full surfaces are key graphic elements of 'kinetic design' and are already becoming familiar as new Galaxy and S-MAX become more visible on European roads.
'Kinetic design' themes are carried through to the all-new interior, which features high quality surfaces, materials and finishes.
Here, dynamic lines and full surfaces are again evident, and the slim instrument panel provides very generous cabin space for front seat occupants. The flow-through centre console allows the gear shifter to be located high and within easy ergonomic reach of the driver.
The design team have also paid great attention to interior detailing, and examples of this include the new generation infotainment systems, plus the next generation of Ford's Human Machine Interface (HMI). This easy to use system features the same steering-wheel toggle switches seen on new Galaxy and S-MAX, but introduces a large central LCD screen with full colour graphics situated between the main analogue instruments in front of the driver.
Rear seat headroom and legroom have also come in for scrutiny by the Mondeo development team, and these have been maximized for occupant comfort and safety.
"New Mondeo will deliver premium levels of comfort in a class-leading package," says Steve Adams, Ford's Vehicle Line Director for Large Cars. "You can also expect innovative and top-of-the-range new technology features, particularly those aimed at assisting and pampering the driver."
The 2007 Mondeo range will feature many of the new premium technologies seen on Ford S-MAX and Galaxy, and also introduce some new features unique to the new model.
The Ford team is also determined to ensure that new Mondeo will maintain its position as the best CD car for driving quality, with superior driving dynamics, and targeting best-in-class steering, ride and handling.
Full series information, technical specifications and data for the new Mondeo range will be revealed early in 2007.