Ford have just unveiled the latest incarnation of the popular Fiesta model for 2013. Introduced in 1976, the Fiesta has been an ever-popular small hatchback with sales in reaching over 12 million since it’s arrival.
In February this year, Ford UK announced that it had increased its car sales securing 14.5% of the UK market which was up 2.6% compared to February the previous year. Ford Fiesta was the UK’s number one bestseller up to that point. In fact, Fiesta sales were 10,723 compared to 8,248 in February 2011.
So it seems a pertinent moment to release some tantalising information on the forthcoming 2013 model. The filtering down of high-tech equipment seems to get faster and faster these days as we all strive to keep up to date, and the 2013 Fiesta is going to be no different with the promise of the Ford SYNC voice-activated connectivity system, MyKey and Active City Stop. More of all this later.
The new Fiesta will house the 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine with the promise of delivering best-in-class economy. These days this is likely to be its biggest selling point. Along with the promise of improved fuel economy, Martin Smith, Ford of Europe Executive Design Director, says “..we also wanted to give it a more sophisticated look.” A lot of promise there then, so let’s have a closer look.
The EcoBoost engine is a turbocharged, direct injection petrol engine that has received pretty positive reviews from the automotive press since its arrival on the scene. Ford’s bold claim is of 20% better fuel economy along with 15% reduced greenhouse gases compared to larger displacement engines. Ford is so confident that they have got it right, that they predict that over 90% of their vehicles worldwide will use either 2.0, 1.6 or the 1.0 litre EcoBoost engines by 2013. And if you needed any more convincing, the awesome Radical 300bhp SR3 SL uses a 1.6 EcoBoost engine too.
The new Fiesta features a prominent front grille and blended headlamps which give it a strikingly feminine appearance, which does make me wonder what the male viewpoint might be regarding ownership. The side view is all more neutrally pleasing, with a sweeping side ridge along the door rising towards the rear lights, and the headlamps sweeping into the bonnet-line. I have to say, aesthetically, I like this – I find it very pleasing on the eye and it has a real ‘go-faster’ look about it as opposed to the front’s ‘fly swallowing’ look.
I would imagine of you’ve read this far you might be beginning to get a bit frustrated that you’ve still not found out what Ford SYNC, Active City Stop or MyKey is, so let’s have a look at these features.
As a safety feature, this sounds a great idea, my only reservation is not with Ford, but with the public themselves. After all, how often do you use voice activation on your phone? After the novelty of being able to say a rude word and then dial my friends it sort of fell by the wayside for me as a must-have option, but then I’m not a businessman living in my car all day long. So if that describes you (a Fiesta driving rep – do they exist?) then this might be a piece of dream tech. In any case, SYNC offers the driver hands-free dial up and the ability to treat your car like a wedding DJ and ask it to play what you want, with the added bonus that it will probably have the song you request. SYNC also offers voice driven navigation options as well.
MyKey was introduced in the USA in 2009 and is now being made available in Europe with the Fiesta being the flagship model before being rolled out across the entire Ford range. And it’s a pretty damn good piece of technology as well.
MyKey allows the car owner to decide how their children drive. We all know the worrying statistics relating to young drivers, new drivers and accidents, but what if there was a way to help guard against poor or reckless driving? Enter MyKey; I really do think this is a marvellous idea. 2013 Fiesta owners will be able to programme a key for second drivers and limit the car’s top speed as well as various other programmable options. It can even allow parents to set a maximum audio volume, which if you live in Essex like I do, will be a bit of a godsend on summer days.
Active City Stop
“Low speed front-to-rear collisions are one of the most common accidents in urban traffic” says Roland Schaefer, Ford Safety Analyst. Active City Stop monitors the vehicle in front in low speed traffic up to around 20mph and automatically employs the brakes if it detects a collision is about to happen. Ford say the system can completely eliminate a collision at 10mph or less and reduce the overall damage of a collision between 10mph and 18mph.
I think we can more or less forget about the ‘like-it-or-loathe-it’ view from the front with the 2013 Fiesta, and just enjoy the fact that Ford are starting to lead the way in making journeys safer without compromising on the actual enjoyment of driving. There’s a reason why they sell so many cars you know.