The new Fiesta looks pretty good, especially for a Ford…
Yes it does look good, but don’t knock Ford’s design. Martin Smith, who previously made Vauxhalls look nice, has transformed the Blue Oval’s looks with his ‘kinetic design’ language. Following on from the Mondeo, Kuga4x4, and recently revised Ford Focus, we now have the Ford Fiesta replacement. Underneath all that bin-bag cladding is the supermini that we’ll see next year. Ford is being tight-lipped about a sale date, but the marketing tease is set to continue for a little while longer. With the Mondeo there was an Iosis coupe concept before an estate concept was shown that was about 95 percent production ready. Only then did we see the real thing. So we're therefore expecting another Fiesta concept in spring 2008 before the real thing lands in 12 months' time.
So will it look like the Verve concept?
Pretty much. This is the three-door and you can see the shared profile. The rear light doesn’t appear to have quite the same kink extending round the side - but there’s still a stepped boot, the rising swage line and a rakish profile. Looks promising! The dashboard is disguised but like the Verve concept, all the major instrument controls are centred on the top of the dashboard. Those in the know say all bar the seats and minor detailing of the Verve's interior architecture will be carried over to production.
Will the next Fiesta be nice and green?
It should be. Engines will range from 1.2 to 1.6 litres, and the car should start to receive downsized and turbocharged engines too. Part of the line-up will also include Ford’s new ECOnetic technology. The Focus is about to receive a 1.6-litre diesel and in that car the 108bhp engine delivers 65.7mpg and emits just 115g/km. Expect those figures to be even better in the smaller Fiesta replacement. ECOnetic cars also receive various aerodynamic tweaks. To keep up with the Joneses, the next Fiesta ST will almost certainly be turbocharged, following on from the blown Focus ST. Expect 1.6 litres and at least 170bhp. Also on the cards is a replacement for the Fusion, but the Mk2 needs to be a lot more exciting to look at.
What else should I know about the new Fiesta?
It shares a lot of its componentry with the Mazda 2 - about 60 percent of parts are the same. Not that you’ll be able to tell though, as it’s all under-the-surface stuff. The Mazda 2 is about 100kg lighter than the previous model, so expect the Fiesta replacement to be equally slimline. However, part of the 2’s weight loss was due to a shrink in size so whether the next Fiesta is smaller remains to be seen. Either way, the tie-up is more extensive than between the Mondeo and the new Mazda 6.
Is Ford in bed with everyone?
Sort of. As well as Mazda, it's joining up with Fiat to build the next Ka. Or rather, the Blue Oval's bought the platform and that’s covered Fiat’s development cost for the 500. A shrewd deal by the Italians. But while Ford is forming alliances around the globe, it's also divesting itself of various British companies. After the Aston Martin sell-off Ford is still looking for a taker for Land Rover/Jaguar, and possibly Volvo too. We'll know more this autumn.