Ford has wasted no time in developing a van derivative of the well-received new Fiesta hatchback. The new van will provide strong competition for the VW Corsavan and Peugeot 207 van.
It will “probably be launched commercially in the first quarter of 2009 in Germany”, said Bernhard Mattes, Ford of Europe’s customer service vice-president. It offers a load-carrying capacity of around 1 cubic metre, “that’s plenty of space to accommodate high expectations!” Mattes added.
It’s also very clean, with CO2 emissions of just 110g/km, and a claimed fuel economy of 67.3mpg from the smaller of the two Durqtorq TDCi turbodiesel engines on offer – a choice of 68PS 1.4-litre engine or 90PS 1.6 is available, as well as an 82PS, 1.25-litre 16v Duratec petrol engine.
New Fiesta is less boxy than the old model, but this has not compromised the interior load dimensions of the new van. Load length is 1,292mm; maximum width is 1,278mm and height is 936mm. The critical between-the-wheel arches dimension is 1,004mm. The load are is separated from the driver’s cab by a half-height bulkhead.
The advanced drivetrain technology of the new Fiesta car is transferred across, including electric power steering and electronic brakeforce distribution with emergency brake assist. Other features include optional side airbags and a knee airbag for the driver, and the Ford EasyFuel capless refueling system that stops absent-minded drivers from filling up with the wrong fuel.
Mattes believes the new Fiesta will help Ford ride out tough European market conditions. Strong sales of the Transit resulted in a sales increase throughout the 19 main European markets – including Russia and Turkey - of 1.756 units to 180,000 units, giving Ford a LCV market share of 9.8 percent in Europe. The UK remains Ford’s biggest van market – 50,700 vans were sold in Britain in the first six months of the year. “Despite the occasionally difficult market situation, we are accelerating our efforts,” Mattes said.
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