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Ford seems to be doing a lot right these days. It’s the principle reason why I, myself, own a 2008 Bullitt Mustang. They did it right. The heritage is there, but more importantly, it’s a unique piece of art that Ford has made. It’s a car that people know and love from the 1968 movie of the same name. It’s also a car that first debuted the chassis and suspension characteristics that were made for the 2010 Mustang GT, but used in the Bullitt to see how well the package worked as a street car.

For the philosophy of, get in, drive me, and have a great time owning me, Ford has done very well. Not just with the their current American lineup, but their European lineup. For a long while, Ford was becoming a sell cars in Europe first, and then what’s left over, we’ll put something together for the American market. We got the shaft from some great cars, such as, the European Focus, Fiesta, Ka, Kuga and Mondeo.

Now, though, for 2011, we get the Ford Fiesta! And Ford has really been showing this car off. They did the Fiesta Movement that gave away European packaged Fiestas to certain American customers who could provide a creative video and reason why they should have a Fiesta. Also, upon getting on, they had to be active with it and log a certain amount of miles and show it off to the public. Excellent marketing, Ford.

It worked, because the Fiesta is one of the most highly anticipated cars of the near future. And Ford is having a good time with it. In LA, I lost count of how many iterations of the car they were showing off to everyone. They really wanted to show how much you, the buyer, can actually customize your own car. You can really fit it to your personality and what you like.

If you want to have fun with your Fiesta, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to do it with the 1.6L inline-4 making 119hp and 109lb-ft of torque. While that may not sound like a lot, it makes this car more fun than you can imagine. One of the Fiesta Movement agents told me that it was very similar to an original Volkswagen GTI from back in the day. Now that’s what I call a helluva car.

Transmission options are either a standard 5-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. There are also a few changes made from the Euro-spec models, including the interior to satisfy U.S. safety standards, along with some different interior bits used, LED fog lights, a 4-inch LCD display for the driver, among other things. Read the full press release for the new Fiesta and the different variations that you can create.

Press Release:

2011 FORD FIESTA: FUEL-EFFICIENT, PROGRESSIVE DESIGN OFFERS VERSATILITY, PERSONALITY
* The all-new Ford Fiesta features an expressive, vibrant design, with sharp reflexes and a global track record that will redefine U.S. small car customers’ expectations
* Fiesta offers 15 class-exclusive technologies, adding luxury and convenience usually found in vehicles at significantly higher price points
* Fiesta is projected to deliver best-in-class highway fuel economy of 40 mpg, with a responsive 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine, advanced PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS)
* Designed to be versatile, personal and adaptable, Fiesta is expected to deliver best-in-class safety, convenience and connectivity with segment-exclusive SYNC® voice-activated communications system, an expressive color palette and available graphics

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2, 2009 – Ford’s hot-selling new Ford Fiesta will deliver more than just great looks and top fuel economy of any vehicle in its segment when it goes on sale in North America next year. The 2011 Fiesta – available in four- and five-door body styles – also will set a new small car benchmark for safety, connectivity and powertrain technology.

In fact, Fiesta will offer North American buyers a stylish new choice of 15 class-exclusive technologies and projected highway fuel economy of 40 mpg, besting the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris and Corolla.

“Customers are savvy. They want expressive cars that deliver not just great fuel economy but also high quality, new technologies and a fun driving experience,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “We plan to answer the call with Fiesta; an all-new vehicle in North America we hope will set a new standard for small cars.”

Fiesta is the next milestone under the ONE Ford plan to design and develop vehicles that meet the differing needs, wants and expectations of customers around the world. More than 500,000 Fiestas have already sold to customers in Europe and Asia.

When developing the new Fiesta, Ford conducted extensive global customer research. Findings clearly indicated the need for style topped the list of customer desires everywhere in the world. In Europe, across North America and in the Asia Pacific region, customers are looking for a distinctively designed small car that offers world-class quality, convenience, comfort and connectivity.

“Fiesta was developed with customers, not just for them,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for global product development. “Fuel economy, spirited performance and efficient use of space are universal desires, across global markets – and Fiesta delivers.”

The anticipated new Ford Fiesta arrives in North America with strong consumer awareness, thanks to the Fiesta Movement program. With 100 social media mavens chronicling their experiences of driving European market Fiestas on American roads, Fiesta has generated more than 675,000 Flickr views and more than 5.5 million YouTube video views.

Kinetics and aesthetics
Kinetic design imparts a sense of movement – even while standing still – harmonizing character elements to reflect global Ford identity, enabling Fiesta to project its own air of confidence, style and individuality. Fiesta targets a youthful “design progressive” mind-set, a consumer group that values style and diversity as worthy assets.

“These influential, prospective Fiesta customers relate to the design philosophy of ‘energy in motion’ because it reflects their personal outlook and lifestyle,” said Kevin George, Fiesta design manager.

Up front, Fiesta sports the global Ford face, centering the Blue Oval badge on the grille over the signature inverted trapezoid lower grille opening. These subtle cues engender familiarity across the portfolio, providing aesthetic linkage between the distinctive new Taurus, the fuel-efficient midsize Fusion and the bold Fiesta.

Adding eyes to the Fiesta face are sweeping, elongated headlamps that frame and connect the hood to muscular, sculpted front fenders. Available in sporty five-door hatchback or four-door sedan body styles, Fiesta provides ample space for occupants and their gear.

At the rear of the car, many design elements merge, including the chamfered rear liftgate glass, the low roofline sweeping into a spoiler and dramatic taillamps with honeycomb detailing mounted high in the five-door’s corners. Muscular rear quarter panels, wrapped tightly, draw the eye to the wheels and Fiesta’s confident stance.

The Fiesta design is further enhanced with a choice of nine vivid new colors. From Bright Magenta through Lime Squeeze to Blue Flame, Fiesta’s broad color palette – more available colors than any other segment competitors – instills vibrant individuality.

Inside Fiesta
Fiesta is as dramatic on the inside as it is on the outside. Boldly sculpted surfaces, contrasting colors and comfortable, supportive materials make the interior as individual as the driver.

The instrument panel centerstack – focal point of the new Fiesta interior – was designed to feel as useful and familiar as the keypad on a mobile phone.

The North American Fiesta features first-row bucket seats with a 60/40 split second-row seat. Cloth or leather seating surfaces vary by trim level offering comfort, style and individuality. High series Fiestas also offer leather with sporty contrast accent color piping.

Soft, sculptured surfaces and the centerstack layout provide the Fiesta with a sense of harmony. Intuitive switchgear placement, comfort zone seating and available ambient lighting allow a driver to maximize the mood with seven complementary colors – switchable among three levels of intensity – for interior accent lighting.

And Fiesta keeps it green; 25 percent of volume-series SE seat fabric inserts are comprised of recycled content.

Fun, with fuel efficiency
Fiesta’s flowing sculpted hood covers a 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine with an estimated 119 horsepower and 109 ft.-lbs. of torque. Spirited performance and fuel-efficient economy are signature attributes with the Fiesta expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy at 40 mpg.

Fiesta’s advanced 1.6-liter engine features Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) allowing the engine to be downsized for fuel economy while continuously optimizing camshaft phasing for throttle response, performance and flexibility.

Big results from a small package are possible with several new technologies in this new global engine, including an advanced new front end accessory drive (FEAD) belt with stretchy dynamics to improve the engine’s thermal dynamics. The elasticity in this new drive belt eliminates the need for a belt tensioner and contributes to overall fuel economy.

Fiesta features a standard five-speed manual transaxle with gear ratios selected to offer spirited off-the-line performance and exceptional fuel economy for drivers who desire three pedals and a stick shift to maximize driving experience.

Specially tuned front struts, bushings, dampers, stabilizer bars and a rear twist-beam axle keep Fiesta sure-footed and firmly planted. Sporty, European driving dynamics prevail.

Automatically game-changing
An available all-new North American industry-exclusive PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission combines the responsive performance and fuel economy of a manual transmission with the convenience of a traditional automatic in one advanced, dual dry-clutch package.

“Fuel economy leaders have traditionally been manual shift models,” said Pierro Aversa, team leader for transmissions. “Fiesta changes the game by offering an advanced PowerShift six-speed automatic that delivers maximum fuel economy.”

Twin internal clutches keep the PowerShift in constant mesh, always optimizing for maximum responsiveness or fuel efficiency, depending on input received from the driver’s foot on the accelerator pedal.

This “dry” transmission operates with sealed internal lubrication, reducing internal friction and adding to Fiesta fuel economy. The lack of pumps and hoses reduces under-hood complexity, saves weight and also contributes to fuel efficiency.

PowerShift has been proven in Ford’s European market and will redefine North American small car segment expectations for responsive shifting and fuel efficiency.

Power steering conserves fuel
For confidence-inspiring on-road dynamics, Fiesta features Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) which reduces complexity while saving weight and fuel. This advanced system is speed-sensitive – providing optimized assist based on speed, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration.

Ford is aggressively moving to EPAS across its product lineup. The system already is available in several Ford, Lincoln and Mercury nameplates, and by 2013 nearly 90 percent of Ford’s lineup will offer this fuel saving technology.

EPAS also includes Pull-Drift Compensation to help Fiesta track true regardless of road crown or side wind conditions. In addition, active nibble control helps detect and compensate for tire balance irregularity. Both features – enabled by EPAS – are class-exclusives.

Strength, safety, quality and quiet
More than 50 percent of Fiesta’s welded body structure is made from high-strength steel, with ultra-strong boron steel used in several critical areas. This rigid body shell contributes to Fiesta’s confident road-holding, best-in-class occupant safety and quiet composure.

Fiesta safety is enhanced by an array of features including dual-stage first-row air bags, a class-exclusive driver’s knee air bag, side air bags and side curtain air bags. AdvanceTrac® with ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is standard on Fiesta, along with seat belt pretensioners, rear door child safety locks and a Safety Canopy® system.

Tested and proven on virtually every continent where you can drive a car, Fiesta arrives with proven quality and customer readiness.

“For North America, the global Fiesta was tweaked, not re-designed or re-developed.” said Steve Pintar, chief engineer. “We built on the success of the European Fiesta and are really proud of how little has changed.”

Fiesta NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) control is taken to a new level of quiet for this segment, helped in part by a specially laminated, class-exclusive windshield that was chosen to help absorb and contain noise. Engine noise is subdued by a hood blanket, with enhanced door seals keeping wind noise minimized.

Special padding behind the instrument panel and foam baffles mounted inside the pillars keeps Fiesta quiet. Even the headliner material was specified for its sound-deadening qualities.

Much of Fiesta’s sound-absorbent materials are comprised of recycled content, helping to conserve resources as it preserves peace and quiet. In addition, Fiesta aerodynamics contributes to both NVH control and fuel efficiency.

Features and functionality
From class-exclusive automatic climate control to a standard aux input, Fiesta offers customers a number of standard and available features that increase convenience and add connectivity. Among them is Ford SYNC®, integrating a driver’s mobile phone with Fiesta’s onboard, voice- activated communications and entertainment system.

Fiesta also offers keyless entry and push button start, a feature unique within the segment. Drivers of all sizes can adjust the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel to suit their individual preferences. Reflecting Fiesta’s versatility and adaptability, adjustable cup holders can accommodate Red Bull cans and Big Gulps along with every container size in between.

Fiesta also features Ford’s EasyFuel® Capless Fuel-Filler System, a North American industry- exclusive, as standard equipment.

Fiesta sales success
Fiesta is continuing its sales momentum as Europe’s No. 2-selling car and Ford of Europe’s top-selling vehicle, helping increase Ford’s share in Europe’s main 19 markets. More than 500,000 Fiestas have been sold since the car was launched last autumn. In Europe, the Fiesta name has long been synonymous with outstanding drive quality, design and value. It’s winning enthusiastic media reviews in Asia. Now, the all-new Fiesta offers North American consumers a stylish, fuel-efficient alternative.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

Variations Press Release:
Press release:

FORD TEMPTS ENTHUSIASTS, REVEALS CUSTOMIZED FIESTAS AT 2009 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

* Ford unveils four tricked-out versions of the 2011 Ford Fiesta today at the Los Angeles Auto Show
* The new Fiesta is an affordable vehicle with great driving dynamics and an award-winning design that is sure to be a hit among customization enthusiasts
* The customized Fiesta models showcase a variety of aftermarket offerings as well as Ford Custom Accessories and Ford Racing Performance Parts – many of which will be available for customers to choose from next year when they buy the vehicle at their local Ford dealership
* Fans of the Ford Fiesta can get a sneak peek at some of the accessories that will be available through Ford and participating dealers by visiting www.fordvehicles.com/2011fiesta

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2, 2009 – As the 2011 Ford Fiesta basks in the afterglow of its North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, Ford today unveils four tricked-out versions of the company’s first global car designed to whet the appetites of customization enthusiasts.

“We expect the Fiesta will be wildly popular among people who like to personalize their vehicles because of its affordability, great driving dynamics and award-winning design,” said Ford Designer Melvin Betancourt. “We’ll offer these customers a variety of appearance and performance accessories to choose from so they really can make their Fiesta their own.”

Betancourt says the goal of showcasing four customized Fiestas at the Los Angeles Auto Show is simple: to spark imagination.

“The Fiesta provides a great canvas for the customer who wants to create a vehicle that expresses his or her personality,” he said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Fiesta showcases Ford Custom Accessories
The customized Fiesta models on display in Los Angeles feature a variety of Ford Custom Accessories, such as an upper rear hatch spoiler, body-side tattoo graphics and a 3dCarbon body kit.

“We want to make it as fun and as easy as possible for people to customize their Fiesta,” said Richard Anderson, Fiesta Accessories manager, Ford Vehicle Personalization. “Since all of the accessories are installed at the dealership, customers can literally drive away with the vehicle of their dreams.”

The reveal of four Fiesta tuner cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show marks the first time that Ford is presenting customized cars in conjunction with a new model launch – a move Anderson says is perfect for the new Fiesta.

“What makes the Fiesta special is that it captures the essence of European driving,” said Anderson. “It’s a cool car that delivers from both an appearance perspective as well as a vehicle dynamics perspective.”

For performance-minded enthusiasts, Ford also will offer a selection of accessories from Ford Racing Performance Parts, including a performance-tuned suspension package, a performance exhaust and 17-inch Ford Racing wheels.

Ford Racing teamed up with Steeda Autosports to create a custom Fiesta that would perform as well on the track as it does on the street.

“Benefiting from its European heritage of superior driving dynamics, Fiesta is the perfect platform for taking it to the next level with performance upgrades, allowing the enthusiast to personalize it with content that complements all the cool appearance items that will be available,” said Mickey Matus, Ford Racing marketing manager.

Also on display at the show is a Fiesta customized by H&R Special Springs, an aftermarket supplier of suspension parts. It features a lowered suspension that gives the vehicle more of a tuner stance, custom OZ wheels, Pirelli tires and free-flowing body graphics.

Roland Graef, who runs U.S. operations for H&R, says Fiesta is a welcome addition to what he describes as an “oversized” U.S. car market.

“Cars today have gotten way too big,” he said. “The new Fiesta will fill an important niche for people who are waiting for an affordable, small car to customize.”

A variety of options for customization enthusiasts
According to Sam De La Garza, Fiesta marketing manager, the four tricked-out Fiesta models demonstrate that just about anything is possible with imagination.

“The Fiesta is Ford’s first global car, and it’s ideally suited for modifications,” he said. “The message is that it is okay to dream with the Fiesta because anything is achievable.”

De La Garza says people can build and price their own personalized Fiesta by visiting www.fordvehicles.com/2011fiesta.

“Between now and the time Fiesta goes on sale next year, we will continue to update the site to include more exciting accessories,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

More than 80,000 people have expressed an interest in buying the new Fiesta months before the vehicle lands in dealerships thanks to the tremendous buzz created by the Fiesta Movement, a social media initiative that has 100 young trendsetters test driving and living with a European-spec Fiesta for six months and reporting their experiences online through a variety of social media sites.

Throughout the Fiesta Movement, agents have traveled more than 1.4 million miles and have generated more than 6 million YouTube views, nearly 740,000 Flickr views and more than 3.7 million Twitter impressions.

The customized Fiestas on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show include:

2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Racing and Steeda Autosports
There’s nothing like a solid performance team to get results. Ford Racing teamed up with Steeda Autosports to transform this 2011 Ford Fiesta. Steeda’s cold air intake improves airflow, while the Borla/Ford Racing Performance cat-back system keeps the 1.6-liter Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) I-4 breathing easy. To keep it all firmly planted, Steeda/Ford Racing upgraded the factory suspension to give the customer track-inspired ride and handling. Behind the Ford Racing multi-spoke Euro wheels lurk one-off Brembo front and rear brakes that keep the driver in full control.

2011 Ford Fiesta by H&R Special Springs
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2011 Ford Fiesta by H&R Special Springs
Experts at dialing in the perfect ride height for every application, H&R Special Springs puts its own brand of “Special” into this 2011 Fiesta five-door. Fiesta’s natural good looks get the Euro treatment, with Sticky Jewell custom graphics, custom Euro hood vents, stealthy blacked-out headlamps and a Ford Custom Accessories upper rear hatch spoiler. The H&R Street Performance monotube coil-over kit features height-adjustable shocks to set wheel arches the perfect distance from the big, 18-inch OZ SuperTurismo GT wheels. When it comes to personalizing Fiesta, this is one suspension-and-wheels approach that most do-it-yourself buyers can adopt to set themselves firmly above the rest of the sport compact crowd.

2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Custom Accessories
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2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Custom Accessories
Here’s one show car that’s set to become available to anyone with the creativity and desire to personalize their own 2011 Ford Fiesta. When the car rolls into showrooms in 2010, nearly every styling component displayed on this white-hot Fiesta will be available from Ford Custom Accessories, Ford Licensed Accessories and Ford Racing Performance Parts. Put together a ride that’s as unique as you and the crowd you run with. When you meet up, they’ll see you coming in your personalized Fiesta.

2011 Ford Fiesta by 3dCarbon and FSWerks
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2011 Ford Fiesta by 3dCarbon and FSWerks
Making a bold styling statement is just half the fun of building a sport compact. That’s why the 3dCarbon/FSWerks 2011 Fiesta uses the built-in energy of Ford’s European styling and the rock-solid foundation of its powertrain to springboard to the next level of street authority. The combination of the FSWerks Stage 2 intercooled turbo kit and free-breathing 2.25-inch exhaust provides capability to match the zoomy looks of the 3dCarbon body kit. Out on the road, the aggressive front air dam, aerodynamic side skirts and rear lower accent trim issue a bold challenge to contenders. At the track, FSWerks components readily back it all up when the talk stops and the pedal goes down.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

-Josh

“Happy Motoring!”

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