Ford's small car has been discussed here many times in the past (1,2,3). The new small car from the American auto giant (maybe that title isn't appropriate anymore) will be announced by mid-2010.
Ford's new car will come in both petrol/diesel and hatchback/sedan variants. It will be Ford's entry level car in India and will be manufactured at the company's facility in Chennai where vehicles like the hugely successful Fiesta and Ikon are currently manufactured.
Ford's Indian small car as you can refer from the snaps, borrow styling cues from the Verve concept.
Ford India confirmed earlier that their new small car will have high localization content (75% or more) to control costs. A sub 1.2-liter petrol and sub 1.5-liter diesel engine will be the sole power units initially; more powerful engines and automatic transmissions might be added to the lineup after the launch.
Some claim the car spied is the new Fiesta that is selling successfully in Europe and is in the demo mode in the U.S.A
But this is NOT the Ford Fiesta hatchback. Let me show you
Proof 1 - If you look closely at the snap, the mirrors are mounted in place of the quarter glass panels. The Fiesta hatchback's design uses a quarter glass panel and its mirrors are mounted on its doors. The mirrors of the spied car do not have indicators studded in them which the Fiesta does.
Proof 2 - The front bumper is also another indication that this is not the Fiesta. There is a section of plastic that bulges out partitioning the fog lamps and the radiator/condenser grille. The Fiesta hatchback's bumper does not have such a section as its bumper uses a smoother design.
Proof 3 - The Fiesta hatchback has a muscle on the bonnet that runs from the A-Pillar to the headlamps. The car you see in the picture instead has only a plain section of metal. This is also indication of cost cutting, using simple shapes to lower its price tag.
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Proof 4 - Watch the headlamps in the spy image. Just like the Fiesta hatchback, it is inspired from the Verve concept, but is simpler. The outline of the Fiesta's headlamp (we move from the top toward the bottom) starts with a straight line, surges upwards and finally terminates moving downhill. The spy image clearly shows the lack of the "upward" portion.
Proof 5- It is difficult to judge and compare shapes and sizes from a 2-dimensional image, but to my eye the car spied looks smaller and punier compared to the Fiesta. The wheel sizes and the absence of the shoulder line also indicate this is after all the small car that Indian Autos Blog has been talking about all this time.
Ford intends to build/export this car for the Brazilian market apart from Europe. The car will be no longer than four meters in length to avail benefits from the tax structure.
Ford also has complete rights over the name "Splash" in India which we came to know after Suzuki adopted the name Ritz for Splash hatchback in the country. Ford might christen the new car Splash, but we need to wait till the car is launched to know about it.
Images via Car Trade India