The Ford Convers+ system – already available on the Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models – will also feature, representing a major step forward for the small car buyer. It is just one of several new features and technologies, including keyless vehicle technology symbolised by the distinctive 'Ford Power' button on the instrument panel.
Connectivity is another new Fiesta strength. The new centre console features a convenient tray for MP3 players complete with built-in sockets for an auxiliary (AUX) audio and USB cables, along with the traditional 12 volt outlet. This allows the car's audio system to control and charge the MP3 player. Bluetooth connectivity with voice control is also offered in the new Fiesta, along with more big-car technologies.
Powering the Fiesta to global success is a mix of efficient petrol and diesel engines. The 1.25-litre (60 and 80PS) and 1.4-litre (91PS) Duratec petrol units are joined by a new Duratec 1.6-litre Ti-VCT (115PS) option. This advanced powertrain provides an additional 15PS over the outgoing model but, thanks to variable valve timing, with no fuel consumption penalty.
For the ultimate in economy, Ford’s TDCi common-rail diesel engines will continue to be offered in 1.4-litre (68PS) and 1.6-litre (90PS) guises. Later in 2008 a Fiesta ECOnetic with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km will become available.
From launch, all Fiestas will be equipped with the slick Ford Durashift five-speed manual transmission, and a four-speed automatic transmission will be available on selected models.
Throughout each generation, the Fiesta badge has always been synonymous with agile, entertaining handling and this remains the case. The bold new design may be tougher and safer but this isn’t at the sacrifice of driving enjoyment. New Fiesta retains the MacPherson strut front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension layout that has been one of its traditional strengths, but the new suspension and steering system has undergone significant development.
Ford’s acclaimed dynamics engineers worked hard to enhance Fiesta’s ride comfort and isolate road, wind and powertrain noise from the cabin. The result is an impressively quiet drive for a small car.
Electric-Power Assist Steering (E-PAS) is introduced in the Fiesta for the first time. E-PAS provides the right balance of low-speed assistance and excellent feel and responsiveness.
Summing up the latest Fiesta ahead of its Geneva debut Martin Smith, Executive Director of Design for Ford of Europe said: “All the vital elements of 'kinetic design' have been translated into the new Fiesta to create a dynamic spirit of fun and energy.
“New Fiesta evokes an instant emotional response that says ‘I want one’ which extends the traditionally practical values of the Fiesta to appeal to a new, style-conscious generation of small car buyers.”
Full technical details and UK trim levels for the new Fiesta range will be released closer to the launch of the production model in autumn 2008.Published 15 February 2008