Ford of the dance

The com­pany still won’t say when the Fi­esta is due, writes PAULGOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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