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New Ford Fiesta revealed

Scheduled to go on sale here towards the middle of 2013, the Ford Fiesta range will kick off with the tiny 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that claimed the World Engine of the Year award a few months ago.

“We’ve confirmed the three-cylinder turbo for the Fiesta,” Ford spokesman Neil McDonald says. “Originally it was going to be the EcoSport SUV  but Fiesta will beat it to market by several months.

The turbocharged engine is offered in two levels -- 74kW/170Nm and 92kW/200Nm – but there’s no indication yet of whether we will get both.

“It’s a little bit early to talk what the engine line-up will be,” McDonald says, although agreeing there would have to be consideration of whether the local market would go for two 1.0-litre versions or would expect to see a larger unit in the upper spec cars.

The leaked official images show the main styling changes are focused on the nose, which gets the Aston Martin-flavoured grille shape -- already worn by the overseas Ford Fusion (Mondeo) – set off with a new front bumper and headlight clusters featuring LED running lights.

McDonald says it’s also too early to discuss whether price and specification levels will change markedly from the current range, which opens with the $16,990 CL and tops out at the $23,490 Zetec – or whether they will be joined by the Fiesta ST seen overseas.

“There’s been a Fiesta ST concept vehicle shown in Europe but we haven’t confirmed it for here,” he says.

“For the rest of the range, it’s too far out to talk about price, but we plan to remain competitive. The Fiesta has been doing quite well -- around the 700 per month. It’s been a pretty strong seller for us.”

While the release of fresh metal can often mean extra demand that constrains supply of some imported cars, McDonald points out Asian production means it won’t be a problem for the Fiesta. “Our vehicles are built in Thailand so I don’t think supply is going to be an issue,” he says.