Latest pics of Ford Fiesta development mule hint at MPV crossover model

These are the latest spy pictures of a jacked-up version of the Ford Fiesta in development testing.

Judging from the images, Ford is pushing ahead with plans to create further spin-off models from the standard car.

See pics of the latest Ford Fiesta spy pics

The new model’s increased ride height hints at a mini-SUV - in effect, a smaller brother for the Ford Kuga. But its increased clearance may have been forced by what are clearly wider tracks at the front and rear - and they could point to a mini-MPV crossover.

This is also a more likely option, given that Ford currently lacks a contender in an area of the market where rivals such as Vauxhall (Meriva) and Renault (Modus) have a strong presence.

The new model will take many of its styling cues from the Fiesta, although it’s thought that the Iosis Max concept - unveiled at last year’s Geneva motor show - could provide pointers to a mini-MPV’s eventual roofline.

Engine options are unlikely to include the Fiesta’s base 1.25-litre petrol unit, because of the new car’s heavier payloads. But the 1.4 and 1.6-litre turbodiesels would be suitable, along with a small turbocharged petrol Ecoboost unit.

The car could also feature Ford’s Powershift dual-clutch transmission, which is now being rolled out on US-market Fiestas.

The new car is likely to be built in Romania. Ford has confirmed that it has secured a €400m (£332m) loan from the European Investment Bank to set up production of a new small car at its factory in Caiova.

Capacity at the plant will expand to around 250,000 units per year by the end of 2011.

John McIlroy

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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
7

4 September 2010

So a Ford Fusion replacement that looks more like the current Fiesta then. Oh, but badged a "cross-over" so people won't associate it with over 60s like the current Fusion.

4 September 2010

Looking at the Lego bricks on the roof, is that lead weights to simulate a more top-heavy car? The tyres have taller sidewall than normal too, so I'm thinking it's a Juke rival.

4 September 2010

From what I can see, it looks more like a mini-MPV, and I'd say it'd be challenging the Meriva in that category, but I couldn't say it'd be a Juke rival. Who wants to rival the Juke?

4 September 2010

I thought a few months ago, Ford revealed that what they called the B-Max would be put into production as a Meriva/Modus/Venga/ix20 rival.

4 September 2010

I'd say it's the B-Max.

5 September 2010

[quote TheWizardWeb]so I'm thinking it's a Juke rival.[/quote] There are rumours elsewhere that this is jacked up because it has a 4x4 drivetrain, so it seems to be a rival for the Juke (and Mini Countryman) and is really a scaled-down Kuga.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

5 September 2010

The real McCoy is the jacked up chassis under that Fiesta-bodied mule.

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