The car you’re looking at may be covered by several sheets of plastic, a layer of camouflage and the apparent remains of a four-man tent, but look past all that; this is the brand new, seventh-generation Ford Fiesta, revealed first, and in detail, by Autocar.co.uk.Our photographers caught this mule undergoing slow-speed tests at a secret location in Germany last week. Its Ford custodians were evidently keen to keep as much of it under wraps as possible, which explains all those covers. However, they did little to disguise the car’s grille, belt line, head- and tail-lights, or its basic outline, and all of the above mark out this £8k supermini as a fully paid-up member of Ford’s kinetic design model generation.
Styled like its bigger sibling
Have a quick click through our gallery and you’ll recognise the defining styling aspects of this new Fiesta straight away, particularly the front end. The new Mondeo’s grilles, shaped as they are like mirrored trapezoids, are clearly visible, albeit in slightly smaller form than you'll find them on the larger family hatchback. Equally obvious are the car’s diamond-shaped, tapered headlights, which stretch back into the car’s wings.Looking further back, you can make out a few inches of Ford design boss Martin Smith’s prominent, kicked-out belt line, which is likely to run almost the full length of the car, adding a dose of dynamism to an otherwise ordinary bodyside.At the rear of the car, the twin trapezoid shapes from the front are echoed in the shape of the bootlid and the rear valance. The Fiesta’s taillights look oversized, with clear lenses, and are set quite high up, at the bottom of the car’s C-pillar rather than around its rump.
Underneath the panels
So what else do we know about this new Fiesta? It’ll be previewed by a concept car at September’s Frankfurt show, and will go on sale in Spring 2008. And it’ll be closely related to Mazda’s brand new 2 supermini, which hits showrooms this autumn.Mazda has developed Ford’s new global supermini platform architecture as part of the process of bringing the new Mazda 2 to market, and since that car is lighter than the outgoing model, as well as slightly smaller, it’d be wise to expect similar things of the new Ford.Engines should range from 1.25-litre to 1.6-litre petrol units, and from 1.4- to 1.6-litre diesels. The same 2.0-litre petrol engine as you’ll find in the current Fiesta ST could be employed after launch, to make a new range-topping sports model, but with power increased from 148bhp to around 170bhp. Prices on the new Fiesta will probably rise slightly relative to the current model, leaving a little more room underneath in Ford’s range for the new Ka, due later in the year, and built on the same architecture as the new Fiat 500.