At the top of the lineup will be the new Ford Fiesta ST (driven here) which is expected to be introduced with sub-$30,000 pricing.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit in the hot-hatch produces 134kW of power at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque from 1600-5000rpm, or during a 20-second ‘overboost’ between 1600-6000rpm, a fuller 147kW/290Nm.
Ford Australia has now confirmed the Fiesta ST will follow the Kuga and Focus ST and offer standard Emergency Assistance (below), which, when a mobile phone is connected and a crash has occurred, dials 000 automatically.
In the regular Fiesta models, a new 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine replaces the outgoing 1.6-litre unit. It produces 82kW at 6300rpm and 140Nm 4400rpm, down 7kW/11Nm on the current, larger engine.
Ford says the reason for the capacity drop has little to do with our market, as our Fiestas are sourced from Thailand and many Asian markets require engine capacity no larger than 1.5 litres to sidestep heftier taxes.
Claimed consumption, however, is 5.8 litres per 100km with either a five-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, a 0.3L/100km improvement.
Three months later, in December, a 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine will join the Ford Fiesta lineup. Named as the International Engine of the Year for the second consecutive year, it produces 92kW of power at 6000rpm and 170Nm from 1400-4500rpm.
Although this engine will be seen first in the Ford EcoSport sub-compact SUV mid year, its introduction in the Ford Fiesta will mark the first time the three-cylinder engine has been mated with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, in addition to the standard five-speed manual.
The manual still eclipses the auto for combined consumption, however – 4.9L/100km versus 5.3L/100km. The three cylinder also uniquely gets an Eco Mode, software that monitors driving style and rewards – with green ‘leaves’ in the digital display – economical driving.
Low consumption figures with the three cylinder engine is also cited by Ford Australia as the reason for dropping the 66kW/200Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel from the Fiesta line-up. Although it says the introduction of the three-cylinder means the diesel no longer justifies its required price premium, Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald refused to confirm where the three-cylinder would be positioned in the facelifted Fiesta range.
It is tipped the 1.5-litre four-cylinder will remain the entry engine, with the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged Ecoboost commanding a slight price premium, but nothing close to the current ($1500) diesel surcharge.
Ford Australia says the headline equipment change to the Fiesta will be the introduction of SYNC, the company’s hands-free in-car connectivity system. By simply using voice commands, drivers can select a song via Bluetooth audio streaming with a media player, or call a contact when connected to their phone.
Tweaked suspension settings, including new front bump stops, aim to deliver improved ride comfort at no expense to handling agility, according to Ford.
Rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloys will be available as options, while pricing will be confirmed closer to launch.