Say hello to the new Ford Fiesta, the successor to the UK’s best-selling car that was unveiled at its ‘Go Further 3’ event in Cologne, Germany.
Ford says the new Fiesta will be the ‘world’s most technologically advanced small car’. It will will be available in three and five-door versions in ‘upscale’ posh Vignale, sporty ST-Line and Titanium (pictured) guises.
There is also a crossover version called the Active, although the modifications, in the form of plastic cladding, are purely aesthetic. Ford says it is the first in a line-up of Active vehicles it will release in ‘years to come’.
Considering the Fiesta is the UK’s biggest selling car, Ford was never going to go too mad with the modifications. Hence why it looks largely similar on the outside and inside, although a lot of thought has gone into making numerous subtle adjustments.
For starters, the new Ford Fiesta has a ‘more mature and elegant design’. The bonnet no longer has a centre bulge and the front grille is wider to make it stand out more. Then there are the headlights, which feature a wrap-around effect.
As for size, the new Fiesta is 71mm longer, 12mm wider and provides rear passengers 16mm more knee room. Meanwhile the front armrest has been shifted to benefit 19 per cent more tall drivers and the headrests have been adjusted to improve comfort.
The addition of the much-improved Sync 3 infotainment system, which features smartphone gestures such as pinch to zoom, is another standout addition and is shown through an eight-inch touchscreen high-definition display.
As a result of giving Sync 3 more functionality, there are now 40 per cent fewer buttons on the centre console so drivers should find it a lot easier and less distracting to find what they want.
Ford has also fitted an enhanced version of Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which helps reduce the impact of frontal collisions with vehicles and pedestrians or stop them altogether. A camera with a wider angle is said to help track pedestrians.
Active Park Assist with Perpendicular Parking is another extra, which helps drivers find and park in nose-to-tail and side-by-side spaces. Better still, it will apply the brakes for you if you fail to notice an obstacle, whether reversing or going forward.
New Ford Fiesta: Tech for days
The new Ford Fiesta has other technological options available, including Cross Traffic Alert for warnings if a vehicle crosses behind when reversing, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid for helping you stay in your lane.
Like in the new Ford Kuga (first drive here), the new Fiesta can respond to more than 22,000 spoken requests such as “I need petrol” or “I need a coffee”. Just press a button, speak the request and then it will help you find what you need.
For some block-rocking beats, the Fiesta now has the option of a Bang & Olufsen Play sustem comprised 10 speakers – one of which is a boot-mounted subwoofer – and a 675-watt amplifier with Digital Signal Processing.
Another first is the ability to spec a fully-openable panoramic roof, which features two nearly full width panes of tinted glass (but is interrupted by a strut), as is the addition of a heated steering wheel and a new 4.2-inch TFT multi-function instrument cluster panel.
Ford says selecting reverse is smoother and removes the issue of gear crunches, while the windscreen wipers cover 13 per cent more of the windscreen and the doors require 20 per cent less effort to close.
There is also the EasyFuel system that is said to reduce spillage and saves you messing with a filler cap, a feature seen on the new Ford Mustang. You just stick then nozzle in (no jokes) and fill her up.
New Ford Fiesta: Personalisation
These days seemingly everyone is intent on letting customers make the exact car they want and the new Fiesta has gone down this route. Various alloy wheel designs up to 18 inches in size can be specced, as well as contrasting colours and new exterior colours such as Blue Wave.
Speaking of colours, the interior can be given a touch of colour – Race Red, Yellow, Bohai Bay Mind, Deep Impact Blue or Chrome Copper – if you so desire.
New Ford Fiesta: Simplified engine range
To make life simpler, Ford has reduced the number of engines available. Its 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost comes with either 100PS, 125PS or 140PS and is mated to a new six-speed manual as standard, with an optional six-speed automatic for the 100PS model.
There is also a 1.1-litre petrol in 70PS and 85PS outputs partnered with a five-speed manual, which is said to offer CO2 emissions of 102g/km and is the 1.25-litre’s replacement.
In the diesel camp is a 1.5-litre TDCi that can be had with 120PS. It features Smart Regenerative Charging to claw back energy by engaging the alternator to recharge the battery when coasting or braking.
AutoStartStop is available on all engines and Active Grille Shutter can be had on the 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 85PS 1.5-litre TDCi for further fuel-sipping tendencies, although it is currently unclear the level of benefit in either case.
New Ford Fiesta: Chassis improvements
By using more boron steel, the new Ford Fiesta is said to offer 15 per cent more torsional stiffness compared with the outgoing Fiesta. Meanwhile the front track has been increased by 30mm, the rear track by 10mm and the wheelbase by 4mm, all of which should improve handling.
Cornering grip has been increased by 10 per cent, so says Ford, partly thanks to the addition of Electronic Torque Vectoring. Steering friction has been reduced by 20 per cent.
Rear discs are included on all models with more than 100PS for improved braking power. Braking distances are said to be eight per cent shorter at 62 per cent, improving safety.
“A fun driving experience has been central to the Fiesta’s appeal since the very first model in 1976,” said Ford Europe product development vice president, Joe Bakaj.
“Our next-generation Fiesta is true to the character that has seen Fiesta passion inherited by generation after generation of drivers, and delivers the sharpest, sportiest and most balanced performance yet,” he added.
No word on a price, UK specs or when to expect the new Fiesta at the time of writing so stay tuned as we head into 2017.