October 2008 – The new Ford Fiesta is the product of Ford’s global product development process and marks the beginning of a new era for Ford. The Fiesta comes to South African shores just weeks after its international debut with a choice of three engine derivatives and three trim levels.
The Fiesta brand initially made its debut in 1976. It was designed to appeal to the European small car market with modern features and a respectable price tag. The brand became ingrained in European culture attracting a loyal and dedicated following.
South African buyers got their first taste of the Ford Fiesta in 1994.The car was well received and in 1998 walked away with the South African Car of the Year title.
Having established a long legacy and created a brand instantly recognisable to millions of customers, the all-new Fiesta is more than ready for the challenge of its competitors in the future.
“The new Fiesta is a landmark model for Ford,” explains Ben Pillay, Ford Marketing Manager. “It is the first product to be introduced under the ‘One Ford’ vision of a single, global company building and designing cars for a single global audience. It’s Ford’s most significant project since the Model T and heralds the future for Ford product development.”
The new Fiesta will be introduced with a choice of three powertrains: a 1.4-litre petrol, 1.6-petrol and 1.6-litre turbo diesel. The updated 1.4-litre petrol motor has a maximum output of 71kW at 5 750rpm and a maximum torque output of 125Nm at 4 500rpm. As with all the Fiesta models fuel consumption is frugal with a combined cycle consumption of 5.9 litres/100kms.
The introduction of the new Fiesta also sees the introduction of a 1.6-litre Duratec Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) petrol engine to the range. The new motor produces 88kW at 6 000rpm and has a torque peak of 149Nm at 4 250rpm. Despite its feisty character the 1.6-litre petrol engine obtains a combined cycle fuel consumption measuring in at 5.9 litres/100km.
The state-of-the-art common-rail Duratorq TDCi engine features new technologies, enhanced fuel economy, lower CO2 emissions and improved performance. The diesel motor serves up 66kW at 4 000rpm and has a torque peak of 200Nm at just 1 500rpm. The average fuel consumption on the combined cycle is just 4.2 litres/100km.
The new Fiesta will be offered in a choice of either 5-door or 3-door body styles with three specification levels on offer: the entry level ‘Ambiente’, the ‘Trend’ and the top of the range ‘Titanium’.
The Ambiente model offers a warm, inviting cabin, and features a light contrast instrument panel. Despite being the entry level model, the Ambiente offers an extensive array of features including a radio/CD with 6 speakers, air conditioning, power steering, front operated power windows, steering wheel audio controls, tinted windows, rear fog lamps and a headlamp delay feature. The exterior styling features include body colour bumpers and a rear spoiler, self colour door and lift gate handles as well as 15” steel wheels. Safety is also of the highest standard with dual airbags, a driver belt reminder, ABS with EBD and a centre high mounted stop lamp providing peace of mind.
The Trend series takes inspiration from designer clothing to emphasise a contemporary feel. In addition to the features already found on the Ambiente model, the Trend series boasts features such as heated power mirrors with integrated indicators, remote central locking with two flip keys, illuminated double locking, rear electric windows and a Bluetooth vehicle interface with voice control. Body colour door handles, front and rear mud flaps and 15” alloy wheels further enhance the exterior appearance.
The top of the range Titanium model employs high contrast finishes for a sleek, technical appearance, inspired by premium technology brands. Aesthetic lighting, map reading lamp and trip computer further enhance the dynamic appeal of the Titanium series. As do the exterior styling cues that include chrome accents, 16” alloy wheels, halogen projector headlamps, front fog lamps with chrome bezel and a partial body kit that includes a bumper grille and rear spoiler. A sport body kit with 16” alloy wheels, an ICE (In Car Entertainment) audio and Bluetooth system with voice control and a USB jack further enhance the dynamic appeal of the Titanium series. In three door body style the Titanium model benefits from the addition of a full body kit.
“The new Fiesta’s exterior design is very innovative and has impressed around the globe with its bold and sexy style,” says Pillay.
The use of colour and kinetic design elements allowed the design team to create more contemporary interpretations of established models and to incorporate new considerations such as street fashions.
One of the challenges for the design team was to improve the interior space and stowage for driver and passengers, without increasing the overall dimensions of the car. In five-seat mode, the Fiesta offers 284 litres of luggage space. Front legroom is also impressive with 1069mm available. Various storage compartments in the cabin provide plenty of room for oddments with large front door bins capable of storing 1.5-litre bottles or a road atlas.
Designers focused strongly on the handling characteristics in the new Fiesta. The Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) replaces the traditional hydraulic power-assist system of the previous-generation Fiesta. Extensive effort was devoted to detailed tuning of the Fiesta’s EPAS system to ensure that it delivers the precise steering feedback expected from a Ford vehicle.
“Sportiness has been a core fundamental of the Fiesta and the new model Fiesta stays true to this heritage with driving dynamics perfectly balanced alongside efficiency and economy,” says Pillay.
Safety was another key focal point for the design team. Designers used high-strength steel extensively throughout the car to create a very strong body structure protecting occupants in the event of a collision. The Fiesta is also about 10 percent stiffer torsionally than its predecessor.
Dual front airbags for driver and passenger are available on all derivatives, three-point safety belts are on offer for all passengers while the front safety belts feature dual-stage digressive load-limiting pretensioners. Furthermore all Fiesta models are equipped with ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution).
“The Fiesta offers the perfect blend of striking styling and performance with peace of mind and practicality. Ford worked tirelessly to ensure that no compromises were made in the design of the Fiesta and the result is a truly dynamic offering,” concludes Pillay.
The Fiesta has undergone a total of 3.5 million kilometres of on-road testing in a variety of conditions and circumstances ensuring peace of mind for any owner. South African consumers can rest easy with a comprehensive 4yr / 120 000km warranty and 4 yr / 60 000km service plan in place. Service intervals are staggered at 20 000km intervals for the petrol derivative and 15 000km for the diesel models.