Updated: Ford's focus on fuel efficiency hops into the front seat with the debut of the new Fiesta EcoNetic at this week's London Motor Show. The little hatch has an optimized diesel engine that turns out a fuel efficiency rating that places it at the very top of the UK's list of five-seaters.

Rated at a combined efficiency of 76.3mpg (Imperial gallons) or 63.6mpg by U.S. standards (or 3.7L/100km), the EcoNetic Fiesta is also good for a rated 51.4mpg U.S. (4.57L/100km) in the European city cycle and 73.6mpg U.S. (3.2L/100km) on the European 'extra-urban', or highway cycle. The primary modifications that get the car to such stratospheric returns include aerodynamic rear air deflectors, lowered suspension, optimized rolling resistance tires in a suitable size (175/65R14) and low friction oil, 'green' shift indicator light, modified engine calibration, and a transmission final drive ratio changed from 3.37 to 3.05

The 89hp (66kW) 1.6L TCDi diesel is also rated at a mere 98g/km CO2, and with a starting price of just £11,845 ($23,700) and available in either three-door or five-door variations, both rated at identical efficiency values, the Fiesta EcoNetic is a serious bargain in addition to being a hybrid-killer.

Original: Ford's EcoNetic program will be seeing some of the fruits of its labor soon with the introduction of a new highly-economical Ford Fiesta. According to Ford of Europe's Chairman, Lewis Booth, the new Fiesta will emit just 99g of carbon-dioxide per kilometer and should be on the market soon after July 21st.

The EcoNetic Fiesta will use conventional technology to achieve the low figure, which should keep costs to a minimum. Expect to see more aerodynamic body parts, low rolling resistance tires and low displacement engines. Booth argued that while customers were interested in emissions levels of cars, they had yet to reach the stage where they were willing to pay more to reduce emissions, reports Automotive News.

The Fiesta is not the first car by any means to go below the 100g per kilometer mark, with models such as the VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Smart Fortwo having variants that emit less than this figure. Other manufacturers are also running programs similar to Ford's EcoNetic plan, including Renault's eco² line and Volkswagen's BlueMotion range in a bid to reduce emissions and appeal to more environmentally conscious consumers.

The new highly efficient Fiesta should pave the path for Ford to meet new emissions standards being imposed in Europe, where carmakers could be soon forced to have fleet average carbon levels as low as 120g/km.

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