Ford is preparing to give the pocket-sized Fiesta a midlife refresh that will bring a revised look, and possibly a new range-topping trim level.
Now in its seventh-generation, the Fiesta was introduced in Europe in 2008, though it didn’t land on our shores until the 2011 model year. Ford will keep the sub-compact from getting too long in the tooth by giving it a new front fascia that falls in line with its latest design language. Expect Focus-esque sharp headlights and a wide grille up front, while the rear end will receive revised tail lamps.
The Fiesta won’t be new under the skin. Instead, it will ride on an evolution of the architecture that underpins the current model, a strategy adopted by a few of Ford’s competitors including Volkswagen and GM’s Germany-based Opel division. The suspension will be tuned to obtain a quieter, more comfortable ride, and the next Fiesta will likely be marginally lighter than its predecessor.
Italian magazine Omni Auto speculates that Ford will crown the Fiesta lineup with a range-topping trim level called Vignale. Already offered on the Fusion and the S-Max minivan, among others, the Vignale trim will bring a more upscale look accented by an extra dose of chrome trim, and niceties such as leather upholstery and real contrast stitching in the cabin. The Blue Oval might choose to sell the Fiesta Vignale exclusively on the Old Continent, where luxed-up sub-compacts are more popular than in the United States.
A vast majority of the Fiestas sold in Europe are equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine, so Ford is expected to drop the bigger 1.4-liter, four-cylinder altogether. A 1.5-liter turbodiesel will be available on the other side of the pond, and Ford will continue to build a hot-rodded, ST-badged variant of the Fiesta for speed aficionados. It’s too early to tell what mechanical modifications Ford will make to the U.S.-spec model.
The updated Ford Fiesta is tentatively scheduled to make its debut in the fall, though Ford has announced plans to sit out the Paris Auto Show so we won’t see it in the French capital. It will make its North American debut at either the Los Angeles Auto Show or next year’s Detroit Auto Show.