Ford has taken the wraps off its latest model in the growing Fiesta family of compact cars with the unveiling of the all-new ‘S’ performance model at the Beijing Motor Show this weekend. The new car is expected to join the regular three-door hatch and five-door models - revealed at the last month’s Geneva Motor Show – towards the end of the year in both Europe and China.

North America will still have to wait until 2010 for its version of the car, which will also be available in a sedan bodystyle, and the Fiesta is also tipped to start production in Australia around the same time. Other models in the pipeline include a higher performance ST model as well as a rumored RS range topper. Like the upcoming Focus RS, this latter version would feature a series of weight saving and power mods for ultimate performance.

The Fiesta will initially be available with a range of petrol and diesel engines. Entry-level models will come with a 60hp 1.4L petrol engine and will be followed by a 115hp 1.6L unit. Diesel fans will get two 1.25L units developing 60hp and 80hp respectively. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a new Durashift automatic. The cars also come with Ford’s new EPAS electronic steering to help save fuel.

In a blast of Passion Orange, Ford proudly revealed its all-new global small car – the Ford Fiesta – today as a vibrant five-door hatch. The all-new Ford Fiesta has been reinvented for a new generation of customers.

Designed and developed in Europe for sale in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, the all-new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford’s new global product development process.

The all-new Ford Fiesta's dynamic character is accentuated by its bold kinetic design. Its distinct character is further accentuated with major strides in craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent Ford Fiesta’s traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety.

All- new Ford Fiesta clearly embodies the exterior hallmarks of kinetic design, which has so convincingly infused emotion into the core of the Ford range in Europe and Asia.

The reveal in Europe in March of the three-door and five-door Fiesta hatch and now the China reveal of the five-door Fiesta hatch confirm that all-new Ford Fiesta will bring the most appealing elements of Verve Concept to production reality.

“I’ve been saying just wait for the all-new Fiesta to see how kinetic design can be translated into a small car,” said Martin Smith, Executive Director of Design for Ford of Europe. “Now the wait is over. New Fiesta evokes an instant emotional response that says ‘I want one’ which extends the traditionally practical values of the Fiesta brand to appeal to a new, style-conscious generation of small car buyers.”

Listening to Fiesta's Audience

Market research is an important tool, but actually listening to the target Fiesta buyer was a key to developing the initial Verve Concepts and the resulting Fiesta. "Our customers told us the qualities they wanted in a new small car. They told us they wanted it to be bold, exciting, fun and they wanted to be proud to own and drive it," said John Parker, Ford Motor Company executive vice president, Asia Pacific and Africa. "We're hearing now from our potential customers that they are surprised and delighted. We're confident a new generation of small car buyers will take a close look at the all-new Ford Fiesta."

Fiesta Has Global Plans

The all-new Ford Fiesta is closely related to the exciting trio of Verve Concepts that were revealed globally at 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show as a three-door hatch, at 2007 Guangzhou Motor Show in China as a four-door notchback, and at 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as another iteration of a four-door notchback. Both four-door Verve Concept sedans were tailored to regional market tastes.

Together, these concepts paved the way for the company's new global small-car program for 2008 to 2010.

Ford designers and product development engineers in Europe have led the all-new Ford Fiesta's global development process.

“The all-new Ford Fiesta is the first car born from our new global product development process," said Joe Bakaj, Vice President of Product Development, Ford of Europe. "More than ever, we’re leveraging our global product development expertise, and this car sets the scene for future great products for customers around the world that are already being developed behind it in the Ford Global Product Development System pipeline.”

China Production

China production of the all-new Ford Fiesta commences before end of 2008 at the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) plant in Nanjing, China. The $510million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which commenced operations in September 2007, has the flexibility and scalability to satisfy initial capacity of 160,000 vehicles per year. The all-new Ford Fiesta will be produced at Nanjing.

"The Verve Concept so confidently combined exciting design with the promise of a fun, exciting car to drive. The all-new Fiesta delivers on the promise we made with Verve Concept. The all-new Fiesta is a dynamic car and is unlike any of its competitors in China," said Bob Graziano, President and CEO of Ford Motor China. "It proves that a small car can be desirable."

By 2010, Ford's Fiesta small-car family will be manufactured in Europe, Asia and the Americas and be marketed as Fiesta in all of the world’s key automotive markets. The all-new Fiesta with truly enjoy global reach and identity.

European Engineering

Ford designers and engineers in Europe have been absolutely committed to keeping Fiesta a compact car and remained diligent on reducing weight through the entire development process. The result is a light-weight, compact Fiesta which really pays off when it comes to fuel efficiency and targeting CO2 emissions.

Component by component, the Ford development team scrutinised for weight but refused to compromise on key areas that are important to Fiesta customers. One of the biggest is safety, where all-new Fiesta makes a bold step forward with an extremely robust safety structure.

The all-new Ford Fiesta makes extensive use of ultra high-strength steels in its body structure. A remarkable amount of these specialist steels, including boron steel and dual-phase steel, is the secret to Fiesta’s quantum leap in structural stiffness for its light weight. These steels are used particularly in safety critical areas, such as the A-pillar and B-pillar, part of the ultra-rigid 'door ring' structure of the Fiesta bodyside.

Extending Fiesta’s traditional excellence in driving dynamics was also a priority. The all-new Fiesta will have a dynamic character to match its poised, kinetic design style hinting at energy in motion. Ford’s acclaimed dynamics engineers responsible for fine tuning Focus and Mondeo driving dynamics also worked hard to enhance Fiesta’s ride comfort and isolate road, wind and powertrain noise from the cabin, and to give the new model an impressively quiet driving quality for a small car.

The all-new Fiesta retains the MacPherson strut front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension layout that has been one of its traditional strengths, but the new suspension and steering system has undergone an array of enhancements.

Electric-Power Assist Steering (E-PAS) is introduced in the Fiesta for the first time. E-PAS provides the right balance of low-speed assistance and excellent feel and responsiveness.

E-PAS has another key benefit. It is another key facet of new Fiesta’s initiatives to reduce fuel consumption.

The electric power steering pump only operates when steering-effort assistance is required, unlike traditional hydraulic PAS pumps that operate constantly when the engine is running. This brings a fuel consumption reduction.

Bold, Dynamic, Sculpted

The bold colours and sculpted surfaces of the all-new Ford Fiesta indicate how deeply the spirit of the Verve Concept has been carried into production as the latest model of Ford’s kinetic design family.

Exciting and vibrant production colours include the Beijing reveal colour of Passion Orange and the bright Lightning Yellow to awaken Fiesta's bold and independent character.

The muscular, coupé-like profile and athletic presence of the all-new Fiesta demonstrates that none of the emotional appeal of the concept cars has been diluted in the production-ready five-door Fiesta hatch.

"All the vital elements of kinetic design combine to create a visually rich, dynamic exterior shape that is very close indeed to the original concept car," said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Director for Design. "Full surfaces, bold graphics and dynamic lines combine coherently and harmoniously to create a dynamic spirit of fun and energy in motion."

With a feeling of toned muscularity, the all-new Ford Fiesta asserts an air of confidence, stylishness and individuality. Its aggressively contoured bonnet and front fenders convey a broad-shouldered stance, and its face features a distinctive signature element – a bold lower trapezoidal grille that draws attention and reinforces the key Ford attribute of sporty driving dynamics.

Chrome and brightwork are used selectively, like jewellery accents, to convey elegance and sophistication.

Large and full of character directly from the Verve concepts, Fiesta’s bold headlamps become part of the shoulder shape and extend aggressively rearward almost as far as the stylishly raked A-pillars. The headlamp units incorporate all primary front lighting and signal functions – complemented on the lower bumper flanks by round, optimal aluminium lamps.

The all-new Ford Fiesta’s profile emphasises its new, cab-forward shape and an attitude of poised, sporty style. The sweeping roofline extends appealingly from the forward-stretching A-pillar rearward, framing the bold graphic of the Fiesta side window profile to create the sporty feeling of a coupé for the five-door body style.

The Fiesta side windows combine to create a unified profile window graphic – a key kinetic design element that communicates dynamism. An elegant accent of chrome frames the lower edge of the side glass and accentuates the signature Ford “kick-up” at its rear.

The all-new Fiesta also features the signature bold wheel arches that communicate the vehicle’s stance and dynamic capabilities, giving visual emphasis to new large-diameter alloy wheels.

Dynamic, kinetic design lines arc from side to side, uniting the upper corners of the tail lamps with the distinctive spoiler, which incorporates a slim LED stop lamp array. The sculpture of the body shapes is accented by elements like the new tail lamp – another Verve element that feels like it is an integral part of the body – and the V-shaped tailgate’s chamfered rear glass.

Full technical details of the new Fiesta will be released closer to the formal launching of the production model before the end of 2008.