Ford keeps concept features in new Fiesta

Ford launches the new Fiesta at the 2008 Geneva auto show.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham

Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta launches at the Geneva auto show as a new model. Ford

The culmination of Ford's Verve line of concepts, shown at recent auto shows, debuts in production form as the Ford Fiesta at the 2008 Geneva auto show. The Fiesta is a new small car, and Ford says it will be made available during fall of 2008 in Europe. Ford says it will follow up with launches around the world, keeping the Fiesta name, with production occurring in the United States during 2010. The new Fiesta's exterior styling keeps the Kinetic design theme used in the Verve concepts, with a high rear-end sweeping down toward a low front.

Ford Fiesta stack
The Fiesta stack borrows from cell phone design. Ford

The center stack design of the Fiesta is also retained from the Verve concept. The stack borrows from cell phone design, and indeed represents a departure from traditional automotive design. Function buttons occupy a column on the left side, with a volume knob in the middle, and a keypad on the right side. Ford includes a binnacle for a navigation or information screen in the center of the dashboard. A compartment below the stack is designed for MP3 players, complete with an auxiliary input and a USB port. The car will also come with Bluetooth cell phone integration. Although Ford doesn't mention Sync in the news release, the features the company describes are included in Sync, and the U.S. version of the car will probably have the Sync brand along with the technology.

Look for our coverage of the Fiesta and other cars at the 2008 Geneva auto show, starting on March 4.