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Ford Fiesta shown

Published: 04 March 2008

What’s new on Ford’s Geneva Motor Show stand?

The Fiesta of course. Both three and five-door versions of the supermini were on display, and both looked brilliant. Ford also showed off the facelifted Focus CC, so the only Focus variant we’re now awaiting is the RS (due in November 2008).

The Kuga SUV was also on display. We’ll drive the car in April, there will only be one engine – a 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel – and prices will start at £20,495.

A new 2.2-litre diesel, co-developed with PSA was also previewed. The engine will be available in the Mondeo and S-Max, with 173bhp and 295lb ft. The Mondeo and S-Max were also shown with a new Titanium S trim, which adds a bodykit and sport suspension.

Finally, Ford announced the expansion of its ECOnetic range, so alongside the Focus (115g/km CO2) and Fiesta (sub-100g/km) there will also be a Mondeo version (sub-140g/km).

CAR highlight

The Fiesta’s exterior. Little did we realize that the Verve concept unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show was 90 percent production ready. It is stunning, but there are definite Mazda 2 hints around the nose

CAR was also pleased to hear that Ford of Europe wasn’t chasing the hybrid brigade. John Fleming, president and CEO of Ford Europe told CAR Online that: ‘We can get to hybrid levels of CO2 at a fraction of the cost…we don’t have a full hybrid in our plan at the moment.’ Ford’s solution is their ECOnetic range (diesel), and in a few years ECOboost (direct injection and turbocharging).

What were they thinking?

With a new Fiesta comes new power steering. The system is now electric, as opposed to the hydraulic set-up we love in the current car. But chief program engineer Jurg Beyer has assured CAR that there’s nothing to worry about when compared to the old system: ‘I’m convinced, it not only matches it, but outperforms it.’ We’ll see come autumn 2008.

Our other worry with the Fiesta has been the interior. It certainly looks good but what about in the metal and plastic? The steering wheel is lovely to hold, there’s space for four full-grown adults, but some of the plastics are definitely below those found in a Clio or Corsa. But as the two cars on display are pre-production, and the only two in existence, we’ll give Ford the benefit of the doubt, for now.

In a nutshell

Brilliant new Fiesta, practical Kuga SUV, an expanded green line-up. Don’t get blasé about Ford, it’s on a roll.

5/5

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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