This is the all-new Ford Fiesta, revealed in pictures today by the Blue Oval. The new car will be introduced at next month’s Geneva motor show, and will go on sale in the UK late this year. It’ll be the sixth generation of the ever-popular supermini to have come to market in 32-years. And, judging by these photos at least, it’ll be the best-looking Fiesta ever, as well as the most important.
Verve concept in all but a few details
Ford of Europe’s design boss Martin Smith gave us a promising preview of this car in the shape of the Verve concept which appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt show. Back then, he quietly assured us that it was a more faithful match for the finished road car than concepts often are. Now we see why.Behind the innovative and attractive design, claims Ford, this car remains true to what it calls ‘Fiesta fundamentals’: it’s practical, affordable, agile and safe. And like the new Mazda2 with which is shares a platform, it’s also lighter than the car it replaces.
Inside the new Fiesta
The Fiesta’s cabin, like the Verve’s, is inspired by mobile ‘phone design. It’ll have the same Convers+ drive computer system as the Mondeo, and other big car features such as keyless go, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and voice control of subsidiary systems, will also feature.
Engines, chassis, steering
There will be four petrol engines (114bhp 1.6-, 90bhp 1.4-, and 79bhp and 60bhp 1.25-litre options) and two diesels (a 68bhp 1.4 and an 89bhp 1.6). Shortly after launch, a special ‘Econetic’ version of the car will be offered, with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.Underneath the new Fiesta are developments of the same MacPherson strut front suspension and twist beam rear you’ll find under the current model, but says Ford, they’ve been developed for an impressively quiet ride.Hydraulic power-assisted steering has given way to an electric system for the first time on a Fiesta. Ford calls the new system E-PAS, and claims that it provides a good balance of low-speed assistance and feel.
First global Fiesta
Aside from all that, what’s most significant about this new Fiesta is that it kicks off a remarkable new era for Ford during which its European-designed models will lead the company’s best-selling model ranges in all major markets for the next 10 years. The new Fiesta is being used as the pioneer for a “One Ford” model strategy launched recently in Dearborn by Ford CEO Alan Mulally. The Fiesta has already been shown in the US in two near-production Verve concepts, and will be launched there in several formats during 2009.Meanwhile, Ford bosses have also let slip that the recently revised Focus will soon go to the US in it current form, a move which ccould also promise a US future for the forthcoming Focus-related Ford Kuga SUV, if US marketing men seew a business case. The Mondeo is also set to play a big part in Ford’s world plans. The company has already started building the car in China. Meanwhile, its sporty S-Max MPV offshoot is known to be a favourite with Mulally and Derek Kuzack, Ford’s product development chief. However US Mondeos would probably have to be made in North America to be truly profitable, and such a commitment would probably have to await the next generation model, four or five years away.