2008 Ford Fiesta 3door (Europe). (02/14/2008)

Ford toyed around with the Verve name abit for its new B-segment hatchback contender, but has decided to stick to the Ford Fiesta name for the production version of its very well received Ford Verve Concept.

The Ford Fiesta series of cars have sold over 12 million units since the first generation Fiesta made its debut in 1976. It will conceived during the times of the global fuel crisis in 1973, and the project was originally known as Project Bobcat. The Fiesta name was picked out of a list of 50 potential names in 1974. With over 30 years of investment in the Fiesta brand, it makes sense for Ford to just stick to it.

The new 2009 Ford Fiesta was designed and developed in Europe for customers in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, and is Ford’s global product development process’s first major product.

The car’s first production debut will be at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, and the new hatchback will go in sale in fall 2008 onwards in both 3-door and 5-door guises. By 2010, the new Ford Fiesta will be in the rest of Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and North America, though they will not be exactly the same car, but regionally tailored models derived from a common platform. Expect a sedan variant too.

The European Ford Fiesta will be the “most sophisticated Fiesta ever”, according to Ford Europe CEO John Fleming. It will feature capless refueling, USB connectivity, a driver’s knee airbag and ambient interior lighting, features that are usually only available in cars higher up in the segments. The Fiesta’s interior even keeps the concept version’s mobile-phone lookalike center dash control layout.

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