7 chal­lenges for the most im­por­tant new car of 2017

What’s this, ris­ing above the white noise of gim­micky crossovers and heavy hy­brids? Only the bril­liant re­birth of Bri­tain’s best sell­ing car

CAR (UK) - - Analysis - Words Chris Chilton | Pho­tog­ra­phy Tom Salt

THE NEW FI­ESTA is a small car with a huge weight on its shoul­ders. Su­per­mini suc­cess is cru­cial to Ford’s bot­tom line, but to­day’s mar­ket is a rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent place com­pared to when the last Fi­esta was in­tro­duced in 2008, let alone when the Fi­esta first burst onto the scene in 1976 as con­ser­va­tive Ford’s first front-wheeldrive hatch­back.

At first glance Fi­esta 8 looks lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the old one, but a light nip and tuck was never go­ing to be enough. Con­nec­tiv­ity and crossovers are the c-words of choice, though prob­a­bly not of Ford sales­men who have had to deal with a short­age of both, and fall back on an­other one when clos­ing a deal: chas­sis.

Ford’s trade­mark fun-to-drive-ness has served the com­pany well, but this time it won’t be enough on its own. Here are the seven tar­gets the new Fi­esta must hit if it’s to con­tinue the legacy rather than turn out to be the last of the line.

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