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.
We drove European spec cars, so there are little differences from what the American version will look like.
Halfway through the drive, we had the chance to drive the Fiesta and a few of its competitors on a short track.
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.
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