A quartet of new Ford Fiestas has been unveiled in Germany, but the Australian version will soldier on to 2018.
Ford has revealed a restyled version of its Fiesta small hatch at an event in Cologne, Germany overnight, but the softer-styled, more upmarket re-do is unlikely to make it to Australia in the short term, if at all.
The models – the luxury Vignale, ST-Line, Titanium and Active – show off a mild body styling makeover that extends to new taillights, more rounded headlights and a sharply detailed lower front bar.
The interior has been more drastically changed, with the Fiesta’s centre console completely redone around a large tablet-style multimedia screen. Ford’s latest Sync 3 system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well, depending on variant.
The range-topping Vignale ties in with a Europe-only high-end treatment for various Ford models like the Mondeo, but it’s unlikely to be offered locally. It includes features like leather upholstery and a Bang & Olufsen stereo system.
The ST-Line follows in the wheel tracks of cars like the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo and Renault Megane GT-Line in offering the looks and attitude of the sportier Fiesta ST, but without the firecracker 1.6-litre turbo engine and more focused handling tune.
The Active, meanwhile, mimics the look of a mini SUV, with black overfenders and a raised ride height.
No information about engines or drivetrains was offered, but Ford did announce that its tiny 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine would feature cylinder deactivation that can operate at a speed of 14 milliseconds.
A Ford Australia spokesperson could not shed any light on plans for the next round of Australian delivered cars, which – unlike the European-built versions shown off overnight – are sourced from Thailand.
Sourcing the Fiesta from Europe is not out of the question.
The local Fiesta line up, which launched in 2009, received a mid-life facelift in 2013, and a tech update in April last year. Reports suggest Ford Australia will not replace the Fiesta until 2018, when the current car will be nine years old.
Sourcing the Fiesta from Europe is not out of the question; the Fiesta ST is built in Germany and shipped to Australia. European-sourced small cars can be more expensive to source for the company, however, especially when compared to the free trade deal advantages enjoyed with Thailand.
Soft sales for the Fiesta in particular, and small cars in general, will also impact what spec levels will be offered in the next generation car.
The Fiesta is currently struggling in its light car segment against rivals like the Hyundai Accent, Suzuki Swift and Kia Rio, with year-on-year sales almost 40 per cent down over the same period last year.
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