Cars and Car Conversions - New Car: Fiesta Generic
"It's All Happening. Ford Fiesta"
August 1976



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New Car: Fiesta Generic

Thank you to DavidH for supplying this article.

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Cars and Car Conversions - New Car: Fiesta Generic - Page 1

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It's All Happening

Ford Fiesta

There's only one Fiesta body - three doors with a fold down rear seat. Initially there will be four models, the base car, L version, S and luxury trim Ghia. The S gets a 1117cc engine (53 bhp) as standard and this unit is an option on the 957cc (45 bhp) unit to the other models. The S gets its designation not only from the more powerful engine but also uprated springs and dampers (not Bilsteins like Capri and Granada S's) and a rear anti-roll bar. There will be at least one RS version of the Fiesta at a later date.

The biggest innovation for Ford is the fact the new car is front wheel drive. Mounted transversely the engine is a new design based on the 'Kent' series but with a three bearing crankshaft and wedge shaped combustion chambers in the cylinder head rather than the bowl-in-piston design of the previous unit. The power unit layout makes it possible for clutch overhaul to be carried out without having to remove the engine. The four speed gearbox has an indirect top.

Front suspension is Ford's familiar MacPherson Strut with negative scrub geometry (the same thing Audl/VW made such a shout about not too long ago) built in, white at the rear is a coil sprung beam axle located by trailing arms, and a Panhard rod. The brakes are the same on all models - 8 7in dia. discs at the front, 7in drums at the back. A servo is an extra. A neat point is a hole in each disc caliper that with a special gauge, allows pad wear to be checked without removing the wheel. Steering, needless to say, it rack and pinion type.

The three door body uses 40 per cent fewer panels than the Escort and Ford claim it has the lowest drag factor of any car in its class. Certainly the claimed performance would seem to support this - the 1117cc version is credited with an 88mph top speed. A new type of sunroof has been developed for the Fiesta, a completely detachable plastic panel replacing the more usual (and interior height limiting) sliding type.

The Fiesta is scheduled for European sale in September but will not be available in Britain until January. It is being produced in Britain, Germany and Spain.