Ford unveiled the redesigned 2014 Fiesta with the face of a Fusion and an available fuel-sipping 1-liter engine at one end of the spectrum and the performance Fiesta ST at the other.
Ford showed the new look Fiesta hatchback today in advance of the Los Angeles auto show this week.
The Fiesta ST, which goes on sale next spring, is a performance subcompact with a new high-output variant of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine generating 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque -- more than a Mini Cooper S or Chevrolet Sonic RS -- while still projected to get 34 miles per gallon.
The car has a six-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension and better brakes. Team RS in Europe and the Special Vehicles team in the U.S. gave the Fiesta ST a new face with a unique grille and spoiler while the back has a rear diffuser, dual-exhaust pipes and spoiler.
For those who appreciate fuel economy over performance, the Fiesta will be available next fall with Ford's newest and smallest 1-liter EcoBoost engine and first-ever 3-cylinder. The engine still gets 123 horsepower but mileage should exceed 40 m.p.g. and could approach 50 amid boasts it will be the best in the subcompact segment.
"Customers are going to be pleasantly surprised at what the smallest member of the EcoBoost engine family can do," said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Powertrain Engineering.
"Most customers are not going to be thinking about the number of cylinders under the hood when they drive the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost Fiesta," Bakaj said. "They'll notice an extremely smooth and quiet idle, terrific acceleration accompanied by a sporty sound at high revs, and most importantly outstanding fuel economy."
Ford thinks it has engineered the shake and shudder out of the 3-cylinder engine.
Engineers knew they had a challenge: having an odd number of cylinders is a recipe for unpleasant vibrations as anyone who has ever driven a Pontiac Firefly, Geo Metro or Suzuki Swift might remember. But that is unacceptable in today's competitive market where consumers expect fuel economy and a smooth ride even in an economy car.
Adding a counter-rotating balance shaft in the motor would cancel most vibrations -- but also add weight and reduce the fuel economy the turbocharged engine was designed to improve, said Andy Delicata, manager of powertrain noise, vibration and harshness for Ford of Europe where the engine is built.
And it would add cost in a subcompact car with a small profit margin.
So the technical team in the U.K. added weights to the front pulley and rear flywheel to counteract the shaking of the engine and engineered the mounting system that connects the powertrain to the rest of the car to be able to absorb the vibration.
Additionally the engine has a stiff cast-iron block, isolated fuel injectors, timing belts immersed in oil and sound-dampening foam to keep engine noise from infiltrating the cabin.
"We like to compare the refinement of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with what you would typically experience in a vehicle two or three classes up from Fiesta and Focus," said Delicata of the engine that has about 25% fewer moving parts.
The engine made its debut in Europe in March in the Focus. Already 30% of Focus sales are with the new 1-liter and it will be added to the B-Max and C-Max next for Europe. Next year it will go into the new Mondeo as well as other vehicles.
The 2014 Focus also has the latest version of MyFordTouch with a new 6.5-inch touch screen, updated software, better voice recognition and simplified commands.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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