Although the three-door Ford Fiesta has a more rakish, sporting silhouette, the five-door Fiesta’s window outline is not dissimilar to the three-door’s. “We took the five-door design as seriously as the three-door,” says Ford’s chief exterior designer, Stefan Lamm. “Both cars are based on the same body, which makes the five-door particularly sporty and dynamic.”
Pedestrian impact regulations make for longer frontal overhangs these days. The A-pillar’s descent is aimed at the centre of the front wheel to help visually shorten it, while the small quarterlight improves visibility and helps extend the rising chrome line to give the body some length.
The headlights’ sharp rearward sweep is meant to make a visual impact and shorten the apparent shutline of the bonnet. The steep vertical rake helps pedestrian impact protection and is also meant to give the Fiesta a more upmarket look than the pre-facelift model.
Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s executive director of design, reckons the rear — where the roofline sweeps into the spoiler and the tail lights sit high on the corners — is the most distinctive part of the new Fiesta. It’s not unusual for workaday hatchbacks to be given a strong horizontal graphic at the rear. The grey ‘diffuser’ is meant to draw the eye outwards towards the wheels and to accentuate any dynamic stance.
The kick at the rear edge of the back window is now a Ford signature and helps boost visibility. The outline of the window, meanwhile, is barely changed from that on the Verve concept car which previewed the production car.
The pronounced wheel arch ‘lips’ are also a feature on new European Ford models. They’re meant to give some tension and muscularity to what otherwise might be large and flatly dull panels.
With MacPherson strut front suspension, a torsion beam suspending the rear and a monocoque steel body, there is little technically that we haven’t seen before.