Mercedes-Benz started the four-door coupe trend when it launched the original CLS back in 2004 and since then we’ve seen the introduction of the new Volkswagen CC plus prototypes of the upcoming Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide coupe-sedans. Ford, too, is rumored to have joined the four-door coupe bandwagon for its next-generation Mondeo sedan due in 2012.

Ford will update the current Mondeo with a mild facelift in 2010 but the next car is expected to adopt a completely new look. The carmaker’s kinetic styling theme, however, will still have a heavy influence. Key features of the design will include a swooping profile, trapezoidal grille, stretched back headlights and a short rear deck.

This rendering, from Germany’s AutoBild, gives us a clue as to what the final version may look like, revealing that many of the elements from the new Fiesta hatch will carry over to the sedan. The new Mondeo will be based on the same platform as the current model, but its wheelbase, track and overall length will be modified.

The platform is flexible enough that Ford may even launch a new two-door coupe version as well as a crossover. New features that could make their way into the range include active steering and cruise-control safety systems, ultra-clean diesel engines shared with Jaguar and mild hybrid systems.