Ford of the dance
The company still won’t say when the Fiesta is due, writes PAULGOVER
TWO of the best and brightest Fords from Europe are being prepared for sales in Australia. The great-looking Fiesta and the compact Kuga four-wheel-drive vehicle are on the way, with only the timing, price and equipment still to be set.
Both should be in showrooms early next year and will join the Mondeo station wagon, which is already confirmed but running late, and probably the S-Max people-mover.
No one at Ford Australia will confirm the plans under a policy which prevents commenting on future products.
Even the Mondeo wagon, previewed at the Melbourne Motor Show in March, is still the subject of speculation.
‘‘Yes, the car is coming. We will announce the details when we are ready,’’ says Mark Winslow, who has just left Ford Australia for a job in Thailand.
The Mondeo, S-Max and Kuga have all been out for some time, but the Fiesta has only just been unveiled in Europe.
It is edgier than the current car, with a crisper shape which reflects the latest direction in Ford design. Ford of Europe says it is intended to reflect style, efficiency and value. Everything about it is new, from the styling, materials and technologies to the core development and manufacturing processes.
‘‘It represents our future, in more ways than one,’’ Ford small cars executive director Marin Burela says.
Mechanically, more than half the body is made from high-strength steel for safety — which includes an ‘‘intelligent’’ protection system with the first knee airbag in a small Ford — and there are two new engines including one with an ultra-low CO2 emission ranking. It is the first European Ford to have electric power steering.
Standard equipment is more extensive than ever before in a baby Ford, including keyless entry, a start button, electric mirrors and capless refuelling.
The model plan for Australia is still being developed, but in Europe the new Fiesta comes with three and five-door hatchback bodies and a range of four petrol and two diesel engines.
Heading this way: the new Fiesta is the first small Ford with a knee airbag and the first European one with electric power steering.