2008 Geneva Motor Show: New Ford Fiesta Heading to America

  • Competes with: Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent
  • Looks like: A futuristic minicar
  • Drivetrain: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine (1.4- and 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engines for world markets) with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic
  • Hits dealerships: 2008 for Europe, 2010 for North America

If you think the all-new Ford Fiesta looks like the Verve concepts we’ve been seeing over the past year at various auto shows, you’re right. This production car takes those concept car cues and turns them into reality. Don’t take our word for it, just check out the interior, which closely resembles the concept car.

Ford says this is the first car that will truly be a global performer, going on sale in Europe, Asia and North America. Yes, Ford will start producing the Fiesta — it will not be called Verve anywhere it’s sold — in North America for sale in the U.S. in 2010. Ford officials confirmed that with today.

Engine choices in Europe will include two small, efficient diesel power plants and two gasoline engines. We expect the largest of the two gasoline engines to make it to the U.S. — a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing roughly 115 hp.

The Fiesta’s crazy center console has an auxiliary jack, USB port and a 12-volt outlet. Bluetooth will also be available. Since the new Sync system isn’t offered in Europe, it’s not included in this release. Again, though, we’d expect it to be an available upgrade in a U.S. Fiesta.

Other features include a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, ambient lighting and Ford’s new capless fuel intake. Ford hasn’t released full specs — like official dimensions — but says it retains the same footprint as the current Fiesta. We could also see a sedan version in the future. Our only complaint is that we have to wait two more years for it. More photos below.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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