The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling car in the UK and in 2017, 94,533 units were sold, that’s almost 20,000 more than rival Volkswagen Golf. Total UK sales of the reliable hatch were over 4.5 million units as of last year and they have sold more than 17 million worldwide.
The four year development of the Fiesta was dubbed ‘Project Bobcat’ and was given the go ahead in 1973, in a factory in Valencia, Spain. Henry Ford II named the Fiesta its name as a nod to its new found Spanish roots.
The Ford Fiesta Mark 1 was the first model and went into production in 1976, which was a small 3 door model. Later came the first attempt at a sporty Fiesta, the 1300 Sport and the XR2, which kick started the trend of fast Ford Fiestas.
Believe it or not, the company was worried that they would struggle to make profit on such a small car however the 1973 oil crisis made creating smaller cars a priority.
The new Fiesta Mk2 was more of a facelift of the first Fiesta, the interior and front end was redesigned, and customers were given more choice on engine sizes, which included a 1.6l diesel. Ford had their best ever year so far in 1987, selling over 150,000 units in the UK.
A bigger Fiesta with five doors was introduced in 1989, it was also the first model to feature Ford’s Zetec engine, which eventually became a trim level. The XR2i was also introduced in August 1989, with an engine capable of producing 104bhp.
The third and forth gens overlapped, causing the Mk 3 line to be rebranded as Fiesta Classic. The earlier fourth generation models weren’t produced for the British market after the Mk 4 Fiesta underwent a facelift. The Zetec S Trim was also launched which was a refreshed model with the 1.6 l Zetec engine.
We were introduced to the sporty ST model with the Zetec (which was renamed to Duratec) 2.0 l engine under the bonnet. This was supposed to make the car more insurance friendly and appeal to a wider audience and it worked. The fifth gen model has been the best-selling fiesta to date.
Arguably the most diverse generation as there were a variety of specs available, including a 1.6 l engine tuned just short of 140bhp. The facelifted version, known as the 7.5, was the first Fiesta to have Ford’s trapezoidal grille, which also featured the award winning Ecoboost engine.
The newest Fiesta is the largest model so far and maintains a familiar style. The interior has changed a lot since the first model and is filled with more upmarket tech and driver assistance features.
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