Ford gives detail on its key new small car ahead of Motor Show launch later this month.

Lighter, more fuel-efficient, stronger. These are the promises Ford makes for its new Fiesta, unveiled at the British International Motor Show later this month. The newcomer, which begins UK sale in October, stalls the trend for superminis to grow ever bigger and heavier. It sits on the same ‘road’ footprint as the current car, while losing 40kgs in weight – as much as two heavy suitcases.

The present car still ranks as among the most agile to drive and Ford says the new one will continue in that vein, while also raising standards for suppressing road, wind and engine noise.

As before, the model line-up will begin with the Studio, moving through Style and Style Plus to Zetec, Zetec S and Titanium. The range will include a 1.6 turbodiesel delivering CO2 emissions of just 99g/km, which will be low enough to qualify for free road tax. There’s also be a sporty Zetec S model on sale from launch, powered by a 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine. There will also be three other petrol engines, in 1.25 and 1.4 litres, giving outputs from 60 to 95bhp and a range of turbodiesels, too.

Where with the current car you’re left thinking Ford spent most of the development money on how it drove and didn’t leave enough to improve the body styling or interior, the latest Fiesta promises radical styling inside and out. The cabin will be notably bright and striking, with designs Ford says are inspired by mobile phones. It will also give the driver a bigger range of seat and wheel adjustment, and add space for passengers.

At the same time, the use of stronger steels and up to seven airbags, including one for knee protection, signals impressive crash protection.

Three- and five-door models will go on sale from October. Want to catch's Motor Show preview? click here

Stephen Jury


July 11, 2008

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