The Fiesta reveal featured European models, which may provide a glimpse of what we can expect when the eight-generation Fiesta enters the U.S. market. North American variants will be built in Mexico, where the current model is manufactured.
Eighth-Generation Ford Fiesta
The eighth-generation Fiesta is similar in size and style to the current model. An updated grille, a refreshed interior, expanded technologies and four trims are planned for the European model. Ford says that its athletic Titanium line will remain its core model, followed by the elegant Vignale, a sporty ST-Line and an all-new luxurious Active trim based on a crossover body style that’s somewhat similar to the Ford C-Max that’s currently sold in the U.S.
The U.S. market is likely to receive something different, perhaps along the lines of the current S, SE and Titanium trims. We haven’t had a three-door hatchback since the Fiesta returned for 2011, nor do we know Ford’s plans for the C-Max, which shares its platform with the Fiesta. Currently, a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback are marketed stateside.
The performance-oriented Ford Fiesta ST was notably absent at the European reveal. In its place was the Fiesta ST-Line, which lacks the enhanced powertrain but features sporty styling cues. In typical Ford fashion, we can expect a separate introduction for the Fiesta ST, perhaps a full model year after the next-generation Fiesta rolls out.
40 Years and 17 Million Copies
Ford executives on hand included Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. Farley and a handful of other executives extolled the subcompact car’s many virtues, pointing out that 17 million units have been sold since 1976. Ford brass also noted that the Fiesta is one of the first cars in the world built on an assembly line where humans and robots work together.
Among the features found with the eighth-generation Fiesta is a new grille design. Notably, Ford showed grilles with horizontal slats as well as a honeycomb design, the latter assigned to the Vignale and ST-Line trims (Vignale represents an upscale trim found on many Ford models in Europe.)
Advanced Technology Features
Ford claims the next-generation Fiesta will be the most technically advanced small car in the world. The automaker backs up those claims by noting the ergonomic interior offers an 8‑inch floating high-definition touch screen along with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system.
The 2018 Fiesta will also be the first Ford to deliver a premium B&O Play sound system. This system is sourced from Bang & Olufsen, which often supplies audio systems for high-end products built by Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Ford notes that demand for premium or luxury cars is up 25 percent this year, thus the Fiesta will offer select high-end features to appeal to customers who might look elsewhere.
Ford says that its available 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine will be paired with a new range of five- and six-speed transmissions. As for that engine, it will be updated to become the first three-cylinder in the world with cylinder deactivation. Expect the 1.6-liter four-cylinder to continue as the standard engine.
Additional information about the 2018 Fiesta will have to wait with those details possibly prepared in time for the Geneva International Motor Show in March and perhaps at the New York International Auto Show in April. Meanwhile, Ford fans should be thrilled that the automaker remains committed to its smallest car models even as customers shift their purchases to trucks and SUVs.