Latest pics of Ford Fiesta development mule hint at MPV crossover model
4 September 2010

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

See all the latest Ford Fiesta reviews, news and video

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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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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