You’re looking at Ford’s new Fiesta. The new supermini shares around half its parts with the Mazda 2 – which means the newcomer is the same size as today’s Fiesta but slightly lighter. Its diet will pay dividends in sensible things like emissions and fuel economy, but should also make it fun to drive.
After months of speculation, we can finally see how closely the Fiesta has followed the Verve concept car, shown at numerous international motor shows. As expected there’s a little less show-off frippery and glitzy jewellery, but the end result is a distinctive mini that’s light years ahead of the current Fiesta design dullard.
Ford Fiesta: the bodystyles
Today Ford has released photos of the three-door supermini only, but there will be a five-door too. These will be the bedrock of the European range, but there are plenty of other models to look forward to. The Fiesta will be the first B-segment small car to go on sale in the US, in the guise of the Verve saloon. And we’ll also the B-Max mini-MPV in 2009, followed by a Kangoo-rivalling van in 2010.
Each will be wrapped in the smallest application yet of Ford’s ‘kinetic design’. It’s styling boss Martin Smith’s mantra for the latest Ford look – think of it as a mini Mondeo with dominant double grille, angular lights, a rising beltline and exaggerated wheelarches. Oh, and the name for the toothpaste green of the model pictured is ‘squeeze’, apparently.
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Ford Fiesta: the engines
The new Fiesta has been developed alongside the Mazda 2 (a firm supermini favourite at CAR) and there’s a choice of three petrols and two diesels at launch:
• 1.3 (59bhp or 79bhp)
• 1.4 (90bhp)
• 1.6 Ti-VCT
• 1.4 TDCI (67bhp)
• 1.6 TDCI (89bhp)
All drive the front wheels, and the existing suspension is carried over with front MacPherson struts and a twist-beam rear axle. Hardly a disappointment – the old Fiesta is one of the sharpest-handling minis on sale and it’s a hoot on a back-road blast. The power steering is electric now, however, so it remains to be seen what happens to steering feel.
The green Ford Fiesta
A green Fiesta special badged ECOnetic will be launched in autumn 2008, producing CO2 emissions under the tax-crucial 100g/km barrier, which means it will qualify for zero UK road tax.
Click ‘Next’ to read the full story on the FiestaFord will slide the covers off the Fiesta at the Geneva Motor Show on 4 March 2008 – 32 years after the first Fiesta was launched. The Blue Oval has flogged an impressive 12 million units since then. It can’t afford to get the sixth generation wrong.
Inside the Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta’s cabin is inspired by mobile phones… yawn, yawn – we’ve all heard these claims before. Although it’s hard to see in these dark-shot interior photographs, the cabin looks pleasingly modern and seems to benefit from various big-car technologies. There are steering wheel mounted switches for cruise control and stereo functions, a ‘Ford power’ starter button, digital air-con and a high-up digital read-out for sat-nav and entertainment functions.
The latter is one of the big things on the new Fiesta. MP3 players are fully compatible, Bluetooth connectivity is available and voice control is optional. But forget all the tech – a lot of the interior ambience will be determined by the quality of materials, and we can’t judge those until we see the car in the metal at Geneva. Let’s hope those swathes of metal-effect plastic feel as good as they look.
Do you like the new Fiesta? Click ‘Add comment’ and let us know what you think. And don’t miss CAR’s coverage of the 2008 Geneva show – we’ll be bringing you all the news from the show in the run-up and live on 4 March 2008