Unfurl the streamers and strike up the band: we're getting a European Ford. The next version of Ford's Fiesta subcompact is due to arrive on our shores in late 2009, and when it does, it'll ride on the same platform and carry the same basic bodywork as Fiestas everywhere else in the world.
A four-door sedan (based on Ford's 2008 Verve concept, shown below) initially will be the only available body style, but a two-door hatch could soon follow.
Because the Fiesta was originally designed for Europe, the U.S.-spec version will get a slightly longer nose and front bumper assembly in order to meet federal safety standards. European buyers choose from one of three gasoline-powered four-cylinders - a 1.2-liter, a 1.4-liter, or an all-new 1.6-liter - and diesel power also will be available. As for us? Ford will say only that a "fuel-efficient four-cylinder" will power stateside Fiestas.
LET'S FOCUS ON THE MARKET: The next Fiesta will undoubtedly bring Ford some much-needed cachet in the U.S. subcompact market, and if it's anything like its predecessor, it'll be a fine car to boot. But we still think that a truly modern Focus - like the one Ford sells in Europe - would be a better bet to help reinvigorate the brand's U.S. sales.