Offering an outstanding combination of style, driving dynamics, performance and safety features, Fiesta will bring German engineering at its finest to Australia when it goes on sale in April 2004.
The Fiesta range will include two body styles and three series variants – a three or five door Fiesta LX, the three-door Fiesta Zetec, and the five-door Fiesta Ghia.
All models will come standard with a 1.6 litre Duratec all-alloy engine, featuring double overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder, sequential fuel injection and drive by wire technology.
Fiesta will develop 74 kW at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 146 Nm at 4000 rpm.
Teamed with either a slick shifting 5-speed manual or an electronically controlled automatic, the engine will provide responsive performance to match the vehicle's superb steering and handling.
"Fiesta represents all that is best in contemporary German small car design and engineering," said Ford Australia President, Geoff Polites.
"Ford's reputation for outstanding driving dynamics is proved by Falcon and Focus in Australia. Fiesta's ultra strong and stylish body, an advanced chassis and finely tuned suspension and steering, will bring these benefits to buyers in the small car class.
"Customers looking for a small car are just as selective as those wanting a larger car – but they prefer a small car because it's the vehicle that best suits their needs. The days of having to sacrifice driving dynamics, performance and safety features along with size will be gone with the all-new Fiesta."
Fiesta LX will be available with a choice of either three or five doors, and will include remote central locking, power steering, power front windows, power adjustable mirrors, a single slot CD player, dual stage driver and passenger airbags, body colour front and rear bumpers, and 15 inch steel wheels as standard.
Fiesta Zetec will be offered as a three-door vehicle only and will attract customers who are seeking extra features along with sporty cues. It includes all LX features and adds air-conditioning, steering column-mounted audio controls, front fog lamps, ABS brakes, and 15 inch alloy wheels.
The most prestigious Fiesta, Ghia delivers extra features in a solid and clean European style. It will be offered as a five door only and will incorporate the best features of the LX and Zetec and add front map lights and a 6-disc in dash CD player as standard. Fiesta Ghia will also offer optional side thorax airbags and side curtains.
"Fiesta's European heritage is second to none in the small car class," said Mr Polites.
"Since the first Fiesta was produced more than 25 years ago, more than 10 million have been built. It has been amongst the top 10 best selling European cars for more than 18 years and has been in the top three best selling cars in Britain for 20 years.
"The new Ford Fiesta has continued the vehicle's winning trend. In late 2002, Fiesta was awarded Germany's prestigious Golden Steering Wheel Award, scoring top marks overall for its steering, transmission and design, as well as being in the top three of 11 out of 12 categories," said Mr Polites.
The Fiesta vehicles on display at this year's Sydney International Motor Show are the first Australian spec vehicles to be produced in Ford of Germany's leading-edge Cologne production plant. They are also the first vehicles to include the all-new Fiesta interior, which is currently being upgraded in Europe.
Fiesta will be available in a range of exciting colours with unique trim combinations. The colour range includes Moondust Silver, Colorado Red, Panther Black, Vitro (tinted silver with a touch of blue/green), Ink Blue, Flare (burnt orange), Aquarius (bright chromatic blue), and Diamond White.
Interior colours include Ebony and Stone with interior trims unique to each vehicle.
Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Fiesta - The Story of Australia's Newest Small Car
1975: Vietnam war ends . . . Juan Carlos is crowned King of Spain following the death of General Franco . . . Margaret Thatcher is elected leader of the UK Conservative Party . . .."Jaws" is the big film of the year and Niki Lauda wins the Formula One championship . . .
The pages of the automotive press are filled with rumours of a secret small car project at Ford, known internally as “Bobcat”.
So intense was the speculation around Bobcat that many commentators believed it was the real name of the new vehicle. Finally, all speculation was put to rest as Henry Ford II announced the true name at a press conference in Detroit in December 1975. The newest and smallest member of the Ford line-up would be called Fiesta.
Development of the original Fiesta took place both in Cologne, Germany and Dunton, England, Ford's two European vehicle engineering centres. The economical, compact car was Ford's first with a transverse engine and front wheel drive. Its hatchback design generated an enthusiastic customer response, and it rapidly became a giant in the small-car segment.
Fiesta was the right car at the right time. Targeting female drivers particularly, it was launched when around 20 per cent of car sales in Europe’s leading markets were going to women. But Fiesta’s success lay in broader based appeal. To date, more than 10 million have been built, it remains in the top three best-selling vehicles in the UK, has led the German small car market seven times and the Spanish small car market four times and in Italy and France it has been in the top 10 selling cars for 13 and eight years respectively.
The first generation Fiesta was launched in summer 1976 in three versions. The entry model was equipped with a 1.0-litre engine with just 40PS, but compensated with a particularly competitive price. A 45PS version and a 53PS, 1.1-litre Ghia model topped the range - the first appearance of such luxurious levels of equipment in cars of this class.
Fuel economy was a key element in Fiesta's success, but not its only strength by any means. Through remarkable technological innovation, Fiesta proved that the measure of a car is not only in its dimensions.
Weighing just 700kg, it was among the lightest in its class yet its 1.2 cubic metre load room was largest in class. It also featured the best all-round visibility and the most aerodynamic design, giving it significant competitive advantages.
Many of its advances were groundbreaking. Crash behaviour was optimised thanks to Ford engineers’ application of early computer simulation programmes. The front grill functioned as an aerofoil: at low speeds its slats allowed air to flow through, while at higher speeds efficiently guiding it over the engine hood. This Ford patented system accounted for its best-in-segment drag coefficient of 0.42 Cd , which in turn helped drive down fuel consumption to extraordinarily low levels. At a constant speed of 90 km/h the 1.0-litre 40PS version used 5.6 litres/100km, at 120 km/h 8.2 litres and in urban driving 7.9 litres.
Fiesta’s front wheels were driven by a pioneering axle construction – a patent that Ford engineer and later Ford Motor Company Vice President, Earle S. MacPherson registered in 1949. The rear axle carried a newly developed anti-dive system. Sportier drivers were offered the Fiesta “S”, with stiffer suspension plus a front stabiliser bar to resist lateral force.
Features such as safety glass, automatic safety belts with height-adjustable retractors and a heated rear window were already standard on the first generation Fiesta. The long list of options would have flattered even a premier class vehicle of the time and included items such as a range of transparent (and removable) glass sunroofs.
The Fiesta’s advanced concept, which Ford described as “the new format”, thrilled both customers and media. By late 1976, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag had already awarded Fiesta the prestigious Golden Steering Wheel Award for its class. Eighteen leading international car experts were convinced by Fiesta’s “…great visibility, very good driving performance, gear shift, suspension and low fuel consumption…” as well as “…the large interior, the loading possibilities thanks to the large hatchback, flexible rear space and the very comfortable ingress and egress.”
Two years later, the new Ford, already established as a proven favourite of the driving public, had lost none of its shine, as highlighted by solid sales figures and two key awards in 1978.
In the UK, Prince Philip presented Ford with the Design Council award. The expert jury of engineers and designers honoured “the Fiesta’s exemplary contribution to the reduction of running and maintenance costs”. For the first time in the history of this annual award, it was won not by an innovative single solution or by pioneering technology, but by a convincing total package.
A majority of the readers taking part in the Car of the Year competition ("Auto der Vernunft") organised by specialist German car magazine mot, reached the same conclusion as the British Design Council. Claiming over 31 per cent of the votes (some 29,000 readers), Fiesta won primarily on criteria such as sale price, consumption, running costs and resale value. But Fiesta's victory was also thanks to superior styling and more comprehensive specification – the final deciders, said the mot editorial.
Millionaire and sports star
Just 32 months after its launch, the one-millionth Fiesta was built on 9 January 1979 at Saarlouis, breaking all previous European production records.
A second landmark in the early Fiesta history was reached 11 days later when a key event in the motorsport calendar, the Monte Carlo Rally, saw a Ford Fiesta on the start line for the first time with Finnish superstar-to-be, Ari Vatanen, at the wheel.
The competition car was developed under enormous time pressure and the most difficult circumstances, as Britain was experiencing widespread industrial strikes. The 800kg “Fiestissima” with double Weber carburettors, electronic ignition and dry sump lubrication, had a 1.6-litre engine capable of 7,250 rpm despite its side-mounted camshaft, and delivering 155PS. A close-ratio, four-speed gearbox was created for the job and a mechanical-hydraulic locking differentiation provided the traction that won this rallying mini a sensational 10th place first time out.
Fiesta sport fans were also able to enter the spirit of the Monte Carlo success with a specially developed and rally-derived tuning kit, available from their local Ford dealers. Base for the conversion was the 1.3-litre, 66PS model, which could be upgraded to 75PS for correspondingly lively drive performance, with Weber twin carburettors as well as modified exhaust manifold and mufflers. The engine was specially mounted 25mm lower, and modified pullrods and sports brakepads rounded out the dynamics enhancement.
In the form of the limited edition “Super S”, Fiesta also flexed its sporting muscle at the 1980 Geneva Auto Salon. A lowered chassis, greater track width of 6" x 13", lightweight alloy wheels and 185/60 low profile tyres guaranteed tremendous cornering adhesion. Front and rear spoilers provided aerodynamic fine tuning, while appropriate head-turning characteristics came from its widened fenders and striking feature stripes along the flanks and rear. The refined interior included sports seats with integrated headrests. This trendsetting hot hatch came with a choice of 1.1-litre, 55PS or the "1300" with 66PS, all within a budget-friendly price range.
The "Super S" (Supersport in the UK) was, in fact, the forerunner of the first Fiesta XR2 – a 1.6 litre, 84PS version of the car introduced in 1981. With ride and handling neatly tweaked by Ford's Dunton-based Special Vehicle Engineering department, who had established a reputation for performance Ford cars like the Capri 2.8 Injection, the XR2 sowed the seeds of Ford's commitment to driving quality. Exterior cues signalled its enhanced performance – "pepper pot" alloy wheels, bumper mounted spot lamps, front and rear spoilers, and unique interior trim. The early XR2 is now a sought-after classic.
The XR2 also provided the basis for Ghia design studio's neat, fresh two-seater sports car concept, the Ghia Barchetta, which burst onto the scene at the Frankfurt IAA in 1983.
Meanwhile Fiesta continued to win in the sales race. In West Germany alone it outsold its nearest rival by 5,000 units and achieved a national record of almost six per cent market share. Despite its new big brother, the Ford Escort, winning European Car of the Year, the Fiesta was the most successful Ford of the day.
It sold…and sold…and sold
March 1981 and another reason for a fiesta. When the two millionth unit was driven off the Saarlouis production line, just 58 months and 15 days since production began in May 1976, Fiesta yet again broke all previous European production records.
And the awards continued. For the fourth year in a row, mot readers voted Fiesta their "Auto der Vernunft" (Car of the Year). Lower fuel consumption led the list of selection criteria supported by economical running costs, favourable base price, high resale value and attractive styling.
As the first generation of Fiesta drew to a close, it completed its clean sweep of the sales charts. With freshened details inside and out for 1982, it was again the best selling car in its class in Britain and Germany, as it had been every full year since launch.
The second generation
In September 1983, Ford presented the world with an extensively improved second generation Fiesta. Modifications built on and updated its existing strengths, while visual cues were taken from the Ford Sierra. The turned down hood, narrow air vents, rounded edges and new headlight shape were all reminiscent of its big brother and at the same time improved aerodynamics as well. The drag coefficient was reduced from 0.42 Cd to 0.40 Cd and with it wind noise and fuel consumption. This feature was also supported by a longer fifth gear, introduced to benefit fuel economy further.
Comfort levels were raised. The interior was reworked from the ground up, giving it leading compact class features. Following the latest developments in ergonomics, the interior was divided into zones according to function and equipped with an optimised heating and ventilation system. Even the "L" version included, as standard, large door pockets and a split-folding rear seat for flexible daily usage. Higher series models such as the Ghia and sporty XR2 added finesse with additional air vents and higher quality upholstery. The latest incarnation of the XR2 also stood out from the crowd with a neat bodypack and rear tailgate spoiler.
Further advances in economy came with an extension of the powertrain range. Ford’s engine specialists strengthened Fiesta’s running cost proposition with a new 54PS, 1.6-litre diesel engine, making it the only vehicle of its size to offer diesel. Its homologated consumption of 3.8 litres/100km at a constant 90 km/h made it one of the most economical vehicles in the world, a claim upheld by media comparison tests shortly after launch.
The rejuvenation was a success and in February 1984 Fiesta hit the three million figure. The celebration was marked appropriately with a champagne-coloured Ghia.
Fiesta wasn’t only economical, nor was it just a cute concept or attractively styled mass mobiliser, it was also a protagonist in the development of advanced technology. For example, environmental technologies took a step forward in 1984, as the first models with 1.3-litre lead-free petrol engines were made available.
Continuously Variable Transmission was another Ford patented technology, developed for front-wheel-driven compact vehicles and first seen in the Fiesta. Such 'stepless' automatic transmission was achieved thanks to a special belt working between two axles to change ratio. An automatic system kept the gears and engine operating at optimum levels. The resulting system combined the advantages of both manual and automatic transmissions. Its performance was compared at the time to an optimised six-speed manual. This referred to both power and consumption and meant performance well beyond usual automatic capabilities. Beyond its economic advantages, the new CTX transmission (as it was called) also offered previously unknown levels of driving comfort for a compact limousine.
After almost 13 years of production, the original Fiesta was replaced in February 1989 by an all-new range of slightly larger 3- and 5-door models with smoother, wind-cheating lines.
Ford decided the new range would want for nothing. For the first time on a car in this class features included an SCS (Stop Control System) anti-lock braking system, optional on all manual transmission Fiestas. Also available: electrically heated windscreen de-icing system, CTX automatic transmission on 1.1-litre and 1.4-litre models, Ford’s new 1.8-litre OHC, indirect injection diesel engine for ultimate fuel economy, new moulded seat design, high-security door and steering locks, and adjustable-height front seat belt anchorage points. All engines could run on leaded or unleaded fuel and the range included two new “lean burn” HCS (High Compression Swirl) units in 1.0-litre and 1.1-litre versions. Improved 1.4 and 1.6 CVH lean burn units (including an EEC IV engine management control system for the 1.6EFI-engined XR2i) completed the petrol engine range. The XR2i performance version joined the 18-model line-up in October 1989, complete with a unique body kit and interior, plus sporty performance to match its looks.
In spring 1989, the eagerly awaited replacement model was introduced at the Geneva Auto Salon. But first the new car had to withstand a new level of testing. Some three million kilometres were put on the clock, not just in test labs and on private test tracks, but in everyday driving on public roads. For this reason, around half of the target development mileage was completed by customers, generating further feedback and information that could be evaluated and used in the final development stages before market introduction.
This was a first in Ford history. Some 250 pre-production models, covering all body style, package and powertrain derivatives, were introduced into predominantly large company fleets in December 1988. Every week the cars were put through a pre-determined programme and then tested for quality, durability, consumption and reliability.
Alex Trotman, then Chairman of Ford of Europe, explained the importance of this work: “Ford is striving to deliver top quality in all areas. We are sure that the Fiesta will be one of the lead players in its class. The desired quality level will be achieved not least through this test programme.”
Linked to the new model was the Fiesta Urba concept. Presented as the ultimate city car, this yellow concept vehicle had two doors on the near side and one on the far side of the vehicle, plus parking aids, built-in garage door openers, and a refrigerator in the boot.
Another of the more unusual events in the Fiesta’s history also took place in 1989. Cologne action artist H.A. Schult dedicated a three-day “happening” in Cologne with the words “No other industrial product has inspired people's imaginations more, moved their dreams more strongly, changed their daily lives and influenced their towns and countryside…” the Fiesta is “the symbol of a car that is there for everyone.” Schult’s disguised Fiesta sculptures around the city illustrated various themes such as the age of marble, the Stone Age, clouds, and waves - as well as more contemporary trends such as disco dancing. Some 200,000 visitors saw the citywide exhibition and 14 television broadcasters from around the world covered it.
Meanwhile Fiesta continued to deliver its more prosaic purpose. In a comparison test by “auto, motor und sport” in August 1989, the new model outshone all its main competitors, VW Polo, Fiat Uno and Peugeot 205. In “Autobild” the same year, the whole Fiesta car line won first place against Fiat Uno, VW Polo, Nissan Micra, Opel Corsa and Renault 5.
By the end of 1989, Ford was able to look back on the best sales year in its history to date. Just one month after its market launch, the new Fiesta was leading its segment sales chart in seven European countries. Over 500,000 new Fiestas were sold by the end of the first year, the best start-up of any European car at that time. Since its original launch in 1976, 5.25 million Fiestas had been built in Cologne, Germany, Valencia, Spain and Dagenham, UK. And the awards kept rolling in: “auto, motor und sport” readers’ choice for Best Small Car in the World, “Auto Zeitung” Smartest Small Car, UK’s What Car? Car of the Year 1989, “Neue Revue” Best City Car and Spain’s Car of the Year 1990.
Fiesta's sporty tradition continued throughout the period. Hot on the heels of the XR2i, the high performance RS Turbo was introduced in 1990 and then upgraded in 1992 to the Fiesta RS1800i, with the new 1.8 litre, 16 valve engine delivering 130PS.
1990 also witnessed a number of unexpected displays of Fiesta versatility. The Ghia Bebop was a pick-up design study. It presented a cheeky new face, roll-over hoop behind the passenger cabin, front and side-wall spoilers, RS air slits in the hood, and all wrapped in a white-yellow paint job. The Geneva Auto Salon that year saw Ghia Zig, a Fiesta-based sub-B sized two-seat roadster and the Ghia Zag, a two-seat microvan, labelled the delivery vehicle for the 21st century.
Maintaining a leading edge in technology, the 1993 model year version was equipped with a newly developed safety innovation. The so-called low-HIC (head injury criterion) steering wheel was equipped with special bolstering to reduce the likelihood of head injuries in accidents.
Further additions included a five-speed transmission, stereo cassette radio with RDS automatic volume control and key code anti-theft system, and a sunroof made of special heat-reflecting glass.
Throughout its history, a long list of special edition Fiestas have been produced in almost all European markets. One example, the Fiesta Calypso, featured an electric sliding canvas roof that did not impact on interior sound, the car retaining a low noise level throughout its speed range. Seat upholstery was colourful and offered firm support and the suspension comfort was said to be among the best in the class. Other examples of special editions over the years include Fiestas Bravo, Lady, Sandpiper, Festival, Economy, Quartz, Finesse, Champ, Sound, Chianti, Magic, Dash, Bonus, Firefly, Finesse II, Olympus Sport, Flight, Fresco, Cayman and many more.
The safety advances continued the following year (1994 model year). Ford announced to its customers that all its vehicles would henceforth be fitted with an airbag as standard. This was the company's largest safety initiative at the time and included a pioneering system in the small car class. Alongside the driver's airbag was an optional passenger airbag, a strengthened chassis with side impact protection, a pre-tensioning and web-grabbing front seat belt system, a safety steering wheel, anti-dive front seats and an emergency switch to cut off petrol flow automatically in case of accidents.
1993 was rounded off with segment leadership across Europe, including 3.4 per cent market share in Germany and segment leadership in the UK and Ireland as well.
In 1994, magazine crash testing of Fiesta provided proof of the efficacy of Ford’s safety drive. A journey one-tenth of a second long resulted in a 54.9km/h impact with a 100 tonne concrete barrier. Behind the wheel a Hybrid III dummy. Despite the natural handicaps of small car builds – low weight and short deformation zones – the Fiesta proved it was an optimized package. The passenger cell remained largely intact minimising the risk of injury to Fiesta passengers.
A new range introduces efficient, green production
In late 1995, Ford extended its small car range by introducing an all-new family of the Fiesta. Then Vice President, Small/Medium Vehicle Centre, Richard Parry-Jones said: "For the new Fiesta our objective was to develop creative engineering solutions that would help us avoid some of the traditional compromises. We set out to produce a car which is more efficient, more comfortable, safer and which also provides an unrivalled driving experience for a group of customers whose expectations have gone beyond basic transportation."
The new version was powered by a new family of Zetec SE multi-valve light-alloy engines (initially a 75PS 1.25-litre version followed by a 90PS 1.4-litre). A reduced-emission version of the 60PS 1.3-litre HCS petrol engine was renamed the Endura-E and the line-up was completed by the Endura-D, 60PS 1.8-litre OHC diesel.
Other features included a fresh new more rounded exterior style, with soft angles between panels and feature lines, a low nose, deep backlight and large lamp clusters. Re-engineered front suspension used a sub-frame to stiffen the front-end structure and isolate the powertrain more effectively. At the rear, a new twist beam axle design incorporated stiffer arms and toe-correcting geometry to improve handling, and soft spring rates to improve ride comfort.
The all-new interior provided a cabin environment combining quality, comfort and excellent ergonomics. Occupant and vehicle security were improved to the highest standards in the small car class with, another segment-first, the combination of an advanced four-channel electronic anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution and traction control.
Fiesta production had become another European industry benchmark. In 1995, the company invested DM 180 million in a highly automated welding facility in its Cologne plant, increasing capacity by 200 units to 1,160 a day – an increase of 20 per cent. This meant a new Fiesta was rolling off the production line every four seconds.
These improvements included a unique, fully automated welding installation (costing DM 10m alone), which could produce up to 5,600 sheet metal side beams for use not only in the Cologne plant, but also for Fiesta production in the company's plants in Dagenham, UK and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Side panel build was also fully automated and final assembly was restructured with 30 additional workstations. This optimized the facility in preparation for the start of "just-in-time" delivery of sequential, pre-assembled modules to the production line. On completion, chassis assembly had 86 per cent automation and each new Fiesta was being built in just 18.5 hours – making its production world class.
It was also winning awards for its 'green' credentials. Low fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, and an environmentally friendly production process, put it ahead of not only the rest of the Ford line-up but the competition as well.
Twenty years young
There were many reasons for celebration in 1996. Ford produced its 250 millionth vehicle worldwide and Fiesta celebrated 20 years on the market. In that time, it had been the top selling car – in all classes – three times in Europe as a whole, 12 times class bestseller in Germany, 19 times in UK and four times in Spain. The celebration was made complete with the production achievement of the 8.5 millionth unit.
The Turin Show in that year also saw the presentation of the 'cheeky but charming' "Saetta" concept. Meaning "fast as lightning" Saetta was a Fiesta dressed in the clothes of a two-seater out of the Ghia design studio. A roll bar ran from the hood to the trunk creating not only a startling, eye-catching design, but also providing the chassis stiffness needed for a fun, compact sports car.
Contrary to the preference of the day for curves and rounded edges, this Fiesta derivative's design used an exciting and contrasting blend of sharp lines and angles, with repeated triangular motives appearing in the air intakes, wheel arches, headlights and exhaust. Dark blue metallic paint was playfully contrasted with matt silver aluminium finishing. The colour theme was picked up in the interior through shiny grey suede and blue leather. Open top was the preferred mode of travel, but the soft and hard top options also protected from the vagaries of the weather.
Completing the year's product actions, Ford added driver and passenger airbags as standard on all Fiesta models.
At the Frankfurt IAA in 1999, Ford unveiled a new version of Europe's biggest selling small car. A new front with angular headlights aligned with its New Edge stablemates Ka, Puma and Focus. The safety provision was extended further with driver, passenger and now side airbags as well as electronic four-channel ABS. Power steering, aluminium alloy wheels, air conditioning and remote-controlled central locking were all featured.
Lead model in the new series was the 1.6-litre Zetec SE Fiesta Sport with 76kw / 103PS and 15" aluminium wheels with 195/50 tyres. A stiffer body and reduced ground clearance combine with powerful brakes and optimised power steering to deliver a great handling and driving performance.
Today's new Fiesta
Late in 2002, Ford began introducing the new Fiesta across Europe. A key facet of the product-led transformation of the Ford brand in Europe, the all-new Fiesta features an outstanding combination of style, driving dynamics, performance and safety features.
Ford’s belief that one car just isn’t enough to meet the demands of today’s small-car market led to its development of the new generation of small cars Fiesta pioneers.
“Today’s European small-car segment is very dynamic,” said Philip Maguire, Ford of Europe’s vehicle line director for small cars. “In addition to the traditional customers looking for maximum value and compact dimensions, there is an increasing spread of reasons to migrate into the segment, providing real market opportunities for the manufacturer who can capture the mood with new products.
"Gone also are the days that small car buyers were people who could not afford a larger car. Today’s small-car owners are buying small because they want small."
Fiesta comes to Australia
In April 2004, Fiesta will enter another stage in its evolution as one of the world's premier small cars when it is launched in Australia for the first time.
The Australian Fiesta range will include two body styles and three series variants – a three or five door Fiesta LX, the three-door Fiesta Zetec, and the five-door Fiesta Ghia.
"Fiesta represents all that is best in contemporary German small car design and engineering," said Ford Australia President, Geoff Polites.
"Ford's reputation for outstanding driving dynamics is proved by Falcon and Focus in Australia. Fiesta's ultra strong and stylish body, an advanced chassis and finely tuned suspension and steering will bring these benefits to buyers in the small car class."
The new Ford Fiesta coming to Australia has continued the vehicle's winning trend. In 2002, Fiesta was awarded Germany's prestigious Golden Steering Wheel Award, scoring top marks overall for its steering, transmission and design, as well as being in the top three of 11 out of 12 categories.
The Fiesta vehicles on display at the 2003 Sydney International Motor Show are the first Australian spec vehicles to be produced in Ford of Europe's leading-edge Cologne production plant. They are also the first vehicles to include the all-new Fiesta interior, which is currently being released across Europe.
Let me guess what the media will say about it when they test drive it. They will say it is underpowered but it will drive and handle well. Exactly the same as what they said about the Focus. Why don't they have an optional 1.8. The Fiesta will probably cop as much of a flogging as the Focus has despite being good cars. When are Ford going to put some decent engines in their small cars.
One last post- perhaps Ford can grab access to some $110KW Fiesta ST150's to help create a performance leader. However, unlike the Focus ST170, lets hope they price it competitvely to give it some chance of success......