Ford of Europe has released details on what the Europeans can expect from the upcoming Ford Fiesta, and no doubt we'll see the same specs on the eventual Aussie release.
Straight away, the sharp new Fiesta will be offered in not only the standard five door body, but also in the sportier three door variant. Production is due to begin later this year, with a view to getting Jack Europe's wallet out in early '09. As for us poor Aussies?or at least those of us with a taste for small cars (and given the fuel climate lately, that's a lot of us)?it could be 2010 before we see it at our local Ford dealer.
The new Fiesta stands as the first of Ford's new approach to the global market, built under the Global Product Development System, which was devised to allow Ford to competitively design and manufacture cars that can be easily and effectively made sold in the varying domestic markets around the world.
The sporty option in the new Fiesta range will be the Zetec S, packing a 1.6 litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol engine, outputting 88kw. While the stated 9.9 second 0-100kmh is a little uninspiring for a sports model and barely worth using in the marketing material (and really, just call it 10 seconds for crying out loud), it's likely more than enough for the average Fiesta buyer.
That aside, it's nice to see a small car stay a small car (hello Honda Civic, this is a call), and the Fiesta badge has managed to shed nearly 40kg since we last saw it. Ford also says the Fiesta's specially-tuned Electric Power Assist Steering setup offers greater ease of use at low speeds, while bringing a stronger sense of feedback to the driver at high speeds.
From a safety perspective, The 2009 Fiesta is a leap ahead of the previous model. Incorporating Ford's Intelligent Protection System, which includes knee bags as standard, as well as side airbags to protect the head, it's a sure step forward for the model.
Other features include capless refueling, the usual keyless entry, and the ever-trendy start button. No blue fash fountain to be seen though, so Kia's got a one-up on the Fiesta there.
Ford of Europe''s Executive Director of Small Cars, Marin Burela, said
?It?s an incredibly exciting project,? says Marin Burela, Executive Director of Small Cars, Ford of Europe. ?All-new Fiesta is a landmark moment for Ford. It?s our most significant global vehicle project since the Model T and heralds the future for Ford product development.?
Will shoppers be as excited as Marin? Comments around the internet at the moment range from highly enthusiastic to utter disappointment, so it seems the all-new Fiesta will need to prove itself as much on the road as on computer screens.