New Fiesta will have wide appeal

WHY can’t they make all automatics like this? World of Wheels has just driven the Ford Fiesta 1.0 litre EcoBoost which is now available with PowerShift auto transmission. It’s a brilliant little vehicle which is going to attract a wide following among first-time buyers, those who don’t like manual cars, and those who travel in congested cities and towns – when changing gears every few minutes is a pain in the butt!

The 74kW 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is paired with Ford’s advanced, six-speed dualclutch automatic transmission – the first time Ford has combined the two technologies – delivering CO2emissions of 114g/km and 4.9 I/100 km fuel consumption.

Unlike regular hydraulically operated automatic transmissions, which use power- sapping torque converters, wet clutches and pumps, Ford’s dual-clutch automatic consists of two manual transmissions working in parallel.

Each has its own independent clutch unit controlled by computers and fast-acting electromechanical actuators that shift the gears.

One clutch carries the odd gears, while the other carries the even gears and reverse.

PowerShift is an automatic because the gear changes are co-ordinated by a computer that directs the clutches to engage and disengage in a way that provides seamless delivery of torque to the wheels, even during gear changes.

As a result, the driver benefits from improved fuel economy along with the crisp acceleration normally associated with a manual gearbox.

This is where the Fiesta has the edge over competitors. It’s really a joy to drive in all conditions and the 74kW engine propels the Fiesta along at a merry rate.

The engine uses technologies including direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to deliver the power of a larger engine with the fuel efficiency of a smaller engine; from a three-cylinder engine block small enough to fit into the overhead luggage compartment of an aeroplane. With 74kW and 170Nm on offer, the engine delivers more power for its size than some premium cars.

EcoBoost is fundamental to Ford’s strategy to provide technologically advanced, high-output, smaller- displacement powertrains that deliver uncompromised performance and fuel economy. These engines deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20% and reduction of CO2emissions of up to 15%, compared with larger, less-efficient engines.

Ford’s leadership with EcoBoost has resulted in more than 125 patents on the technology.

Priced at R236600 the Fiesta comes standard with warranty and service plan, which comprises of a four-year/120000km fully comprehensive manufacturer warranty, five-year corrosion warranty and four year/60 000km service plan.

A roadside assistance plan is in place for three years/ unlimited kilometres. Service intervals for the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost are scheduled at 20000km. – Bobby Cheetham


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