New Ford Fiesta – Finally, More Information
By Igor Holas
See earlier coverage of the next Fiesta HERE
As the eighth-generation Fiesta is nearing production, we are finding out more about the various aspects of this revolutionary new project. Currently, there are three virtually unique versions of the Fiesta offered around the globe: German-developed European and Global Fiesta, Australian-developed Asian / Indian Fiesta, and Brazilian-developed South-American Fiesta. There is also the European Fusion, South-American EcoSport, two pickup-trucks (South-American Courier, and South-African Bantam), and even the Ikon, a Mexico-produced sedan based on an older-generation Fiesta.
With the eighth generation, Ford is putting an end to this chaos, and is developing a simplified, global lineup of cars on the platform, all designed, and developed primarily in Germany. Ford will still recognize three core markets (Europe and Europe-sourced markets; East and South-East Asia; and the Americas), and make some localized changes to the products and product availability, but the lineup will be simplified and globalized.
Accordingly, Ford will reshuffle and consolidate production: the core Fiesta production will be based in Valencia (Spain), Cologne (Germany) and Ford’s brand new plant in Nanjing (China). Camaraci (Brazil) plant will be the main producer of the derivative models of the Fiesta. It is almost certain the U.S.-destined Fiesta will be of Chinese manufacturing origin, possibly being one of the first Chinese cars imported to the U.S.; this was first hinted at by Alan Mulally back in September (LINK), and has since been confirmed by insiders as a set plan of action.
As mentioned above, Fiesta will be attractively “localized” for the three core markets. Accordingly, Ford is rolling out three concepts: we saw the European version in Frankfurt as the Verve concept, we will see the Asian version in China next month, and the American version in Detroit in January.
The European Fiesta will very closely resemble the Verve concept. The huge trapezoidal bottom intake will be a little smaller, the top grille a little bigger, and the rear roof line will not be as sloping as the Verve’s, but the overall shape, the nose and tail designs as well as the overall idea of the interior will be untouched.
The American and Asian versions will not be significantly different from the European version, but might indeed sport noticeable changes in design language and general front-end treatment. There were mules spotted in Europe with different bumper designs peeking through the camouflage, but before the respective versions are released as concepts it is hard to predict just how different the localized version will be. Either way, the changes are only going to affect the nose; the cabin shape, door skins, interior, and tail design are going to be virtually identical globally.
Recent Spy photographs show the Fiesta’s overall design it close to the Verve concept. On the right, the prototype shows a different lower intake treatment, possibly being an American or Asian vehicle.” SOURCE: http://www.automotto.org/entry/new-ford-fiesta-production-version-on-road/
Engine lineup is also becoming more definitive, but mostly only for the European version. That car will launch with a familiar lineup of three gasoline engines (1.25l, 1.4l, and 1.6l) of the current Sigma Zetec family, and two diesel engines (1.4l and 1.6l) co-developed with France’s PSA. At least some of the engines will be mated to Ford’s new PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch transmission. There have been consistent rumors of a new 1.0 liter TwinForce: a three-cylinder, turbocharged, flex-fuel engine, which will deliver about 100hp and excellent fuel economy. While this engine has still not been confirmed, inside sources “smile and wink” at inquiries about it. Finally, it is quite likely the new Fiesta will have a version running on natural gas.
Engines destined for the American version are not completely clarified yet. The most recent information is now ten months old, and pointed to a single engine offered: a 1.6l 110hp Flex-Fuel engine currently used in Brazil mated to a manual or a PowerShift transmission. There certainly could have been some changes since January regarding U.S. engine options, but at this point we simply do not know.
The Fiesta will come in three body styles: three- and five-door hatchbacks and a sedan. European version will be available in the two hatchback guises; the Asian version will likely only be offered as a sedan, and the American version will come as a sedan and a five-door hatch.
There are two Fiesta derivatives reliably confirmed at this point: the MPV-shaped Fusion and the SUV-like EcoSport. The second generation EcoSport will remain true to the current model with rugged body, AWD, and SUV looks, but the Fusion will likely be re-envisioned with a more flowing “mono-space” body and a new name, likely “B-Max.” Both of the models will also become more global; currently, Fusion is a European model, and EcoSport is a South American model, with no market offering both. The new generations will be offered alongside each other in many markets, including the Americas, and likely Asia and Europe. A third derivative is reportedly still possible – a sport-coupe inspired by the Reflex concept could be released under the Puma name about a year after the others.
Finally, a U.S. supplier source indicated a Fiesta truck project underway. Currently, Fiesta platform underpins two small trucks – the Courier in South America and Bantam in South Africa, and Europe builds Transit-Connect utility van on a unique platform. It is very likely that Ford is replacing all three of these vehicles with a new one built on a toughened-up version of the new Fiesta platform, and offering both utility-van and open-bed truck version. This new vehicle would be offered globally, including the U.S. where a small front-drive truck and van will be an interesting proposition.
One more paragraph should be written about the new Fiesta – talking about the new Fiesta ST. The sport version is confirmed to follow shortly after the mainstream Fiesta debuts, and will be powered by a new 1.6l TwinForce engine. Ford confirmed 170hp, but insiders point well north of that, close to the magical 200.
There are still many questions unanswered about the new Fiesta and its derivatives: will the car keep the Fiesta name or be renamed Verve; what will be the design and engines of the American and Asian versions and the derivative models; etc. However, it is already clear that the new generation will go a long way towards unifying Ford into one global car company with a logical vehicle lineup.
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