New Ford Fiesta: the lowdown
Last week we brought you the new Mondeo ; this week, it's the new Fiesta. Ford's top-selling supermini will be replaced in a year's time and we've been snooping on the cold-weather testing in Scandinavia. This car is an engineering mule, hidden under the body of a current Fiesta. The new model will share its mechanical package with the new Mazda 2, as well as Ford's own city car project, the Ka, and its Fiat 500 twin.
So what's new on next year's Ford Fiesta?
Ford ain't about to mess with a winning formula. Despite being in its fifth year, the current Fiesta is the Blue Oval's second-best-selling car, with more than 103,000 registered in the UK alone last year. That's 30,000 more than its nearest rival, the Vauxhall Corsa. So expect a front-wheel drive hatchback, with only a modest size increase over today's car. There will be a range of petrol engines, each with direct-injection for cleaner emissions: a 1.3, 1.6 or 1.8-litre four-cylinder. Diesel-lovers can pick between a 1.4 and a 1.6, fruits of Ford's collaboration with Peugeot-Citroen. Every new car that comes along these days benefits from the cascade effect of technology trickling down from loftier sectors. The new Fiesta will be no different. A full suite of airbags will be offered, along with electronic niceties such as ESP stability control, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity for phones and iPods. The days of the stripped-out supermini are fast disappearing...
What sort of exciting Fiesta spin-offs can I expect?
Ford has enjoyed considerable success with the Focus ST, and is readying a hot version of its new supermini to appeal to enthusiasts. We hear of a 1.6 turbo developing around 170bhp, plus chassis revisions and a butch body kit for swifter go and show. It won't end there. The Fusion is set to be replaced by another high-roof mini-MPV style car, possibly rebadged B-Max in line with Ford's C- and S-Max ranges. Although never a big seller, the Fusion does in fact outsell traditional superminis such as the Seat Ibiza. We'll see the new Fiesta, replete in its mini-Mondeo new 'Kinetic design' clothes, in early 2008, with sales starting in summer next year.