Ford’s sales chart-topping Fiesta supermini has been treated to its first mid-life set of tweaks. Chief among the changes are a new look for the car’s nose, the choice of Ford’s downsized 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, and even more technology on board.
The new Fiesta will make its debut on Ford’s Paris motor show stand in September 2012, and will trickle through to UK showrooms shortly after. There’s no word on full prices and model specs yet.
So what’s new on the 2012 Ford Fiesta?
The facelift is a predictable one – we’ve known the ‘big mouth’ trapezoidal front grille was coming, having seen it on the Fiesta ST show car at Geneva earlier in 2012.
The US-market Ford Fusion saloon (ostensibly our next Mondeo) also sports a similar arrangement. It’s the latest evolution of Ford’s ‘Kinetic’ design, and sports LED running lights and a more heavily contoured bonnet as well.
Certainly, the grille is bigger, but what lurks behind is actually downsized: facelifted Fiestas can be specced with Ford’s Engine of the Year-winning Ecoboost motor. The tiny three-cylinder turbocharged unit displaces just 999cc but can return a claimed 56.5mpg in the bigger, heavier Focus family hatchback. Ford reckons the use of this frugal mill in the Fiesta will put it at the top of the supermini class for efficiency.
Meanwhile, the interior looks very similar to the old car, but withholds new tech talents, both on the safety and infotainment front.
What tech gubbins do we get on the 2012 Ford Fiesta?
There’s been a definite focus on young drivers with the updates to the Fiesta. Ford’s ‘SYNC’ interface allows users to select music or answer telephone calls on devices hooked up the car either by a USB lead, or wirelessly via Bluetooth. And, should you still manage to get distracted enough to take your eyes of the road while driving the new Fiesta, it’ll stop itself if a low-speed collision is imminent, thanks to an active city braking system.
Even the key has a rather ingenious party pooper feature. Called ‘MyKey’, it’s been available on US Fords for a while, but this is the first time we’ve seen it on a Blue Oval on this side of the Atlantic.
The idea is to allow parents to programme their children’s car keys to only allow driving up to a preset speed limit – even to set a maximum stereo volume – and disable the option of turning off driver aids and drving sans seatbelt.
>> Would Ford’s MyKey system appeal to you, or should younger drivers be trusted with greater independence? Tell us your opinion in the comments.