2009 Ford Fiesta
The Verve concepts become Fiestas in production.
We were okay with the Verve name, but Ford has decided to go with a tried-and-true global name for the small car it will sell in virtually every market, including the U.S. So when the Verve concept goes into production, it will be known as the Ford Fiesta.
There are three distinct variations of the subcompact, or B-segment, Fiesta for Europe, Asia/Pacifica, and North America—all to be launched by 2010.
At the 2008 Geneva auto show, Ford of Europe shows the three- and five-door Fiestas for that market, being assembled this fall in Cologne, Germany. Ford’s plant in Valencia, Spain, will add production next year.
Jim Farley, Ford’s head of marketing, said, “The good news is that Ford of Europe has figured out how to make premium small cars. It will be built in Valencia, Nanjing, Thailand, and Cologne. We will build it locally somewhere in the Americas.” Regarding the fact that it looks better than the Focus, he commented: “I would never advocate holding back on introducing better product and if it has an impact on our current lineup, so be it.”
Shown are the first, and exclusive, pictures of the five-door unveiled at the show, a body style which may come to the U.S. if reaction is positive. Also in our gallery are images of the three-door Fiesta that will stay on the European side of the pond.
The styling, inside and out, doesn’t veer much from the Verve concept shown at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, including the futuristic center stack that was modeled after a cell phone and toggle switches on the steering wheel to perform many commands. The 2009 doesn’t increase in size from the current Fiesta sold in Europe, but it’s lighter through the use of lightweight, high-strength steel.
For Europe, consumers have a choice of five powertrains including a new Duratec 113-hp, 1.6-liter Ti-VCT gasoline engine. Others are 1.3-liter and 1.4-liter Duratec gasoline mills and a pair of diesels: a 1.4-liter and a 1.6-liter. Transmissions are a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
The Fiesta will be kind to the environment, with fewer than 100 grams per kilometer in carbon-dioxide emissions, Ford says. Much as CAFE regulations are dictating product development in the U.S., strict new emissions regulations are forcing greater degrees of efficiency in Europe.
The Fiesta is the first of what Ford says will be many global products, under the mandate of CEO Alan Mulally, who has criticized the regional development process that was in place before he joined the company. All versions of the Fiesta were designed and developed in Europe and are based on the Mazda 2.
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