1 Feb 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
A mild facelift, the WQ Fiesta featured new headlights, bumpers, grille, tail-lights and body side mouldings, while the dashboard was redesigned to give the German-built light-car a more upmarket look and feel.
There were also more contemporary exterior colours and cabin trim hues and fabrics.
The model range carried over – base LX three and five-door, luxury Ghia five-door and sporty Zetec three-door hatchbacks – employing the existing 74kW/146Nm 1.6-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine.
There were improvements in noise, vibration and harshness transmission for a quieter and more refined car.
Anti-lock brakes became available on the base five-speed manual LX, while the Zetec included firmer suspension, 16-inch alloys and revised gear ratios for a sportier feel.
IN mid 2007, Ford surprised many pundits with sub-$25,000 pricing for its Fiesta XR4.
Made in Germany and sold elsewhere as the Fiesta ST, it was developed by Ford of Europe’s TeamRS outfit that is also responsible for the successful Focus XR5 Turbo.
The three-door only XR4 uses a derivation of the 2.0-litre Duratec twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder unit found in the Focus and Mazda 3.
It delivers 110kW of power at 6000rpm and 190Nm of torque at 4500rpm, thanks to a variable valve intake system that plumps out the available torque.
Also present is a revised exhaust system, a low-inertia flywheel for faster throttle response, and shorter gearing for the five-speed manual gearbox (the only transmission on offer).
The XR4 also features stiffer suspension springs, revised dampers, a reduced steering rack ratio and a beefed-up steering subframe, for more precise handling and roadholding.
Keeping all the speed in check are rear disc brakes – a Fiesta first – and larger front discs.
Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution complete the stopping package, and work in conjunction with ESP stability control (called DSC in Ford-speak) and traction control.