Here's one we are closely following - the Ford Fiesta Hatchback.
This is a five door hatch back that will soon be launched in North America (US and Canada). However, it is possible that this car could also find its way to India in 2011. A sedan version is also in the offering for the global market.
Pictures of this car on test are available elsewhere as well, but we may be the first to provide scoops of the front end. With that we can also identify some of the external features of this car.
To start with, the build quality looks absolutely sturdy. Appears to be a very heavy car with a meaty engine to pull it through. In comparison to the current Fiesta in India, this car has a aggressive design with up-swept lines and a broader waist line. The body lines are however smooth and clean. It gives the car a stocky feel. It is miles ahead of the Indian Fiesta. Infact, it makes the current version look like an outdated piece of soviet machinery.
Fortunately, we have a picture with the Indica DLS side by. This gives you an idea of the proportion. The car is almost similar to the Indica in width and height. You may even note that the bumper and windshield lines appear in line. And that is where the similarity ends. For the more curious and unconventional, we have a picture of the car side by an auto-rickshaw. The roof lines are not in line, but definitely indicative that the car would offer good head room.
Where the car is very distinct is at the back. It gives the RITZ effect. The first Ritz I spotted on road should have been a good 150 - 200 m ahead (even had the mirage effect like in the desert movies) of me and I wrongly mistook it for the CRV. Not that my eye-sight is bad or I lack the ability to spot a CRV, but in a split second moment, the subconscious thought in my mind was that of the CRV's rear.
Only when I got close enough did I realize it was the Ritz. This car has a similar effect, but sans the distance. Even at close range, the rear of this car is truly sporty. The roof line trails in to the rear body which gets heavier and wider. Find yourself trailing this car and the rear intimidates you. It feels like pitching a ball to a big baseball striker with "eye blacks", ready to strike the ball back at you instead of a home run.
At the front we observed two common design aspects between the new Fiesta, Ikon (2009) and Figo. The large air dams appear similar. The air dam behind the Ford Logo appears very similar to the Figo. In fact, I would not hold back from saying the front ends (air dams, wheel arches etc) of the Fiesta and the Figo look identical. Quite interesting considering the Figo is built on the Fiesta platform currently sold in India. We saw a picture of the Fiesta hatch on Business Line, with "Titanium" graving on the rear.
Co-incidentally, one of the variants available in the Figo is "Titanium". There may be more to these similarities, but we would only be speculating. When we get to see these cars in more detail, we will get you the updates.
We love the leaf like OVRMs with integrated indicators. Very similar to the ones on the Grande Punto, but has a better appeal. Looking from the rear, the OVRMs look like kitten ears. The car also sports Xenon headlamps and fog lamps (quite similar to those on the Ikon).
Overall, this car seems to be generating more interest with frequent testing. Design and build wise, it is one piece of machinery that would not fail to impress or tout the competition. Yes, the "Limited Period Offer" on the Indian Fiesta is frequently seen in the national dailies. This should not be considered as an indicator that the new Fiesta is on its way. It is much too early to conclude. Ofcourse, Pricing decides everything.
If over-priced or fully packaged, this car has the potential to open up the "Super premium hatchback" segment.
Ford Fiesta hatchback spyshots
External Link - Business Line