We Had A Ton Of Fun Driving The Oddball 2013 Ford Fiesta Around Los Angeles

2013 ford fiesta 1.0 liter los angeles

Photo: Alex Davies

Last week, we traveled to California for the Los Angeles Auto Show and to drive the 2013 1.0-Liter Ford Fiesta, which is making its entry into the North American market.With the Fiesta, Ford is going after young, first-time car buyers. It is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car sold in North America, thanks to the EcoBoost engine Ford has already put under more than 500,000 hoods.

The 1.0-liter Fiesta, set to hit the US market in the second half of 2013, is made to target young buyers who love to drive. In a nearly unheard of move in the American car market, Ford is not offering an automatic transmission. It is a risky move that limits sales to buyers who can drive a stick shift.

(Of course, the other Fiestas will come as automatics. “We haven’t gone completely crazy,” one Ford rep told us.)

To prove how much fun driving the Fiesta 1.0-Liter can be, Ford set up a route through the mountains and canyons outside Los Angeles, with a stop at a track to do some competitive driving.

Because we drove European models, we cannot speak to the car’s interior or various features. But we can definitely say we had a lot of fun.

Disclosure: Ford paid for our travel and lodging expenses to drive the Fiesta and attend the Los Angeles Auto Show.

About 15 Fiestas were waiting for us at the airport where Ford presented the new 1.0-liter.

It's a bit odd-looking, but we do not find it ugly. The colour, by the way, is 'hot mustard.'

We drove European spec cars, so there are little differences from what the American version will look like.

The interior will be different, but that manual transmission is coming to the US.

So is the little engine that let us have so much fun.

It has a spoiler on the front chin to improve its aerodynamics.

Ford is not billing the Fiesta as a cheap car.

Per liter, the engine is more powerful than the one in the Lamborghini Aventador.

Of course, the Aventador has a 6.5-liter engine, so it has six times the horsepower.

It was a gorgeous day for a drive through the Santa Monica Mountains and along the Pacific coast.

On the winding, hilly Mulholland Highway, we mostly kept the car in second gear.

It is the least efficient way to drive, but also the most fun.

Halfway through the drive, we had the chance to drive the Fiesta and a few of its competitors on a short track.

Needless to say, it was very cool. The Fiesta performed really well.

To hammer the 'fun' message home, Ford brought Ken Block to the LA Auto Show to drive the Fiesta from his Gymkhana stunt driving series.

The mandatory manual transmission makes this a driver's car while on winding roads, and very efficient in ordinary conditions.

Now see what else we did in Los Angeles.

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