Next-gen Fiesta will be bigger than the current model; development is well under way ahead of a planned launch next year
20 September 2016

The next-generation Ford Fiesta has been spotted testing in three-door guise, putting an end to rumours that the model would be available as a five-door only.

The latest spy pictures come just weeks after a development car in five-door guise was seen parked in a motorway services car park in Belgium.

The latest sighting marks the third time the 2017 Fiesta has been seen running with its own body. Earlier cars used adapted versions of the current car's exterior (and are shown in the gallery above).

As the photos confirm, the 2017 Fiesta has a completely different design from that of today's model. Although the rear of the latest mule is disguised, its wider track is clear to see.

The current Fiesta is 3969mm long and 1709mm wide, with a height of 1468mm, but the future model looks set to expand almost all of these dimensions.

Ford is expected to take some styling inspiration for the new Fiesta from the facelifted Focus, which went on sale in the UK in 2015, and the similarities are just about visible through the test mule's disguise.

The car gets a more angular nose with tighter headlights. At the back, the current car's vertical light units have been swapped for horizontal ones.

Ford is being tight-lipped about the car's technical specifications, but a range of small-capacity turbocharged three and four-cylinder engines seems almost inevitable.

A Fiesta ST range-topper is likely to retain a boosted 1.6-litre engine but, like the other engines in the range, it'll produce more power than before along with lower emissions.

Ford recently dropped the base models from the current Fiesta range following the arrival of the five-door Ka+. This trend will continue in the next-gen car, which will be moved slightly upmarket with a more premium cabin and mature appearance.

Arrival date and rivals

The current sixth-generation Fiesta, which was launched in 2008 and facelifted in 2013, will be due for replacement towards the end of this year. As a result, a late 2016/early 2017 launch is likely for the new version.

The new Fiesta will have to keep pace with increasingly advanced rivals, such as Volkswagen’s Polo and the new Vauxhall Corsa, to retain its title of Britain's best-selling car.

Speaking to Autocar at the Detroit motor show, Ford sales and marketing boss Stephen Odell said it was "in our interests to keep a car that is so well received fresh in its market”. Odell added that he was not concerned about the challenge of replacing such a successful car, as he backed the design and engineering teams to deliver.

“I remember when we launched the current car the hand-wringing that went on, as it was so different; could we even call it a Fiesta? But the car makes the name, not the name makes the car. It’s still a fantastic-looking car. I’m paid to say that but the sales back it up.”

Despite the growing provenance of the new Ford Performance division, officials have been quick to deny rumours of a Fiesta RS. Ford Performance director Dave Pericak said the company is more than happy with having the ST and the limited-edition ST200 as its Fiesta range-toppers.

Similarly, Odell wouldn't confirm or deny the existence of an RS model, or indeed whether any Ford apart from the Focus would receive the RS treatment. He said only that RS “was a really valuable brand” which had “an opportunity to keep it fresh”.

Cars such as the Focus RS, Mustang and GT are important for Ford, said Odell, due to the image boost they give the rest of the range.

Sam Sheehan and Darren Moss

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

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Comments
31

17 March 2015

Is something of a record for a Fiesta, even the German big boys don't keep versions going that long, just look at the Golf 6-7 years if they're lucky. What's more by the 2017 it'll still be selling more in the UK than the Polo, Mazda 2, Ibitza etc.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

18 March 2015

The Fiesta is not an easy car to replace. It looks so good, even after all these years. So I presume they'll do a VW and make it very subtle. I hope they don't lose the sweetness of line the current one has. It'll be hard because they'll have to make it more spacious to compete.

One other thing they'll have to do is make it perform better in the small overlap crash test in the USA. I hope structural improvements apply across the globe though.

27 November 2015
androo wrote:

The Fiesta is not an easy car to replace. It looks so good, even after all these years.

Really? I've always steered well clear of it precisely because of the way it looks. I rather thought they face lifted the wrong end of it a few years ago, the messy rear end has always looked like that of an early 2000s kia Rio to me. And don't get me started on the Aston Martin gone wrong front end or the interior which looks like a branch of Dixon's from the 90s.

12 September 2016

It looks so good??? Like most Ford offerings, both interior and exterior renderings give me a strong urge to look elsewhere. I think "tacky" is the word that sums it up.

9 July 2015
xxxx wrote:

Is something of a record for a Fiesta, even the German big boys don't keep versions going that long, just look at the Golf 6-7 years if they're lucky. What's more by the 2017 it'll still be selling more in the UK than the Polo, Mazda 2, Ibitza etc.

Mk1 Fiesta - 1976 to 1989
Mk2 Fiesta - 1989 to 2002

The current car was only launched in late 2008 as a 2009 model. Its not even an adolescent yet!

26 November 2015
rickerby wrote:
xxxx wrote:

Is something of a record for a Fiesta, even the German big boys don't keep versions going that long, just look at the Golf 6-7 years if they're lucky. What's more by the 2017 it'll still be selling more in the UK than the Polo, Mazda 2, Ibitza etc.

Mk1 Fiesta - 1976 to 1989
Mk2 Fiesta - 1989 to 2002

The current car was only launched in late 2008 as a 2009 model. Its not even an adolescent yet!

Thought I better correct you. p.s. by 2017 the current fiesta will be in it's 10th year.

mk1 76-83
mk2 83-89
mk3 89-97
mk4 95-2002
mk5 2002-2008
mk6 2008 - present

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

9 September 2016
xxxx wrote:
rickerby wrote:
xxxx wrote:

Is something of a record for a Fiesta, even the German big boys don't keep versions going that long, just look at the Golf 6-7 years if they're lucky. What's more by the 2017 it'll still be selling more in the UK than the Polo, Mazda 2, Ibitza etc.

Mk1 Fiesta - 1976 to 1989
Mk2 Fiesta - 1989 to 2002

The current car was only launched in late 2008 as a 2009 model. Its not even an adolescent yet!

Thought I better correct you. p.s. by 2017 the current fiesta will be in it's 10th year.

mk1 76-83
mk2 83-89
mk3 89-97
mk4 95-2002
mk5 2002-2008
mk6 2008 - present

Thought I better correct you.

mk1 76-83
mk2 83-89
mk3 89-94
mk4 basically a mk3 facelift 94-99
mk5 basically a mk4 facelift 99-02
mk6 02-08 (first 'Focus' shaped non-mk3 based one)
mk7 2008 - present (with a 2013 facelift that doesn't seem to count as a new generation)

And what the hell is your obsession with Hydrogen? No-one mentioned hydrogen.

17 March 2015

I thought the current one came out in 2009?

17 March 2015

Hmm, kinda; the current Ford Fiesta is a 2009 model year, but it was actually released in around mid-2008. Even after nearly seven years, it seems to have aged well, so I still like the look of it and it's still doing really well from what I've read and seen. So the future MK7 Fiesta has got a lot to live up to to better the current Mk6 one as well as improve on it.

17 March 2015

The first of this gen Fiesta were 58 models - I reckon it launched in October 08 because it was the big news at the last British Motor Show that Summer. Impressive that it's run for so long, particularly given that the previous model only enjoyed 6 years. Part of the success was, I think, that it looked so futuristic and stylish upon a rival, in a way that immediately made the Clio and 207 look frumpy. I hope Ford don't ruin the next model because it's a perfectly likeable little car.


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