Monday 20 February 2017

First details of Ford's new hi-tech Fiesta: due by next summer and they even have a 'crossover'

Published 30/11/2016 | 11:01

The Ford Fiesta super-mini is due here in the summer
The Ford Fiesta super-mini is due here in the summer
Rugged styling: the new Fiesta interior

These are the first pictures and details of Ford's new Fiesta supermini which is due in Ireland next summer.

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As you can see it is a much-changed car from the current one - and has as many as four variations. They are also claiming it is the world's most technologically advanced small motor.

With the new KA+ city car stepping up in size, Ford had to make the Fiesta bigger and more 'upmarket'. As a result it will be pricier. There's no doubt about that, I think. The current model starts from €16,700.

Rolling out four production variants at launch also indicates their intention to broaden into 'crossover' territory. The four versions include Vignale status, ST-Line and Titanium trim, and the Active crossover.

Rugged styling: the new Fiesta interior
Rugged styling: the new Fiesta interior

The latter is the first in what is expected to be a new and growing line-up of 'crossover' vehicles from the car maker over the coming years. It has the sort of rugged styling, raised ride-height, roof bars, cladding, etc., that goes with the territory. It's one to watch out for, I think, because there seems to be a lot of demand for that sort of vehicle.

Elsewhere, the likes of the ST-Line models get different exterior and interior stylings - alloys, grille and side-skirt designs. Inside there are sports seats, alloy pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel; and there is sports suspension.

Titanium accounts for 48pc of Fiestas sold this year, so it's an important trim. There will also be a Trend version.

Overall, they are promising a more refined drive - there is a new suspension - and claim road noise is reduced by 7pc. The body structure is stiffer too.

Engines, in 3dr and 5dr versions, will include the 1-litre 140 PS EcoBoost petrol and 1.5-litre 120 PS diesel with a new 6spd transmission helping lower emissions to 82g/km.

Other 1-litre EcoBoost petrols include 100 PS and 125 PS versions (with new 6spd manual gearbox - 97g/km); there's a 6spd auto box option on the 100 PS model.

As well as the 120 PS 1.5-litre diesel there is also an 85 PS model.

And there is a 1.1-litre petrol 3cyl with a new 5spd box in 70 PS and 85 PS guise. These replace the current 1.25-litre petrol.

Among the technologies is the first-in-a-Ford pedestrian detection system that's capable, they say, of preventing collisions at night. There is also Active Park Assist.

They claim they have, depending on model, as many as 15 driver assistance technologies including adaptive cruise control, adjustable speed limiter, blind spot warning, distance indication, driver alert, lane keeping aid/alert and forward collision warning.

Another claimed Ford-first is the inclusion of the premium B&O PLAY sound system. Connectivity includes SYNC 3 with screen sizes ranging up to 8ins (pinch/swipe gestures); you control audio, nav and connected smartphones via voice commands. It's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There is also a 'floating' 6.5ins touchscreen as well as a 4.2ins screen combined with the MyFord Dock so you can store, mount and charge mobile devices. Bluetooth and two USB ports are standard.

A few smaller, practical, matters:

• The wipers clear 13pc more of the windscreen;

• You need to exert 20pc less effort to close the doors, and

• There is a Door Edge Protector - a concealed flap slips instantly into position as the door opens to prevent damage to paint and bodywork in tight spaces.

There is also a marginal increase (16mm) in knee room for rear-seat passengers, it's easier get at the boot because the tailgate is wider and there is a scatter of little storage places.

The Fiesta has always been a big seller here but the likes of the Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i20, Toyota Yaris, etc., are fierce rivals for buyers. It will be interesting to see how the Fiesta is priced and spec-ed when it arrives for the 172-reg period.

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