Spy Shots: New Ford Fiesta caught testing in Chennai traffic!

A rather dull news day has turned exciting after we received pictures of a black Ford Fiesta test car forcing its way through Chennai’s peak office-hour traffic. The photos were shot by hawk-eyed DWS Auto reader, Jerry Gregory Jacob!

Updated 14 April 2011: The new Ford Fiesta was unveiled in New Delhi at Select Citywalk Mall, Saket. The company has not said anything at all about the price and specs of the car. There will be diesel and petrol variants for sure – and the car is laden with gizmos and gadgetry. Read more: 2011 Ford Fiesta unveiled.

Test mules of the Fiesta have been caught earlier as well but this is the first time we have seen it with absolutely no camouflaging, which probably suggests that the launch is near. The car is fully exposed save for the Ford badging, which has been deftly taped up. It bears a Tamil Nadu registration and a sticker on the rear glass that says “Vehicle On Test.” Related: Ford Fiesta seen testing in India

The new Fiesta looks nothing like the older model. It’s more modern and contemporary and is essentially the same car that the company sells in other parts of the world – as part of the ONE Ford strategy. The move is also significant considering Ford intends to continue selling the existing model along with the new one, which will be called Ford Fiesta Classic. Related: 2011 Ford Fiesta India launch confirmed

new ford fiesta photo
Photo: 2011 Ford Fiesta

The tail is not too big, with the roofline merging smoothly with the boot. The split tail lamps resemble the ones on the new Ford Mondeo. The large rear windshield means that the driver would get a clear, unobstructed view of the rear.

The new Fiesta we are told will have improved ground clearance and though it’s difficult to gauge from this angle, the ascending waistline does seem to give it a higher stance. The fat 195/60 R15 tyres add to the Fiesta’s sporty look.

There’s very little one can view of the inside. But one can clearly make out the wing-like slats of the climate control vents on the Fiesta’s dash. The 2,489 mm wheelbase is only marginally longer than the existing Fiesta, so don’t expect huge gains in rear-seat space.

The upcoming Fiesta will be offered with both petrol and diesel mills. The 1.6-litre, 120 bhp petrol engine will give it enough firepower to take on the Honda City and the Fiat Linea T-Jet. The diesel engine may be a 1.6-litre Duratorq motor that produces 90 bhp. The current Fiesta is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 100 bhp and a 1.4-litre diesel motor (that’s shared by the Ford Figo) which develops a paltry 68 bhp. Ford may mate the engines to an automatic transmission besides the standard IB5 manual gearbox.

Ford will be launching the new Fiesta in the second half of 2011 and is expected to be price it in the Rs. 6.80 lakh – Rs. 7.7 lakh range. Currently, Fiesta prices range from Rs. 6.46 – Rs. 8.51 (ex-showroom, Delhi). That will make the new Ford Fiesta an extremely compelling buy from among cars such as Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea, Volkswagen Vento, Maruti SX4 and even the segment leader Honda City.