Posts Tagged ‘2011 Ford Fiesta’

Ford Fills a Hole

Torque Hole Filling technology smooths shifts in '12 Ford Focus.

by on Jan.28, 2011

The 2012 Ford Focus' dual-clutch automated manual transmission will feature Torque Hole Filling technology, to help make shifts smoother.

When the Ford Focus goes on sale later this year, drivers should notice the next level in transmission shift quality.

The 2012 Focus will have what Ford calls Torque Hole Filling technology, a concept the automaker first patented a quarter century ago. While Ford has had a patent on the concept since the ’80s, it had to wait for computer technology to catch up.

Ford introduced the dual-clutch automated manual transmission on the 2011 Fiesta. Even without the THF, the transmission, which Ford calls PowerShift, was remarkably smooth. Still, traditional torque-converter automatic transmissions have an edge in smoothness compared to automated manuals.

Time to Shift!

But automated manual transmissions promise better fuel efficiency because they use computer-controlled automated clutches rather than inefficient torque converters.

So what is the torque hole? Typical transmissions have a break in power delivery between shifts. So every time the transmission shifts, no tractable power is going to the wheels, so there’s a hole in the acceleration.

THF adds a little engine torque to the driveline to smooth shifts.


Ford To Sell Off Most Of Remaining Mazda Stock

Last-minute hurdles still could scuttle deal, sources say.

by on Oct.19, 2010

Ford is now ready to go it alone without the help of long-time ally Mazda when developing replacements for products like the 2011 Fiesta.

Ford Motor Co. appears ready to sell off most or all of its remaining stake in Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp., several industry sources have confirmed.

Such a move would not only relinquish Ford’s role as the largest Mazda shareholder but also end what has been the longest in-depth relationship between a U.S. and Japanese automaker – one that has helped both makers develop an array of products that might not have been able to bring to market on their own.

The sale, if completed, would mark another milestone in Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s so-called One Ford strategy, which has already led the U.S. maker to sell off an assortment of foreign luxury brands, including Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.

In fact, one of Mulally’s first big moves, in 2008, shortly after joining the Detroit maker, was to cut Ford’s stake in Mazda from 33.4% to 13%.  That figure has since declined to 11%.

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“We’re not commenting about reports on our shareholding in Mazda,” Ford spokesman Mark Truby told  “We have a close relationship with Mazda,” he added, “that spans 30 years.”

But other sources, both in the U.S. and Japan, told that Ford is, indeed, negotiating a sell-off of its remaining stake – which was once large enough that the U.S. maker was able to appoint its own representative to run the Japanese company.


First Drive: Ford Fiesta

Small and stylish are no longer mutually exclusive.

by on Oct.15, 2010

The Ford Fiesta has a stylish shape one normally wouldn't expect in the "econobox" segment.

The idea seemed preposterous: Three people, one medium-sized dog, two sets of golf clubs (minus one of the bags), three duffel bags and all the usual paraphernalia – including 10 pairs of shoes(?) – required for a long weekend at the lake. But how to stuff all that stuff in a subcompact? Yes, we knew there would be complaints, but we undertake this research for you, the loyal readers.

Somehow, we crammed it all in. Looked like a clown car with all the people and stuff popping out of this Ford Fiesta upon arrival, but it illustrates a point: It is possible to travel comfortably in a subcompact. We even had room to take home a couple of gifts and knick knacks purchased at the annual craft fair.


An added bonus was superb mileage: Over a week spent with the Fiesta, mostly traveling on rural two lanes, we averaged 39 mpg. This thing doesn’t so much sip fuel, it dabs a rag in it and wrings out every last drop.

Following a groundbreaking social media campaign, it seems that Ford has been telling us about the Fiesta for a long time. Now that it is here, it’s easy to see what all the fuss was about.

The Fiesta has fun styling details, nifty interior touches and some clever features. It’s entertaining and easy to drive.

Ford Sees Fiesta as an American Idol

New subcompact getting high-profile launch.

by on May.18, 2010

"It's a big deal," declares the new advertising tagline for the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

It’s the goal of every automaker, to turn a new product into something that rises above the rest of a crowded market, and Ford is hoping to turn the 2011 Fiesta subcompact into an American idol by launching the new car with a high-profile ad campaign centered around the show, American Idol.

The markting campaign is a critical step in introducing the market to what one senior Ford offical describes as “the biggest launch of the year” for the company, during a preview of the new Fiesta advertising.

Such an effort might have been unlikely in years past.  Indeed, the 2011 Fiesta will be the first subcompact Ford has offered in the United States since 1977.  Traditionally, small cars have been money losers for American manufacturers, and only offered if a company like Ford felt they were needed to lure new, young buyers into the corporate

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The maker is betting Fiesta, which starts at $13,994, is different.  For one thing, it was developed as a global vehicle, rather than just for the U.S. market, so that helped hold down R&D costs.  About 80% of the components used on the American version of the subcompact are shared with the model sold in Europe, significantly improving economies of scale.  And Ford is hoping to break the traditional link between vehicle size and price by offering a range of up-market options that can push the actual transaction price for a well-equipped Fiesta to well above $20,000.


New Ford Fiesta Nudges Into Hybrid Territory

Maker promising up to 40 mpg.

by on May.17, 2010

Ford will offer both this sedan and a hatchback version of the 2011 Fiesta.

The new 2011 Ford Fiesta will nudge into hybrid territory when it’s released later this year, delivering a rated fuel economy of up to 40 mpg on the highway, the automaker announced today.

The Fiesta is the latest – and most highly-promoted – among a series of European products Ford is migrating over to the States.  Though there’ve been a number of changes made to the interior, as well as to bumpers and lighting, all to meet American safety standards, Ford maintained the European car’s emphasis on fuel economy.

The American version of the Fiesta will be powered by a 120-horsepower 1.6 liter Duratec inline-four engine featuring a number of technologies designed to improve mileage, Ford boasts, including Twin-Independent Variable Cam Shift Timing, or Ti-VCT, and electric power-assisted steering.

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The engine is mated to an electrically-shifted clutchless six-speed manual gearbox, dubbed PowerShift, that Ford claims will deliver automatic convenience with manual efficiency.

There are no plans to import the European diesel powertrain for the 2011 Ford Fiesta, however.


Ford Adding Three More EcoBoost Engines

Maker plans to boost production to 1.5 million annually.

by on Apr.12, 2010

A new 1.6-liter I4 version of the EcoBoost engine will be used in the 2011 Ford C-Max people mover.

Ford will announce this week three more versions of its high-mileage EcoBoost engine to its global line-up, with the maker planning to boost production of the powertrain to 1.5 million annually by 2013, half of them for sale in North America.

With the addition of the new EcoBoost offerings, the powertrain technology will be available on 11 different Ford models.  Plans call for EcoBoost engines to be available on 80% of the Ford global line-up, and 90% of vehicles sold in North America.

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“We are focused on sustainable technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars, but for millions of cars, because that’s how Ford will truly make a difference,” said Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering, Barb Samardzich.


First Look: 2011 Ford Fiesta

Ford's European small car finally ready for American debut.

by on Dec.02, 2009

The most "Euro-centric" version of the 2011 Ford Fiesta, the 5-door could get American motorists back into hatchbacks.

The most "Euro-centric" version of the 2011 Ford Fiesta, the 5-door could get American motorists back into hatchbacks.

For a small car, the new 2011 Ford Fiesta has a big mission ahead of it.

Fiesta is the European-designed small car that has garnered a slew of awards for the automaker since its introduction, two years ago.  It’s also the first serious attempt to translate Ford’s Continental design and engineering into a vehicle that meets the needs and desires of American motorists.

In years past, the automaker would likely have developed separate products for the U.S. and Europe – if it brought out such a small car in the States, at all. That’s one reason small cars like Fiesta have been big money losers in this country.  But by spreading out costs on a platform that could eventually account for 1 million sales, worldwide, Ford is betting it will actually make money on Fiesta – and also be able to pass some of the savings to consumers in the form of a car that breaks from the traditional mold of boring, stripped-down Detroit econobox.

Small Cars, Big News!

Small Cars, Big News!

What’s clear is that U.S. buyers are becoming much more open to small cars, which have seen their share of the market surge from just 14.0% in 2004 to 21.6% for the first 10 months of 2008.  The problem for Ford is that Japanese and Korean imports, such as the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, have dominated the various small car segments.


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