Here’s the first glimpse of the 2018 Ford Fiesta, with evolution written all over it
HERE’S our first taste of the 2018 Ford Fiesta, snapped wearing an all-new set of clothes, ahead of a likely world premiere sometime late this year or early in 2017 before its arrival in showrooms.
The sixth-generation Ford Fiesta will face a tough battle as it will be joined next year by completely redesigned versions of the Volkswagen Polo, Holden Barina, Suzuki Swift, Nissan Micra, and Citroen C3 on the new-car catwalk. That’s in addition to rivals such as the Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, and Mazda 2.
Expected to reach Australia by the end of next year, the sixth generation of Ford’s popular supermini builds on the distinctive Kinetic design theme of its eight-year-old predecessor, with squarer and more upright lines, as well as deeper side windows, for a bigger and more contemporary look.
A resolved version of the Ford corporate grille appears to be sitting between larger headlights, while the vertical-look tail-lights of the current hatch give way to an LED-packed horizontal pair, imparting a greater sense of width than before.
Underneath is believed to be a variation of the existing Fiesta’s Global B-car platform, meaning MacPherson-type struts up front and torsion beam rear suspension, but stretched and honed in Germany to improve what has long remained one of the segment’s best-handling superminis.
Interestingly, rumours are swirling that – ST performance version aside – the existing range of four-cylinder petrol and turbo-diesel engines are going to give way to a variety of smaller three-pot units, expanding beyond the lauded 1.0-litre EcoBoost currently used in the Fiesta Sport.
This should lead to a substantial drop in overall weight, which in turn ought to benefit dynamics, performance, and economy.
Also undergoing an overhaul will be the Mk6’s measurably roomier interior, growing slightly in all dimensions including width for improved space and comfort. Probably the most obvious change will be an all-new dashboard (finally!) featuring a far bigger (and now touch-activated) central screen, as per the latest Ford Mondeo and Ford Mustang, to support the voice-controlled SYNC multimedia system. Better quality materials and more sound-deadening are also thought to be on the Blue Oval baby’s agenda, to help make the 2018 Fiesta a quieter and more refined ride.
On the safety side, a significant leap in driver-assist safety gear will include a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-change alert, and perhaps even adaptive cruise control technology on the more expensive models, as Ford aims to pitch its 40-year-old supermini nameplate upmarket.
The boost in quality as well as size is important for the Fiesta in Europe, helping to put some distance between it and the new, larger Ka+ sub-B city car also due soon. Unfortunately for lovers of urban littlies, the latter isn’t slated for Australian consumption.
Besides the hatch shape as seen here, the 2018 Fiesta will also come as a four-door sedan, as favoured by North America, China, and some southern European markets. Additionally, it will spawn a second-generation small SUV to replace the disappointing EcoSport, though exactly when that surfaces is still anybody’s guess.
With the existing WS/WZ Fiesta fast approaching its eighth year on sale, the change cannot come soon enough for the company. Whether Thailand will continue to supply the Australian market as it has done so since 2010 has not yet been confirmed, but don’t count against it.
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