The Ford Motor Company has announced that it is looking to enhance the appeal of its Fiesta sub-compact through the power of bacon. According to the Ford Custom Graphics website, lovers of crispy pork products can order any of four different bacon themed vinyl wraps ranging a “mini-strips” package which costs a modest $78.75 all the way up to a “full bacon wrap” for $3347. The website indicates that Ford Custom Graphic vinyl products, properly installed and maintained, are covered by a three year warranty and have been tested to ensure that they can be used all year round regardless of the weather. With International Bacon Day set to take place on August 31st, the time to show the world your meat is now.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul… you know the rest, right? If you don’t, find your high-school English teacher and ask for your money back. Ishmael had his berth on the Pequod, but I had a narrow-pitch seat on Southwest Airlines’ egalitarian 737, and my no-particular-purpose destination, chosen in a fit of pique and self-pity, was Los Angeles.
I had no purpose in my trip save for escape. I left no calling for this idle trade, no duty broken, no father disobeyed. In my haste to leave Ohio, I neglected to consider the fact that many of my Los Angeles friends would be missing due to the Chicago Auto Show; once that sunk through my head, I promptly stopped calling people and in doing so missed out on some friends who hadn’t gone to the show after all. Oh well.
At least I had a place to stay: the notorious dating blogger Melisa Mae had agreed to let me crash on her couch for a few days. That much, at least, I’d planned out. My flight arrived past ten on a Friday evening, and by the time I’d driven to Burbank and stocked up on vodka at the local Ralph’s it was way past midnight. Melisa met me at the gate to her house, nodded approvingly at the brown paper bags, then directed a considerably less cheerful glance at my $23/day rental. “That,” she pronounced, “is, like, the crappiest little car ever.”
TTAC commentator hidrotule2001 writes,
I’ve got an intermittent, befuddling problem with the manual transmission in my 2011 Ford Fiesta: The shifter will periodically refuse to move into 4th gear.
This usually happens 10-15 minutes after the car is started, and mostly during warm weather (but I’ve never been able to consistently reproduce the behavior). When i say it refuses to move into 4th gear, I mean with the clutch fully engaged (peddle to the floor) attempting to move the shifter into 4th position feels like trying to shift into 1st gear when going 60 miles an hour; like there is some sort of synchro problem.
Moving the shifter back to the neutral position and trying again doesn’t change the behavior (the shifter never gets far out of the neutral position to begin with). Down-shifting to 3rd, and then trying to shift again does get rid of the problem (at least so far), which is why I haven’t been able to demonstrate it to the dealer.
The car is 100% stock, and only has 10.5k miles on it. I’ve done some searching on various forums and the closest I’ve found is a couple of posts on Mustang forums with similar issues where the transmission fluid was low, but I’ve had that checked and everything is within spec.
Any ideas on what might be causing this? The problem is an annoyance right now, but I wonder if it might indicate an underlying issue that could get worse as time goes on… (Read More…)
We saw a junked first-year Plymouth Horizon last week, but Chrysler’s Simca-based econobox wasn’t the only Euro-Detroito subcompact to make its North American debut in 1978. The first-gen Ford Fiesta, which had been a tremendous sales success in Europe, showed up in American Ford showrooms… where it was met by puzzled stares from car shoppers who couldn’t quite get their heads around the tiny size of the latest car to bear the blue oval. (Read More…)
Take one Ford Fiesta. Add four inches to the length, and pop up the roof for some extra headroom. Add a pair of small sliding rear doors, and you’ve got the forthcoming Fiesta B-Max. With Ford soft-pedaling its C-Max plans for the US market, don’t expect this tiny van to ever come to the US… at least unless gas prices go crazy.
Although Ford has been relentlessly hyping its US-bound Focus ST, there’s been nary a word of a hot Fiesta coming to the states. And even if we do get the 180 HP (or thereabouts) 1.6 Ecoboost-powered Fiesta ST, seen here screaming around a certain ubiquitous test track, it probably won’t be in the three-door trim you see here. Still, if US-market Fiestas start at $15,500 and top out around $22,000, what would you (hypothetically) pay for an extra 60 forced-induction ponies, some nice wheels and the ubiquitous go-fast appearance bits? Or is there simply no reason to sell a hot hatch in the US that’s smaller than the forthcoming, 250 HP Focus ST?
Ford has made it clear that a 250 HP “ST” version of its 2012 Focus will be making its way to America, hopefully opening a new chapter in Ford’s US-market hot hatch history. The perfect followup? How about a 180 HP Fiesta ST, featuring the new 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine? Autocar says its coming to the UK by the end of this year, and Ford is already teasing its arrival with the release of a “warm” Fiesta, the 134 HP S1600 (above). There’s no word on US availability yet, but if Ford’s going to bring us the Focus ST, why not its baby cousin? With the Fiesta getting plenty of play in rally racing and, far more importantly, Ken Block videos, this seems like an easy call. If nothing else, it will at least look like the bargain of the lifetime compared to the Fiat 500 EV.
We’ve seen the sequence too many times before. Enthusiasts beg GM and Ford to offer their international products in the U.S. They offer one. It fails to sell. It gets canceled. Nevertheless, Ford plans to replace its entire small-to-midsize lineup with vehicles developed in and primarily for Europe. So this time it had better work out. First up: the subcompact Fiesta. (Read More…)
We don’t just want it to be seen,” said Jeff Eggen, Ford’s car experiential marketing manager, speaking about the Fiesta’s appearance in “Diaries.” The idea is to “have a second element or a third element” rather than just a placement on a TV program, “where we can engage with the fans outside of the show with additional content
While AdAge raves over Ford’s “product placement plus” marketing scheme for the Fiesta, actual customers for the Mexican-built subcompact are starting to get testy. The Fiesta’s Facebook page is home to several customer complaints about slow delivery of Fiesta, and Ford has already sent out $50 Mastercard gift cards to waiting customers. But in the letter accompanying the gift cards, Ford blamed hurricanes for Fiesta delays… and it turns out there’s more to the story than that. The Freep reports that 6,000 Fiestas were delayed last week due what Ford’s Mark Fields calls “a part-quality issue.”
For many Americans, the words “Ford Fiesta” dredges up memories of a crappy claustrophobic tin can that fights the Geo Metro for the title of Worst American Small Car of the decade. The only time I ever wanted a fiesta was during a drunken weekend in Cabo, but the fiesta in mind had more to do with Cabo Wabo than Dearborn Michigan. Of course “Mr Euro” types know that the Fiesta has changed considerably since it last visited our shores, and as Jack Baruth found out at Ford’s Fiesta launch fiesta, Ford’s subcompact is now the most Euro-thentic subcompact on the market. But how well will a Fiesta actually handle an American commute? Ford lent me a baby-poo yellow example for a week to answer just that question.
About a half-hour after TTAC’s 15 Years of Compact Car Sales graph went up today, the normally enthusiast-oriented car blog Jalopnik gave the internet its own take on compact-car segment analysis with a post titled The Ford Fiesta Will Dominate The Small Car Segment. Some might question how this is supposed to jive with Jalopnik’s alleged commitment to “awesomeness,” but our concerns are far more prosaic. Examples: the absence of the Fiesta’s actual competitors like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, and the absence of interior volume comparisons which would expose this “comparison” for the fraud it is. And that’s just for starters…
Ford’s Fiesta subcompact has earned a top EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg in the city, reports Automotive News [sub]. Those numbers are for Fiestas equipped with an optional six-speed autobox; manual transmission models get a 37/28 mpg rating. By comparison, auto-equipped versions of competitors like the Honda Fit (35/28) and Toyota Yaris (35/29) come up short on highway mileage in particular. But this isn’t the first time Ford has claimed 40+ mpg for one of its cars: the Fusion hybrid carries an EPA city rating of 41 mpg, despite coming up short of its government-endorsed rating in several real-world tests (although not as shockingly as Chevy’s Equinox, for example). But the EPA testing regime is hardly perfect anyway, so let’s just wait and see what the test drives yield before we start stringing up the piñata.
Showing how really big and important the new Fiat Uno is in the burgeoning Brazilian market, car makers responded with a massive wave of re-releases. Ford jumped into the fire and unveiled their new old Fiesta. Ford joins VW, which unveiled the new old Gol G4 Ecomotion. GM launched the new old Chevy Classic, and Renault released the new old Logan. All trying to take the spotlight and press away from the new Uno, the only real new car. Talk about stage envy! (Read More…)
Everybody knows a “Mr. Euro”. Hell, you may even be “Mr. Euro” to your friends. Mr. Euro is the guy who, for some reason, wants the cars he cannot have in the United States. He’s the guy who says he would drive a 520i “in a heartbeat” given the chance, the dude who thinks we’re missing out because the Renault Twingo stays on the froggy side of the pond, the fellow who desperately wants a Vauxhall Zafira for child-lugging purposes. I still fondly remember the conversation I had with a similar fellow, whom I shall call “Mr. JDM”, around 2004 or so:
“I would buy a Japanese Skyline sedan in a heartbeat, if only they would bring them here, and I’m not worried about the money.”
“Good news. They did. It’s called the Infiniti G35. Allow me to drive you to the dealership so you may make your cost-no-object dream a twenty-nine-thousand-dollar reality.” Alas, the grass is never so green when it’s cut into sod and shipped to our lawns, and perhaps that’s why so many Mr. Euros find themselves conspicuously absent from the lists of Saturn Astra or VW Rabbit owners. It’s also possible that the loudest voices on the Internet buy the fewest cars, which would also explain why the current Ford Focus has been such a roaring success despite the heretical nature of its US-only design and execution.
Should your travels bring you to Wolfsburg in the near future, do yourself a favor, don’t mention “Cologne.” Don’t say anything about “Köln.” For goodness gracious, don’t mention Ford. Even colloquialisms such as “ich mach mich fort” (“I’m outta here”) should be avoided. Any of the above would get you an icy stare at a minimum. Or a uniformed Werkschutz escort to the factory gate at Wache Sandkamp. The boys in Wolfsburg carry a deep grudge against Ford. Ford beat Volkswagen at Golf. (Read More…)