1 Nov 2010
TO COINCIDE with a change of manufacture from Saarlouis in Germany to Rayong in Thailand, Ford released a facelifted B299 Fiesta in late 2010, as well as a four-door sedan and more diesel variations.
Visual indicators of the WT included different front bumpers, wheels, colours and trim. But the Thai-built cars also lost the reach-adjustable steering column, rubberised dash top padding, sequential-shift facility beside the automatic transmission lever, and spare wheel.
But the plusses included the adoption of Ford’s six-speed Powershift ‘automatic’ transmission for the 88kW/151Nm 1.6-litre twin-cam 16-valve Ti-VCT variable valve timing four-cylinder petrol engine for all autos (replacing the maligned 1.4L four-speed auto), although the TDCi diesels were five-speed manual only.
Meanwhile the TDCi was very closely related to the 1.6-litre common-rail direct-injection turbo-diesel unit found in the Fiesta Econetic, producing the same 66kW and 200Nm.
The Thai Fiesta was an evolutionary development of the German car, gaining a number of improvements that were later adopted by the European-made cars – including more soundproofing, better door seals, a significantly more rigid mounting for the twist-beam rear suspension (that brought NVH noise/vibration/harshness benefits as well as a sounder base dynamically), and a stiffer body. A more up-to-date stability control system and upgraded electric power steering were also introduced.