Ford has unveiled the redesigned 2014 Fiesta with the face of a Fusion and engine choices ranging from a fuel-sipping 1-liter engine to a high-performance Fiesta ST.
Ford showed the new-look Fiesta hatchback Monday in advance of the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the media on Wednesday.
The Fiesta ST, which goes on sale next spring, is a performance package with a new high-output variant of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine. It can generate 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque -- more than a Mini Cooper S or Chevrolet Sonic RS -- while achieving 34 m.p.g.
The ST has a six-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension and better brakes. Engineering teams in Europe and Ford's Special Vehicles organization gave the ST a new face with a unique grille and spoiler and a back end featuring a rear diffuser, dual-exhaust pipes and spoiler.
For those who appreciate fuel economy over performance, there will be Ford's newest 1-liter EcoBoost engine and first-ever three-cylinder. While the engine gets 123 horsepower, mileage should exceed 40 m.p.g. and could approach 50. Ford 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."
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 market; consumers expect high 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 the added weight reduced fuel economy and added cost, said Andy Delicata, manager of powertrain noise, vibration and harshness for Ford of Europe, where the engine is built.
So the technical team in Britain added weights to the front pulley and rear flywheel to counteract the shaking of the engine. Then they designed the mounting system that connects the powertrain to the rest of the car to absorb the vibration.
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," Delicata said.
In March, the engine debuted in the European Focus. Already, 30% of Focuses sold have the new 1-liter, and the engine will next be added to Europe's B-Max and C-Max. Next year it will be an option on the new Mondeo and other Ford models.
The 2014 Focus also has the latest version of MyFord Touch with a 6.5-inch touch screen, updated software, better voice recognition and simplified commands.
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