Covers to come off sixth generation supermini at Geneva show
15 February 2008

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.

Matt Saunders and Steve Cropley

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
23

15 February 2008

Looks good, interested to see how it performs in comparison tests. I love these bread and butter cars.

15 February 2008

In the words of Andy Pipkin "I don't like it". Small windows will mean poor visibility, a bugbear of most of todays cars, it looks like it was designed at the same "studio" as Hyundais/Protons/Kias etc and what is the with the current obsession with making the headlight cluster virtually touch the A pillar? Yes that means you, too, Peugeot and Vauxhall. Stop it, it looks stoopid!

15 February 2008

Looks pretty good. Not disimilar to the new Lancia photos I've seen here err, can't remember where now! If it's got the same high standards of drive and road holding as most Fords come with nowadays it should be a corker like the new Mondeo. Agree the high rear window design might make the kids car-sick if they can't see out but if hubby wants to sacrifice the kids for his ideals of good design you could understand the reasoning!

15 February 2008

Looks good - although I think I prefer the Mazda 2 but that could change when I see a Fiesta 'in the metal'.

Anyone seen the 5 door? The small rear windows may change for the more family-oriented version - like Vauxhall, Kia etc do.

GD

16 February 2008

Well, from the 'photos, Ford have gone from concept to production more successfully than Seat did. Like the outside appearance - don't like the interior, with its Civic steering wheel and gawdy dashboard inserts.

GB

16 February 2008

Ford has surprised me. While i expected to see the Fiesta being more or less identical to the Verve concept aft of the A-pillar, as it looked production ready, i wasn't expecting the stunning front end to be the same. I was expecting the more convential front end as shown on the Verve saloon concept from this year's Detroit show.

I still reckon the Fiesta name should have been dumped in favour of Verve though!

16 February 2008

The three-quarters view looks sleek, projectile-like and more Peugeot than Ford, but in profile the car clearly has something odd going on - the rear looks completely out of proportion, its height dwarfing those tiny wheels, and unless the seats are raised internally the back must be a seriously claustrophobic place to be. I can't see how any small people in there are going to be able to see out.

I also can't help thinking that goose turd green doesn't do the car any favours...

16 February 2008

Got a mate who is connected to some aspects of the design of this and he loves it - he says it's a real step forward. I can't argue.

My question to him next time I see him is ' will the base model look as good as this top of the range car ' (?)

That will be the marker for this model IMO.

Tell you what though - there are some cracking designs out there at the moment in this sector. Love the Punto - Love the Mazda2 - dig the Corsa.

When did people in the market for a car this size have this level of choice of style and ability?

17 February 2008

[quote scummyplum]
My question to him next time I see him is ' will the base model look as good as this top of the range car ' (?)[/quote]

Hehe it's a good question. You can only wonder at how naff the entry-level car with 13-inch rims and black plastic bumpers will look...

17 February 2008

What is all the hype about?

Give it a year, we will all be so used to it that it will just blend in to the every day carscape. It isn't a design classic, and soon there will be so many of them on the road it will just look boring.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

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